If you have a pet that is ageing, ill or injured and showing signs of that they are coming to their last stage of life, you have to begin to both make peace with the situation and do everything you can to make the time easier for them. It is an incredibly sad and tough time and if you’ve never experienced it before it can be even tougher. In this article you find advice on how to deal with the situation of losing a pet.
You may be experiencing what is known as anticipatory grief, a state of grieving that begins before a death. First of all, you shouldn’t be shocked that you feel this way, or even ashamed to feel this way, as it is completely normal. The physical and emotional reactions to this type of grief are similar to those that are experienced during grief after death, so it is real. Another feeling that you shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling is a wanting for your pet to be out of pain. It is normal to want them to pass away so that they don’t have to suffer anymore, so you shouldn’t feel guilt when feeling this way or thinking about it. Neither should you banish these thoughts, as that might lead to denial about the situation, and that is the worst thing of all for everybody involved. If children are involved, especially, you should be open about the truth as much as possible in order to make sure everybody is aware of what is taking place so that when it does happen, there will be no shocks. You should also try to make the final days of your pet’s life as comfortable for them as possible. One way is to clean your home so that it is safe for them, one way is to make sure they have a quiet place to rest, and another is to keep them hydrated and fed as much as they want to be.
There will also come a time when the time for thinking, feeling and talking comes to an end, and action has to be taken. Understandably, coming to the final decision of your pet’s life is the toughest of all, so you should explore all the possibilities with your pet and seek as much advice from them as possible as to what is the best course of action to take. Some of the warning signs that your pet is on their way out from this life include them urinating in places they’re always known were not places to do it, a loss of desire to remain clean and healthy looking, no more ‘zest’ for life and a loss of mobility. If you see any of these signs, or hear them panting due to a loss of breath, then pet euthanasia is probably the best option to take. This is a procedure that can be performed by your vet at their practice or, if your pet can’t be moved, they can come to you. You should instantly seek to book an appointment with them. You have to pay for this procedure, and if you’re using a credit or debit card to pay, a good piece of advice is to have your pin written down so that you don’t forget it as your head might be all over the place.
Once your pet has passed, you can rest assured that they are out of pain, and it’s time to start thinking about life without them. You should move everything that reminds you of them so as to get used to your new life without them. You can also give your pet the perfect send off by having it cremated and having the ashes placed in a elegant box — this can make it all a bit easier when you lose a pet. Or if you don’t want them cremated, you can bury them in a small box in your garden — if you do, make sure to bury deep enough and to cover the area with as much rockery as possible, so as not to let any foxes dig them up.
Losing a pet is hard, but it is something that you sign up for when you bring them into your life. You should do your best to comfort them, and any children involved, but you also shouldn’t neglect yourself and your own feelings either.