One of the most difficult times many pet owners encounter in life is coping with events close to, and at the end of their pet’s life, and then managing the grief that comes after the death of the pet.
One of the main questions that faces the owner of a pet that is chronically or terminally ill is when the decision to have the pet put to sleep should be made? The advice of your vet should help to guide you at this most difficult time.
Quality of life is subjective – it is not solely judged by whether the animal may be in pain (pain can often be well controlled with modern medications), but the pet’s general interest in life, energy levels, appetite, mobility, cognitive ability, control of bodily functions etc. all need to be factored into any decision being made.
We will always be here for you and will help and advise but at the end of the day, the decision on when to let your pet go, is entirely yours. If we feel you are making the decision too early, we will tell you and advise to wait but in general our experience is, that you will just know when the right time comes.
The aim of euthanasia of a pet is a pain-free, dignified death with as little stress for the pet and as little upset for the owner as possible. None of us want our pet to die but when death is inevitable, and when the quality of life remaining has passed what we feel is acceptable for our pet, then letting them go in a painless and gentle manner is the ultimate kindness.
It can be valuable for a pet owner to communicate with their vet beforehand to talk about any concerns they may have, and how the process can happen in a stress-free a way as possible.
The owner should, if possible, decide on burial versus cremation in advance of the euthanasia, and also if they wish to have their pet's ashes returned or not. We can discuss this with you in person or on the telephone.
If when the times come you have not made a final decision, we can of course care for your pets remains for a short period of time (up to 24 hours) to leave you to decide.