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How to Prepare for Good-Bye

Making the decision to euthanize your best good friend is likely one of the hardest decisions we will ever have to make. Pretty well all pet owners will fear that their pet may not be ready, and they are doing it too soon. It is no different for any of us who work here either. We all fear the same thing. That being said, there are many things we can do to make sure that whatever decision you make is the right one for your very beloved pet.

Quality of life:
This is a term used to assess how an animal is doing while in the end stages of their life, be it due to age or illness. Asking yourself some of the following questions can help you define your pet’s quality of living.

  • Appetite – are they still eating and drinking normally?
  • Movement – are they able to move on their own comfortably?
  • Interests – Is your pet still interested in things/activities around them?
  • Distancing themselves– Do you find they are withdrawn/sleeping/hiding more frequently?

When have you recognized that the quality of life seems to be changing, more questions begin to come to mind?

How do you begin to say good-bye?
It’s never easy. In my own experience, I have celebrated my pet while they are still here to do it along with me. Enjoy their favourite activities, make some lasting memories that stay with you all forever. That way, when it comes time for them to part this earth, they will leave their pawprints on your heart and theirs will be so full of joy and love.

Should we stay with them? Who will be there?
In our experience, the animal seems to be more comfortable when their family is near them. I would be sure to discuss this with each family member, so they feel they have had the choice to decide on their own. Younger children are always are a hard decision. As the parent, it will be a decision you will be making on their behalf. For some, the thought of staying is tough, so you are always welcome to step out during the procedure and return after to spend time with them. These options are entirely up to you, and we will always do our best to accommodate you during this time.

What are your aftercare options?
Home burial is something that you would have to talk to your city/county office regarding potential bi-laws. We offer cremation services where you have your pet communally done, or you have them done privately to get cremains returned with various urn options. We are also able to offer many paw print options as well. I recommend you visit Gateway Pet Memorial before your visit as this process can be very overwhelming.

Will my other pet grieve for them?
Just like us, our furry family members can display grief.

  • They may change their eating habits – may lose their appetite for a while, but in time and with some coaxing, it will usually return.
  • Searching – they may spend time still looking for their buddy, sniffing their beds, toys or things that may remind them of their friend.
  • Change in sleeping habits – you may find them sleeping more frequently or find them curled in the spot their pal usually sleeps.

Whatever way they choose to greave, it is best to monitor them and be there to support them just as you would any of the people in the home.

Lastly, give yourself permission to grieve. You deserve to. You spent a lot of time with your faithful friend. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, there are many options for you as well. Visiting Gateway Pet Memorial will give you access to many different pet loss grief support services.

Written by: Amy Hanchurick, ACA

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