A pet’s death is undoubtedly the least that any pet owner would ever wish for. If you have dog, who has grown to be an important part of your household over the years, saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. This even gets more difficult when it comes to pet euthanasia. Choosing to finally put your senior pet to sleep is a decision you can hardly make in haste. It can be emotionally devastating especially when you imagine how sad life could be without your best companion – your pet. However, most times, you need to do what is right, which is to finally let go. Death may certainly sound harsh; however it is much better than seeing your senior dog suffer. So as to reduce the suffering brought by pet euthanasia, ensure that you are prepared for the day you need to say goodbye.
- Create special memories
We keep many dear memories of our cherished pet all through his/her existence but there are several things that might help sustain those memories as time goes by. Making a family video clip, taking unique pictures, having a car ride to an exclusive place or out for some ice cream, casting a paw print in clay, clipping some fur, all these are several means of preserving special times. They give us something palpable to treasure forever, and help fill the space between the actual physical loss and the emotional connection that goes on forever.
- Make necessary arrangements
Though it can be hard, you’ll have to consider what to do with senior pet’s body after he passes away. Making necessary arrangements in advance saves you from making decisions when you are mourning. There are many choices available such as veterinary disposal, cremation, burial. Generally, your vet can provide more details about each of these. Some options will need health department approvals, special caskets, or adequate burial urns. Take your time and communicate with your family members to determine the best way to honor your cherished dog after he has passed.
- When will this happen?
For most people, a particular time can be selected, based on very personal and individual issues. While there is finality to preparing this last “appointment”, for most people it is regarded as the time to give one last gift to the much loved senior pet… a time when your senior dog will be set free.
- Prepare yourself emotionally
Honestly, you will certainly not feel fully ready to accept the death of someone you love, and this includes your dog. You can get prepared to feel grief, but you will likely not realize the role your old pet has played in your life until he passes away and you’re left to live without your pet. Knowing about the stages of grief can assist you to understand what you will experience as well as to get yourself prepared to help your family. Knowing that anger and denial are natural can be a relief.
- Take photos and other keepsakes
Once you learn your senior dog will be passing on soon, it’s wise to take extra photographs and other keepsakes like a paw print, to frame and have around your home. The photos you take before their passing are probably not the best, but you will want to hold them afterwards. On days after the passing away of your senior dog, you will be able to see these photos and keepsakes and understand that it was his time to go, and that his agony has finally end.
- What if there is an emergent need for euthanasia?
There are instances when unexpected emergencies occur, when your old pet unexpectedly and inexplicably takes a turn for the worse, or a complication occurs without forewarning. In these situations, struggling to find an emergency service can be weakening and very stressful. Knowing beforehand where the closest emergency facility is and getting those contact phone numbers can be very helpful in this difficult time.
- “After the fact”
Figuring out the best way to proceed with your pet after the actual euthanasia has occurred is hard and emotionally devastating. Having some sort of plan ahead of time will help to clearly direct the next actions and reduces the emotional burden of making the decision instantly. Many people prefer home burials, if their local laws and regulations permit. Some prefer cremation; therefore it is essential to establish these details in advance with your veterinarian. Others choose not to have the remains. These are really personal choices.
- Talk to Your Kids
Speaking with your kids about passing away is very important because they too will definitely be affected by your senior dog’s death. It’s good to talk to them ahead of time and carefully explain that your dog is growing older or becoming ill, and will soon be resting for eternity. Based on the age of your kids, give them as much details you can and get ready to answer questions. Inform them that after your old dog passes, he will not feel pain again, this may be comforting. Likewise, informing your kids what’s going on will give them time to say goodbye to your senior pet.
Planning for the passing away of your senior dog can be heart breaking, but it gives you a much better reason to enjoy each day you have with your dog. All living creatures pass on and it’s best to accept this fact and prepare for it.