There is one subject that pet parents simply do not want to think or talk about and yet it is part of the process of life. Our pets do not live as long as we do and when we are faced with the hard decision of putting them down, it is the most heartbreaking situation that we can experience. We are committed to and devoted to our pets and while our heads tell us that this is what must be done, our hearts cry at the thought of such a loss.
Quality of Life
Much is said about the quality of life for your pet and if they are experiencing health problems, you are probably adapting to try to make their lives easier. As long as they demonstrate positive behavior and they aren’t in any pain, this can be a great first step. However, the problem with accommodating is that in wanting them to be with us, there is a possibility of taking it too far and in doing so, we forget that they are no longer having quality of life. When you look into their eyes and see that they are not happy, are in pain or even see that they are losing weight, it is time to recognize that the part that you play as a responsible pet parent needs to include making the decision to let them go.
Prepare for this time by having an important conversation with your Veterinarian as well as all family members. The loss of a furred family member can be an incredibly emotional aspect and everyone needs to be given an opportunity to say goodbyes.
The Best Way to Show Your Love
When you have made the decision and coordinate with your Vet, there is something very important that you have to do. You must recognize that you want this to be the least stressful moment for your beloved family member. This means being there, soothing and loving words, and no anxiety or tears until it is over. You want them to leave this earth knowing that they are loved and cherished and cross the Rainbow Bridge with a state of peace. It is not easy to do this, as you will have to bring up every aspect of strength within you. Ensure that their last moments are those that include your calming voice.
Your Veterinarian will review the process with you and each Vet makes every attempt at making their passing quick and painless. Being there for every step of the way is the single most important act of devotion and love that you can give to your pet. It is honoring the life that they shared with you and sending them off with the intensity of affection that they have given to you.
The Conversation Before
You must recognize that you will be in an emotional state during the process. Be sure to have an initial conversation with your Vet for preferences for cremation, pet urns, and/or burial markers. This will give you the ability to think clearly and make decisions in a more logical manner. Take the time to review with your family as well so that each one has the opportunity to express their wishes. You may also want to consider honoring your pet with a keepsake.
There is no easy way of going through this process, but the manner in which you act can be the most loving gift that you give to your pet.