Dealing with the approaching loss of a beloved pet is one of the most challenging things pet parents go through. Our dogs and cats rely on us for their happiness and health and the very best gift you can give your buddy is to ensure their last days are peaceful, comfortable, and dignified.
How to care for our pets in their final days is difficult for any pet owner. Your vet can give you information about your pet’s condition and what can be done to keep them comfortable. This may include medication, diet changes, lifestyle modifications, and their interaction with you.
Make your pet feel secure by surrounding them with their favorite things; toys, more soft beds, and appropriate treats. As time goes by, your pet may require more care. You’ll have to decide if you want to provide that care for your pet, if you’ll use the services of pet hospice for a natural death, or if it’s time to consider euthanasia. Your vet should be there to help you understand these decisions. Have these conversations with your vet as your pet ages, don’t wait until you need these services. These are tough emotional decisions, and it’s worth having some time to mull over how you feel.
If you know that euthanasia is on the horizon, the question pet parents always ask is, “Will I know when it’s time?” Think of the things your pet loves doing; you might ask yourself if your pet is still able to do some of those things. You know your pet better than anyone else, so keep tabs on their quality of life. Of course, your pet may not be able to run and play like they use to, but are they eating, drinking, enjoying time with you, and are you able to control any pain they may be having? If so, let them have this time with you.
Euthanasia can be done either at the vet’s office or at your home. It is a quick, painless, and peaceful end for your pet. Most pet parents want to be with their pet during this procedure. As hard as it is, your pet will feel more comfortable with you there. Your presence will make their transition over the “rainbow bridge” more peaceful.
The loss of a pet is very difficult for the entire family, even your other pets. Expect that everyone will grieve in their own way, for as long as they need. Below are some links that may help you and your family deal with the loss of a pet.
Finding a way to memorialize your pet may help everyone in your family with their grief. Consider planting a tree or memorial garden, donating to your local shelter, or making a memorial scrapbook in your pet’s honor.