Pets are a part of the family. Sometimes they’re with us through many years of changes in our lives. It can be hard to know how to prepare for their death and just how to plan for when the actual time comes to say goodbye. Here are some things to think about as you near this dreadful day, and how you can make it as stress-free as possible for your family and your pet.
Spend Quality Time
It’s important as your pet ages to spend as much quality time with them as possible. Take advantage of the time you have together by doing anything and everything important to the both of you. Let them know how much you love them by just being there. If your animal loves to go to a certain place or eat a certain food, give them the joy of going together or getting extra treats a few times. Take photos to capture this time in both of your lives. They will be filled with love even if it’s their last days. If they’re too ill to go anywhere, just spend time with them loving and petting them. Animals feel your love so every little bit counts.
No one wants to put down their animal. The alternative is to let them live in pain which just isn’t a good quality of life. If they no longer have the urge to eat, drink or get up, you have to make a tough decision. Euthanasia is free of pain even though it’s such a hard decision. Sit down and pick a day where you just feel it’s right. Your animal may have one good day out of ten, but it’s simply cruel to let them live in pain. It’s important to understand their quality of life and be realistic about their future. If you know they still have a few months before their quality of life goes down, then take those few months to prepare. If you know they’re just sleeping all day and getting up to eat a little, it might be time to evaluate their future.
Be Strong For Your Pet
It seems silly, but pets can feel your emotions. If you’re crying and a basketcase every day, the pet will feel those emotions. In order for them not to feel scared and sad, be strong for them. Smile and laugh with them so they feel at ease. It will be very hard to mask your emotions, but they don’t understand what’s going on. Pets just crave the feeling of love to give it to them with all of your might even if you want to cry throughout the day.
After Their Death
Make preparations for what you will do with the pet after their death. If you’re going to cremate them, you can often get them to put in a beautiful box or a certain design that you can keep for yourself or even bury. If you’re going to bury the animal, check your local laws. Many places have strict laws about where you can bury an animal. Even though it’s your home, in many places you can’t just bury your animal in the backyard. You can often get amazing gravestones in memory of your pet. Maggard Laser Art offers an extraordinary way to pay tribute to your animal. You can often help design these gravestones so they are personalized as much as possible for your pet. Choose a unique location so you can visit the pet and talk to it after they’re gone.
One thing to consider in the loss of a pet is the financial cost of it all. If your animal has cancer, it can be quite costly to pay for treatment. Depending on the age of your pet and the stage of cancer, it’s up to you to decide if you have enough in the budget to fight and beat it. Veterinarian bills can be quite high so the treatments will add up quickly. Decide what you can afford and the animal’s quality of life before you dive in.
Involve The Family
If the animal is a family pet, include everyone on the decision to let it go. Depending on your child’s maturity level, let them be involved in the process. Choose a date together, plan what to do on the pet’s last day together and talk about the entire process. You don’t want it to be the elephant in the room when one day a pet is there and the next day it’s gone so it’s important to talk it through. Let the family talk about their emotions and lean on everyone else for support. Since everyone grieves differently, it’s important to let everyone share their feelings and be involved with this huge decision.
Talk To Your Vet
It’s very important to talk to your vet about your aging animal. They can tell you the animal’s quality of life as well as even their quantity of life. They can tell you if the pet has a month or a few years to live. They can explain what is going on physically and emotionally with the animal. It will give you peace to have the vet’s advice as they lead you on this journey. Vets have one of the hardest jobs as they say goodbye to animals on a daily basis. They usually have years of training in helping others to understand this loss. They understand this is a family member and not some random animal. They can help you with all of the decisions and give you advice along the way.
Let Yourself Grieve
It’s okay to not feel okay as you near the passing of your pet. You know it’s going to be one of the hardest times, yet you don’t want to face it. Face it and let yourself understand it’s okay to grieve your pet. They’re a family member to you so this is a huge loss. If you need to see a counselor, it’s okay to go and talk out your feelings. You can also take things through with a trusted friend or family member. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut for a long period of time. Pets light up our lives, but we know they aren’t around forever. It’s important to feel and understand those feelings. Sadness and crying are part of the grieving process.