Final Goodbye – Putting Your Pet to Sleep

Dog on vet clinic benchSaying goodbye to a loved one is especially hard, even when those loved ones aren’t human. The lives of our pets are short compared to ours and sometimes they are shorter than we’d hoped they’d be; shorter than they deserved. Our furry friends’ little lives are brief shining moments and we should lay them to rest as best we can. After the joys they bring to our lives, it’s only proper to do them this final kindness. Here is some expert advice on handling this sensitive time.

Knowing When It’s Time

Unfortunately, our pets aren’t able to tell us themselves when it’s time to go. We have to judge as best we can their levels of comfort, and to know when their quality of life will deteriorate to the point where it’s better for them to go to sleep. Discuss with your veterinarian the kinds of things to look out for in assessing your pet’s quality of life, including:

  • Hydration – are they able to maintain the right levels of body fluids suitable to a comfortable life?
  • Hygiene – is your pet able still to go to the toilet and clean properly?
  • Happiness – does your pet seem depressed or still animated? Is your pet still able to do the things she always loved to do?
  • Good days vs. bad – if the bad are outnumbering the good; it is probably the right time.

It’s important not to let your own feelings of attachment interfere with your pet’s comfort. If they have to go, they have to go. It’s better to know afterwards that you gave them the most comfortable end you could to your wonderful time together.

Before They Go 

It’s best to deal with all the practical arrangements in advance so they don’t cloud what will be an emotional moment for you. Preferably pay in advance so you aren’t reminded after they’re gone. Decide whether you’d like your pet buried or cremated and where. Vets will often be able to bury or cremate your pet for you in a decent manner or give you practical advice regarding regulations if you choose to bury your pet at home.

Decide whether you’d like your pet put down at the veterinary clinic or inquire whether home visits are performed. Many prefer to have their pets go to sleep in familiar surroundings. Tell your friends in advance so that they don’t inquire indelicately afterwards, and to allow them to say goodbye if they want.

Leading up to the day, be sure to spend quality time with your pet. Don’t regret missing a moment after they’re gone. If there is something they love – a special treat or a cuddle on your bed – make the most of these final, special moments.

After They Go

Have someone there for you after they’re gone. Returning to an empty house can be a devastating experience and the silence may be a reminder of their absence. Share memories of your special friend and recall the joy they brought to your lives.

Some might find it hard to look at pictures at first, while others might cling to them for comfort. Do what you need to do to deal with the grief in your own way.

Make Your Decision with Caring Professionals

Saying goodbye to your pet is one of the hardest things to do, especially since the final decision often has to be made by you. Our team at Floreat Veterinary Centre know the special relationship that people have with their pets and will assist you in any and all ways when it comes to doing that final kindness. For more information, call us today on 08 9383 7773.