Whilst we may not like to think about it, losing a pet is something that all pet owners have to go through at some point. Most of us would hope that our beloved friend passes away peacefully in their sleep at a ripe old age, and many pets will do just that. However it is often left to us as pet owners to make a difficult choice and decide that the time has come to put our pet to sleep.
Euthanasia (or Putting Your Pet to Sleep)
Euthanasia is a kindness to pets that are suffering, unable to maintain a good quality of life, or have nothing left in their lives but a slow and painful progression towards death. By choosing euthanasia we can ensure that our pets passing is peaceful and pain free. This is why we prefer to call this procedure a put to sleep rather than putting an animal down.
It is always difficult to know when the right time is to let our pets go. The vet may recommend euthanasia if they think it is a reasonable option, but the ultimate decision will lie with you as the owner. Consideration should be given to;
- whether your pet can live out their normal life
- whether they are in pain
- whether they are eating
- or if they are now having more good days than bad.
In the end there are many factors that need to be taken into account but often as pet owners we know when the time is right.
Euthanasia is a kindness to pets that are suffering, unable to maintain a good quality of life, or have nothing left in their lives but a slow and painful progression towards death.
Will they feel pain?
Pets undergoing euthanasia feel no pain, as the drug used is an overdose of anaesthetic.
What happens when you put my pet to sleep?
After clipping an area of fur on your pets foreleg the vet will administer the injection that takes effect very quickly. Your pet will fall asleep very rapidly and fall deeper and deeper into unconsciousness until they pass away, which may only be around thirty seconds later.
Sometimes pets may urinate or have reflex movements of their chest for some time after passing, but rest assured they no longer know anything about this.
What are our options for afterwards..?
You have a number of options as to what will happen to your pet once he/she has past away or been put to sleep.
Your pet can go for general cremation (the ashes will not be returned), be individually cremated (this means your pet will be cremated alone and the ashes returned to you in a container of your choosing) or you may choose to bury your pet at home.
Individual cremation is much more expensive than regular cremation, so much depends on whether you wish to bring your pet home afterwards . You can find information on the pet crematorium service used by us here.
Pet Bereavement Help
We recognise that losing your pet can be distressing and is often a very difficult time. If you are having difficulty coping with the loss of your pet, the Blue Cross runs a Pet Bereavement Support Service, which can offer you help.