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Choosing a planned and considered euthanasia is often the final gift you can give a beloved pet who may be experiencing pain, discomfort and a myriad of other symptoms.

Euthanasia is derived from the Greek words ‘eu’ meaning good, and ‘thantos’ which means death. Therefore translated, euthanasia means ‘good death’ and it is performed by veterinarians with the sole intention to alleviate protracted suffering. When armed with the knowledge that your pet isn’t feeling the best, there are a number of actions owners can take in the lead-up to euthanasia to ensure their pet is comfortable and secure during their final days.

Read on for five ways to comfort your pet when saying goodbye.

5 Ways to Comfort Your Pet When Saying Goodbye

1. Know when it’s time

Making end-of-life decisions is extremely tough and saying goodbye to your pet can be one of the most difficult moments in someone’s life. Pets are family, and we all want the best for them. For a senior or terminally ill pet, sometimes saying goodbye is in their best interest. Knowing and acknowledging when that time has arrived is an act of love and something that will ultimately bring your pet comfort. All decisions should be made in accordance with your veterinarian and there are tools such as the Sunset Vets Quality of Life Assessment Worksheet to help owners navigate the confusion of ageing, terminal/chronic or debilitating illness.

How to comfort your pet when saying goodbye

2. Check your own emotions

Pets have a keen perception of their surroundings and are quite attuned to the emotions of their humans. So, if you are stressed, overwhelmed or showing heightened signs of sadness, your pet is likely to pick up on this and it could create confusion and disruption for them in their final days. As difficult as it may be, remaining your calm normal self around your pet will help put them at ease, and create a peaceful, comforting environment.

3. Know what to expect

For those who feel anxious about the unknown or are doubting their decision, educating yourself and becoming familiar with the process of euthanasia can give you the reassurance you need to be at peace with your decision. To understand how an at-home euthanasia works speak to your veterinarian about what to expect.

How to comfort your pet when saying goodbye

4. Choose a location that comforts your pet

When the time has come to say goodbye, your pet may be old and feeling sore. Often, with declining hearing and vision, they can also become fearful, and they may feel vulnerable in certain surrounds. While clinics are incredible and they’re the place you want to be when something is treatable, it’s not home, and it’s not as comfortable. Choosing to say goodbye to your pet in their favourite sunny spot takes unwanted additional stress away from your pet who may already not feel well. Being in a loving familiar place means they will be relaxed and comfortable.

5. Be present for your pet

Being surrounded by the familiar is comforting, but above all else, your presence will likely give your pet the most peace. Spending quality time with your pet in their final days can bring you and your pet comfort and many families enjoy making a bucket list of all the things their pet loves to do. This may include going to their favourite park or eating their favourite food. Additionally, being present during the goodbye, whilst heart-breaking, is extremely important for your pet’s comfort, and it can often help owners in their own grieving process.

Deciding to euthanise to your pet is a decision that should never be made lightly. You know your pet best and if you notice changes in their personality, demeanour or mobility, getting the professional opinion of a veterinarian is the next best step. Whilst saying goodbye is devastating, by choosing euthanasia for a pet in need, you can be reassured that you are acting in your pet’s best interest and giving them the gift of a ‘good death’.

If you would like to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our palliative care vets at Sunset Vets, please get in touch with us HERE.

Sunset Vets Palliative and End of Life Care

Sunset Vets is a dedicated end-of-life and palliative care service for pets. Our veterinarians are available to support families with in-home care 7 days a week by prior appointment. Get in touch for more information about how we can help.