Pet bereavement & cremation services
The decision to have your treasured pet put to sleep may be one of the most difficult choices you have to make. At some point, it may become obvious to you that your pet’s life is drawing to a close. We would all prefer for our pets to pass away naturally in their sleep. However, often we have to intervene to make this life-ending decision on their behalf to end pain and prevent suffering.
Here are some questions you may be wondering about…
When is the right time?
This is the hardest question for most pet owners to answer. Essentially euthanasia (or “putting to sleep”) becomes necessary when an animal is too sick, badly injured, or too old to enjoy a good quality of life. There are several situations when euthanasia is the kindest thing to do for your pet.
The timing of euthanasia is a decision you must make yourself, however, you should consider discussing it with your vet and the rest of your family. Many seemingly impossible conditions may be treatable, and it is rare that you will have to make a rushed or immediate decision, so please do talk about the potential other options with your vet before making a final decision. Our team are here for you and can work through your individual situation.
Where will the procedure be done?
Generally, we provide end-of-life care at our practices and will give you the time you need to say goodbye. Alternatively, we can arrange a house visit if you would prefer the procedure to be done at your home.
Should I stay with my pet?
This is a very personal choice, many people do stay so they can reassure their pet throughout. Also, it may provide comfort to you knowing that your pet passed away peacefully. If you are worried you will get upset, please don’t be – it is a perfectly understandable and natural reaction and we wouldn’t want it to prevent you from being with your pet at the end. You do not have to stay and shouldn’t feel any pressure to stay if it’s not what you want. We will still reassure your pet and ensure the process is as gentle and peaceful as possible.
What will happen?
Your vet will shave a small patch of fur from your pet’s leg and insert a needle into a vein. Your vet may choose to place an intravenous catheter. This will be done in another room with the assistance of a nurse. In some cases, a nurse will assist the vet in the consulting room with the pet.
An anaesthetic drug is then injected which will make your pet drowsy then unconscious, soon afterward, their breathing and heartbeat will stop. Occasionally your pet may give an involuntary twitch or gasp after euthanasia, this is normal and nothing to worry about. The whole procedure is gentle and quick. If a pet is aggressive or overly anxious or agitated, a sedative injection can be given first.
Do you offer pet cremation?
We can arrange for your pet to be cremated if that’s what you would like – we use a pet crematorium to provide this service. This can be an individual cremation so you can receive your pet’s ashes afterward, or communal cremation carried out with other pets. Either way, you can rest assured your pet will be treated with dignity and compassion. If you wish, you can visit the website of the crematorium that would care for your pet at www.pcsonline.org.uk.
Coping After Pet Loss
It is natural to feel grief after losing a beloved pet. The bond between us and our animal friends is strong and a period of mourning is quite normal. You may feel anger, guilt, and even relief after the death of a pet. Don’t be ashamed of these emotions. Talk it through with your family or close friends. Involve your children and let them talk. Many children will even cope better than adults. It often helps if you can include children in the decision-making process prior to euthanasia as this may help them come to terms with the loss later. If you feel you are not coping with the loss of your pet, please seek professional help.