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Pet advice: saying goodbye

Putting your pet to sleep can sometimes be the kindest thing to do

Time to say goodbye

Caring for your pet is one of life’s happiest experiences, the bond that is formed between a pet and their owner is strong and lasting.  Looking after a pet also comes with some sadness. One day, your beloved animal’s life will come to an end, sometimes naturally and sometimes accidentally but sometimes through euthanasia – often known as having your pet ‘put to sleep’ – is the best way to relieve their suffering. We understand the pain and sense of grief that the loss of a pet brings. We as a team are always happy to chat with you in more detail if you wish.

Making the decision

Deciding to have your pet put to sleep is never easy, but if your pet has been very badly injured or is suffering from an incurable or painful condition, it is likely to be something you will need to consider. At Vets4Pets Chilwell, we understand the difficulty you face, but we will always advise you with sympathy and kindness, giving you all the information you need in order to make the right decision.

What it involves

As very experienced vets and nurses, we have helped many pets when the time has come with dignity and comfort, so you can be sure that your beloved pet is in good hands. The procedure itself usually involves giving the animal an injection into the vein of the front leg. If your pet is a nervous or anxious patient then we may sometimes give a sedation beforehand. The drug we give first acts as an anaesthetic which puts the animal to sleep, before then stopping the heart. You can be with your pet during the procedure and we are happy if you would like to spend some time alone in the room after with your pet.

What happens after?

There are a few options available, from a respectful cremation with other animals, in this type of cremation no ashes will be returned, a small proportion of the communal cremations will be collected and scattered in a memorial garden. Alternately your pet can be individually cremated, ensuring the ashes that you receive are those of your pet and no other. The ashes can be returned in beautiful keep sakes and caskets of your choice. You can scatter the ashes where you wish or keep with you at home. For individual cremation please be aware that this option costs a little more. Alternatively, you can bury your pet in your garden. If you choose this option, you will need to then wrap the animal well and bury at least 2-3 feet down. We can offer bereavement counselling with one of our nursing team and also can provide details of the Pet bereavement Support Service provided by the Blue Cross.

The Last Battle

Author Unknown

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.