Euthanasia and tending to your pet’s remains are two of the most difficult issues for many people to consider. Asking the question means confronting fear, guilt, and grief.
Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Talk to us about pet euthanasia long before it becomes an issue. Find out about your options, make some key decisions ahead of time, and ask us to add this information to your pet’s chart.
Taking the time to plan, as challenging as it may be, will lessen the pain and discomfort for you and your pet in the event this option has to be considered. Ask us about our crematory services.
All of us at Westfield Animal Hospital will help you prepare for these important issues with the compassion and sensitivity they require.
We offer at-home Westfield pet euthanasia on a case by case basis.
Pet Death Grief Counseling
There will be questions you will ask when your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal illness:
- When is the right time to euthanize my pet?
- Should I stay during euthanasia?
- What can I expect to feel when my pet dies?
- Am I crazy to hurt so much?
- What can I do about my feelings?
- Should I get a new pet right away?
- What if I experience guilt?
- Will my other pets grieve?
You have a right to feel pain and grief. Someone you love has died and you feel alone and bereaved. You may also feel anger and guilt. First, acknowledge your feelings.
Express your grief to the fullest extent. Cry, scream, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don’t try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. Prepare an appropriate memorial. This will help you understand what your pet’s loss actually means to you.
Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other approaches include rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet.
There are other considerations: Your children may take longer to grieve. A short time of depression, acting out, or gloominess may occur, but should fade. Longer periods or abnormal activity following loss should be addressed by the parent, a counselor or minister, or a grief/loss support resource. Warning signs of severe or prolonged grief vary significantly with the variables of child’s age, relationship with the pet, emotional maturity and circumstances involved with the death.
Pets also notice the absence of a companion. Pets form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. Cats grieve for dogs, and dogs for cats.
You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through. Remember, if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.