When it’s time to say goodbye

By: Anne Shilston

Pets are part of families and it’s difficult to say goodbye. Sometimes euthanasia can be an option when the pet is old, unwell or they have an accident.

Making the decision is never easy. Considering your pet’s quality of life is important. No animal should suffer unnecessarily.  It can be the hardest decision an owner makes even if they know it’s for the best.

Your vet will discuss the situation, supporting you to make the best decision.

Euthanasia can be carried out in-clinic or in your home. Some owners stay with their pet while others prefer to leave them in our care. There isn’t a right or wrong way. The experience is unique for everyone and everyone will make a different decision.  

For your pet the process is like having an anaesthetic or blood test. An anaesthetic overdose is injected into their vein. They usually lose consciousness within seconds and then their heart stops. People often comment on how quick and peaceful it is. If a pet is fractious, a light sedative can be given. Sometimes after the heart has stopped there may be some reflex movements which is perfectly normal.        

Once your pet has passed you can chose to bury them or have them cremated. Ashes can be returned in a wooden box with a plaque or a cardboard box for scattering.  

Losing a pet is difficult and the grieving process varies for everyone. Let friends and family support you and some people find putting together special memoirs helpful.

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