Putting your pet to sleep can be an incredibly sad and difficult time for owners. We come to think of our pets as part of our family and the prospect of them not being here anymore can be difficult to come to terms with. It is, unfortunately, a prospect almost all owners will have to face. Most pets have much shorter lifespans than humans and it is likely we outlive them many times over.
Unfortunately, the decision to ‘put down’ a pet is one often faced by pet owners and veterinarians. There comes a time when the only way to relieve the pain and suffering of the pet is to have them humanely killed. As you can imagine, this is a solemn time for everybody involved and a heart breaking decision to have to make.
Knowing what to expect before, during and after the euthanasia process can help ease some to the strain. The Animal Welfare Foundation has produced a pamphlet to help owners through this difficult time. ‘Saying goodbye – the ultimate kindness’ is written by vets to help pet owners understand why putting their pet to sleep may be the most caring thing they can do for their pet and to discuss the choices they have.
Vet Tiffany Hemming, AWF Chairman said:
“As vets we often see pet owners struggle with letting their pet go when really it can be the kindest thing for the animal to be put to sleep.”
“Guilt may be the strongest emotion owners feel when making this decision and we wanted to guide owners through this difficult time in a sensitive way and encourage them to ask questions and work with the vet to help them come to terms with the end of their pet’s life.”
There is no quick or easy way to get over the loss of a pet. Remember, if you find yourself in this situation then you are not alone. It helps to talk to friends, family, other pet owners and your vet. Share your grief and try to remember the good times you had with your beloved pet.