Our pets are often seen as part of the family. So, when it comes to saying goodbye it can be an extremely tough and emotional time.
Please rest assured, there’s pet bereavement support out there to help, from knowing the right time, to grieving after the death of your pet.
When is the right time?
This can be the hardest decision ever made by pet owners. When making the decision, remember to think about what is best for your pet, however tough that may be.
No case is the same, so talking to your vet will help. As they are less emotionally involved, it can be easier for them to think about what’s best for your pet and will help talk you through the options available. Ask them as many questions as you like - no question is stupid - they’re there to offer guidance.
Don't forget to call on your family and friends for emotional support too.
Preparing for pet loss
Sadly, we often feel like we have little control over our pet’s fate during this time, which some owners may find difficult.
Try to focus on the parts you can control. For example, you can ask your vet to come to your home, so that your pet may be more comfortable.
You can also think about where your pet’s resting place will be, and if they’ll be buried or cremated after they’ve passed on.
Grieving a pet can be similar to mourning the loss of a family member. Some owners experience feelings of deep loneliness and isolation. Please don’t worry or feel ashamed, these emotions are perfectly normal.
Some people may not understand the intense feelings of sadness you may feel after losing a pet, but please remember there are people out there who understand.
Support networks available
Talk to friends and family to share cherished memories you have with your pet. The Blue Cross also offer a pet bereavement service providing free, confidential support to anyone affected by losing of a pet.
Cats Protection have a confidential phone line called Paws to Listen, a service for any cat owner suffering grief or bereavement of a beloved pet.
For equine support, The British Horse Society’s ‘Friends at the End’ is designed to make sure that no horse owner faces losing their companion alone.