Doyalson Animal Hospital | Owner with Dog In Lap

Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part

I think we can all agree the hardest part of having a pet is saying goodbye to them.  We understand how difficult it is and are here to support you through a very sad and sensitive time.

Once the decision to say goodbye has been made we are often asked – what happens now? So we thought giving a brief overview may help some people.

Once the decision has been made with your vet you will need to make a few choices as below.

We want to make the process as easy for both you and your pet as we can. It may be a good idea for a friend or family member to come with you for support.  We offer that you can either say goodbye in a consult room, in our dedicated grieving room or outside in our grounds under the shade of a tree. Certain circumstances may make that decision for you but if possible we will work with you for the perfect spot for your pet and give you the time you need to say your private goodbyes.

Once your vet & nurse has placed a catheter in your pets foreleg you will be given plenty of opportunity for cuddles and you can hold your loved one in your arms, cuddle them or simply pat them as after your permission the vet injects an overdose of anaesthetic which will quickly and painlessly let your pet go. Your vet will check they have no heartbeat and you can then stay with them until you feel ready to leave.  It is entirely natural to feel upset when your pet dies. Do not be embarrassed about showing your emotions we understand how upsetting it is to lose a loved family member.

If you have chosen to have their ashes returned this will happen in about a week. You will be able to choose the type of urn and what you would like engraved on the plaque. If your pet has a special blanket, collar or toy we can also send these items with them to the morgue. If you are taking your pet home with you we will place them into your car for you. We also offer group cremation where you will not receive the ashes back.

Where possible we can organise to visit your home if you would prefer to say goodbye to your pet there. You may also choose not to stay with your pet and in this case your pet will be treated with love, cuddles and comforted by one of our nurses.

If you have any questions we are always happy to answer them. We all have pets ourselves and strive to be as supportive and sensitive as we can be. For children it can be especially upsetting, as it may be their first experience of death. Holding a funeral, making a memorial or assembling a scrapbook with memories of their pet may help. We also have a leaflet on helping you support your child through this moment in their life.