A hard, but inevitable part of owning pets is that you will outlive them, due to their shorter life spans. This can often be stressful for owners due to the immense bond between families and their pets.
Euthanasia literally means ‘good death’. Vets carry out euthanasia to end the life of a pet that is terminally ill in a painless way to limit suffering. Often owners deliberate on whether to put a pet to sleep for a long time due to the emotional ties, however once the decision has been made, euthanasia can take place relatively quickly.
When considering euthanasia the main thing you should consider is whether your pet is suffering and whether you are unable to cope, both physically and emotionally.
If you decide to have a pet put to sleep, you may be asked to sign a consent form giving your vet permission to carry out the procedure. Often vets administer an injection into a vein in the front leg and the animal will usually fall asleep painlessly within seconds. It’s up to the individual owner as to whether to stay with the pet as it is put to sleep.
Burial / cremation
Often people leave their pets at the vets for cremation, usually communally unless specified. However, some take their pets home with them for burial. Other options include pet cemeteries and pet undertakers.
The death of a pet can be very upsetting and it’s important to allow yourself time to grieve. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions by crying and talking to both friends and family.
Due to the human / animal bond, it is often incredibly upsetting for pets if their owners are taken ill or pass away. Charities such as The Cinnamon Trust and the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service can advise families of pet owners who have passed away or are too ill to look after their pet.