From the moment you welcome a new pet into your family, a strong bond starts to take root. As the years pass by, your mind races ahead. "I hope my sweet buddy lives a long time." Maybe you even wonder, "Will I ever be able to 'put down' my pet?
We always fear losing our pets because they mean so much to us. Nevertheless, that time inevitably does come, and you should be prepared as best you can both emotionally and in a practical sense to help you through such a difficult transition.
Preparing for the Euthanasia Procedure
You can either take your pet to your vet for the procedure, or you can opt for in-home pet euthanasia services. If you go the traditional route, be sure to tell the receptionist that you would like to schedule the appointment at a time when the veterinarian is not in a hurry with other appointments or surgery. You might even request that your appointment be the last one of the day or the first one in the morning to assure you have ample time to say goodbye to your beloved pet. Your veterinarian and their staff know what a difficult decision this is, so they will be willing to work with you to find a time that will work best for you and your pet.
If it is your first time losing a pet, explain that you have never had to go through this experience before and would like to know what to expect regarding the euthanasia procedure.
Most veterinarians will discuss the process of euthanasia in detail with you prior to performing it. If you are uncomfortable about discussing this in front of your pet or on the day of the euthanasia, then call your veterinarian to discuss it over the phone or schedule an appointment without your pet prior to the procedure so you know what to expect.
Staying With Your Pet During the Euthanasia
It is your personal choice whether or not to be present in the exam or surgery room when the veterinarian administers the euthanasia. Many people think they cannot bear to see the moment of their friend’s passing. The truth is that no one is comfortable with death, even your veterinarian who faces death every day. Your discomfort should not govern your decision of whether or not to be present with your pet at the time of their passing because there will always be some level of uneasiness.
It is important to remember to keep things as normal for your pet as possible during these final moments to help ease their transition from this life; keep their collar or harness on them, surround them with their favorite blanket or toys, and if possible, let them be comforted by their favorite person during these precious, final moments.
Alternatively, some families decide not to be present at the final moments. Know that whatever decision you make, you cannot go back and relive those moments. So think over very carefully how you will feel long after your pet has passed and make the decision that is best for you and your family.
It is perfectly acceptable to cry as this can be a very sad experience. You don't need to pretend you can handle it when you feel terrible inside--it's the ending of an important relationship. Remember that your beloved companion wants you to be at peace with your decision long after they themselves, are at peace.