Choosing an At Home Goodbye
The anguish that is felt when you must make the ultimate decision for end of life for your beloved pet cannot be expressed in words. You may feel a sense of being numb, often in a kind of surreal state and yet you are required to make choices that you simply aren’t prepared for. One of the decisions involves whether you want to be at your Veterinarian’s office or at home when you say your final goodbyes. This is an important consideration for the ease of anxiety for both you and your furred family member.
Ask your Vet if he/she offers in-home services for end of life. One of the primary reasons for making this selection is for the reduction of stress for your pet. They might relate going to the Veterinarian in a negative way, often shaking or anticipating feeling pain. This is not the condition that you want to have them in for their last moments. Another reason might be a lack of mobility due to illness or age. If you have a larger or heavier pet, this makes it difficult to transport them. As a pet parent, you need to focus on what is best for your pet and try to remove the attention from yourself. The advice is a difficult one, because both you and other members of the family are heartbroken.
If your Vet does offer in-home visits for this purpose, you will want to prepare yourself and other family members. Make sure that you discuss the requirements with your Vet. They will give you the information that they will need for the proper environment. Typically you will want to ensure that your pet is comfortable and this often involves being in their usual bed or container. The Veterinarian will bring everything that they need and their goal is to make this as quick and painless as possible.
A preliminary conversation with your Vet should include whether you will have your pet cremated or buried, the choice of an urn or casket arrangements in a pet cemetery as well as a memory marker. Talking about this ahead of time will of great help as your move through the process.
You will need to have a conversation with anyone in attendance. All must understand that any crying or upset will cause your pet to be frightened or filled with anxiety. Your last moments with your cherished pet should be one of love, gratitude and letting them know how much they were appreciated. Most people aren’t sure how they will react in a situation such as this if they haven’t been through it before. However, it is surprising how strong we all can be when we are thinking of the benefit of our pet.
While your pet may be surprised at the arrival of your Veterinarian at your home, in most cases you won’t see the stress that they experience in the medical office. Allow your Vet to sit and talk with you to put your pet at ease and then set up what is necessary. Saying goodbye is one of the most difficult things that we can do.