Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Death is often something that isn’t much talked about because it is a hard topic to discuss. It is, however, something that will happen to all of us as pet owners despite wishing they could stay by our sides forever. 💖
When is the Right Time to Say Goodbye? 🤔
Often, we are asked by pet owners when is the right time to say goodbye to a beloved pet? It is never an easy subject and is always hard to know what the right thing is to do.🤷🏻♀️
Having quality of life and to be comfortable should be the main priority when it comes to elderly or sick pets. Most commonly a pet will not simply pass in their sleep peacefully like we would prefer, and unfortunately, we are left with the extremely difficult decision to do it for them. 😞
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your pet seem happy? - Do they still seem to get excited when you come home every day? - Are they still eating, or even interested in food? - Are they looking emaciated? - Are they too weak to be able to get up and move around, especially to relieve themselves? - Do they have infected pressure sores from not being able to get up? - Do you often feel sorry for them?
If the answer is “yes” to many of these then, sadly, it might just be that time. At the end of the day, your trusted vet will advise what is best for your pet, and it is IMPORTANT to get their opinion. (Pet Angel 2019) ❤️
The Last Few Days 🌟
If you know your pet is nearing their time it is an opportunity to do some of their favourite things and spend some final quality time.
Activities like taking your pet to the beach, going for walks, spending time together at a dog park, going to the pet store to pick out a new toy, taking lots of photos or creating keepsakes or just laying with them and watching TV can all be wonderful and a good way for you to gain some closure. 🐱🐶
Another way to spoil your fur kid is preparing their favourite foods! 🍽 Most pets have their diets controlled throughout their life, especially as they age, so this can be the time where they get to splurge and eat some naughty things they usually wouldn’t. It could be their favourite meat, unlimited treats, table scraps or even a sneaky ice cream from McDonalds.
Being able to prepare emotionally may help us to better cope with the loss when it does occur.
Understanding the stages of grief when losing a pet may be a good way to start:
1. Shock - this first stage is inevitable as yourself or any family are in shock that you have just lost a loved one. 2. Anger - this is where the loss sets in and you become angry that this could have happened. 3. Denial - this may come in many forms but most commonly it’s convincing yourself you are fine and moved on from the loss instead of allowing your emotions to display freely. 4. Guilt - you wish you could have done more; did you make the right decision? Should you have done something sooner? 5. Depression - this stage is the most difficult as it can be where you shut down emotionally and it may feel like you’re never going to emerge out of this rut. 6. Resolution - this is where you accept your loss, you allow your feelings to run their course and head towards the end of your bereavement journey.
Everyone is incredibly individual in their grief, these stages may not apply to everyone; some people may only experience a few and others may experience none at all. The most important thing to remember is that moving on does not mean you love your pet any less. 💞
Although it can be difficult, you’ll need to think about what aftercare you want for your pet after they have passed. Making these arrangements beforehand can really help so you aren’t trying to organise and manage things while you are still in the early stages of grief.
There are several options to consider when saying goodbye:
- Private Pet Cremation - Veterinary Disposal - Taking your pet home
Take your time and discuss options with family if necessary so that everyone can decide on which way is best to honour a beloved pet.
At Goodna Vet Surgery we are always here for you as a support network, a shoulder to cry on and for any questions you may have. Please never hesitate to contact us. 💗🌈
To find out more about Pet Cremation visit:
For further guidance coping with Pet loss visit: