Our pets are often seen as part of the family. So, when it comes to saying goodbye it can be an extremely tough and emotional time.
Please rest assured, there’s pet bereavement support out there to help, from knowing the right time, to grieving after the death of your pet.
We have a member of staff trained in bereavement counselling and they can guide you the whole way from knowing the right time, to what happens when you have decided to let you pet go, to grieving after the death of your pet.
When is the right time?
This can be the hardest decision ever made by pet owners. When making the decision, remember to think about what is best for your pet, however tough that may be.
No case is the same, so talking to one of us in the surgery will help. As we are less emotionally involved, it can be easier for us to think about what’s best for your pet and we will help talk you through the options available. Please feel free to ask us as many questions as you like – no question is stupid – and we are here to offer guidance and support.
Don’t forget to call on your family and friends for emotional support too – they will be happy to help.
Preparing for pet loss
Sadly, we often feel like we have little control over our pet’s fate during this time, which some owners may find difficult.
Try to focus on the parts you can control. For example, you can ask us to come to your home, so that your pet may be more comfortable or we can arrange for you to come into the surgery when we are not seeing lots of other clients.
You can also think about where your pet’s resting place will be, and if they’ll be buried or cremated after they’ve passed on.
Grieving a pet can be similar to mourning the loss of a family member. Some owners experience feelings of deep loneliness and isolation. Please don’t worry or feel ashamed, these emotions are perfectly normal.
Some people may not understand the intense feelings of sadness you may feel after losing a pet, but please remember there are people out there who understand.
Where you can find support?
The Blue Cross has an excellent website with lots of advice and support.
There is also a Blue Cross Bereavement Support Service telephone number you can contact if you want to talk to someone and this is available every day between 8.30am and 8.30 pm.
Their number is 0800 096 6606
There is also a guide you can download which has been produced by Petsavers – a veterinary organisation dedicated to promoting the best in animal care and medicine.