August 3, 2017

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Saying Good-bye to a Beloved Pet

How Will I Know When…?

The hardest decision a pet parent ever has to make will likely be when to say good-bye to their beloved pet. Perhaps the kindest thing you can do for a pet that is extremely ill or so severely injured that it will never be able to resume a life of good quality is to have your veterinarian induce its death quietly and humanely through euthanasia. However making this decision is a serious one and is not easy to make.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does my pet experience the things he once enjoyed?
  • Does he respond to you in the usual way?
  • Does he appear to be in more pain than pleasure?
  • Does he still eat drink and eliminate without any trouble or discomfort?

Depending on your response to these questions, euthanasia may be a consideration.

Your veterinarian understands the human attachment to pets, and can examine and evaluate your pet’s condition, estimate the chances for recovery and discuss its potential disabilities and long term problems. Because your veterinarian can’t make the euthanasia decision for you, it is important that you fully understand your pets condition. If there is any part of the diagnosis or implications for your pets future that you do not understand, ask to have it explained again. Rarely will the situation require an immediate decision and usually you will have some time to review the facts before making one.

Once the decision for euthanasia has been made, you may wish to discuss the care of the remains of your pet’s body with your veterinarian and your family. Your veterinarian can provide information on burial, cremation and other alternatives.

The act of saying goodbye is an important one. Your pet is an important part of your life and it is natural to feel you are losing a friend or companion, because you are. A last evening with your pet at home or a visit to the hospital may be appropriate. Family members who want to be alone with the pet should be allowed to do so. Farewells are always difficult.

Remember your pet.  Try to recall and treasure the good times you spent with them. You may wish to establish a memorial of some type or contribute to a charity in honor of your pet. Never forget you are not alone. Grieving is a normal process. If you need help contact your veterinarian. They can recommend helpful resources during your time of need.

If you have additional questions or concerns about caring for your pets – in times of good health or bad, contact Ark today.