When our beloved pets start showing signs of ageing, it’s hard not to realise their life is coming to an end. Dr Magdoline Awad explains your options.
SMARTdaily’s pet columnist and chief veterinary officer at Greencross The Pet Company Dr Magdoline Awad discusses the heartbreaking side of loving a pet.
END OF LIFE OPTIONS
My dog is basically like a child to me. He’s been my rock for 14 years. Seen me through breakups, loss of friends and family and the birth of my son. I am so terrified of the day he dies and can hardly fathom life without him but he is getting old so I know it’s coming. Can you please talk me through what the best options are for when that time does come and how best to prepare? I would also like to know more about what to do with him after he passes.
We as pet parents dread the day you have described above. Pets are part of the family and over years do support us through challenging times.
We grow together and share many memories. You will know the best time to make that difficult decision. It may be that look in their eye, reluctance to go for walks or soiling themselves.
Quality of life is paramount and it’s so important to ensure our pets have the respect and dignity they deserve.
Losing a dearly loved pet is incredibly difficult, and the grieving process can be similar to losing a family member.
When you feel their quantity of life does not have the quality, please talk with your local vet beforehand.
Some vets offer a house call service, the benefit being a familiar environment, couch or bed. You may prefer to bring your pet into the clinic. An appointment will be allocated so there are minimal disturbances and the family can have privacy and enough time to say goodbye.
You may prefer to be with him, to see him after or you may prefer not to be with him. These are all very personal choices and it’s important you do what you feel is most comfortable.
He can be privately cremated meaning his ashes are returned within a few business days. There beautiful urns, picture and scatter boxes available. Some people prefer ashes not to be retuned and this is OK. You may be able to bury him at home too, but please check with your local council.
Making these decisions is never easy. Please talk with your local vet, friends, family and other support network who may have been in the same position.
Professional health care providers are available to assist with grief and the loss of a pet not just for yourself, but for your son and family.
These decisions are never easy, and you will know when it’s time.
Thoughts are with you and the family over this challenging time.
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