Saying goodbye to a pet is an incredibly challenging decision to make. Oftentimes, we feel a deep sense of guilt as though we are making the decision prematurely and that it is not yet our pet’s time. It is important to remind ourselves that although we may feel guilty and that we are not ready to say goodbye, our pets usually are. They love us with every fiber of their being, but they do not want to spend those extra days with us in pain with the inevitable goodbye just around the corner. The longer we wait to say goodbye the more we risk our pet’s going into a crisis situation, and that is not only traumatic for them but also for us as their owners.
Something we can do for them and ourselves is give them one last wonderful, joyous, and love filled day. Giving your pet a special last day is something that is not only a gift for them, but it can be important for us as their owners and can help our grieving process. When we look back on our time with them, we will always remember their last day whether it was a good day or a dreadful day. It is so much better being able to look back and remember the wonderful times you had together instead of only remembering your sadness and grief. Although having a good day together does not make the decision easier or any less saddening, it can be that tiny ray of sunshine poking through the clouds that you can hold onto during such a challenging time.
Here are some ways you can help make your pets’ last day special:
If you are concerned your pet may be in pain on their last day, reach out to your veterinarian for support. There are often medications that can be prescribed to help ease any discomfort they may have. If your pet has anxiety in clinic you can opt for home euthanasia and/or ask your veterinarian to prescribe an oral sedative to help calm your pet before it is time to say goodbye. No matter what you decide to do or do not do, always remember that your pet loves you and trusts you to make the best decision for them.