Time to Let Go
Pet death is an inevitable part of pet ownership because of their relatively short lifespan. Despite this inevitability, it may be one of the most significant losses you could experience due to the depth of the human-animal bond.
For many people, their pet’s passing away is less stressful than the death of a human member of their immediate family, but more stressful than the passing away of other relatives. You may find that the death of your pet elicits strong feelings that often parallel the grief response to the loss of a human companion.
You will find that you will most likely experience difficulties and disruptions in your lives after your pet dies – it is only normal and important to be aware of it. One significant difference between humans and your pet dying in the UK, is the option of pet euthanasia.
Euthanasia literally means ‘good death’ and can only be administered by a registered veterinary surgeon. As a result, vets experience the death of their patients five times more than doctors and are directly involved in the decision process. We are morally and ethically obliged to put an end to an animal’s suffering and pain.
Once this decision is made, we are together with you, the owner, put in the uncomfortable situation of having to plan the death of what is effectively a family member. We experience your immediate displays of grief even when the euthanasia has progressed so peacefully and smoothly .
Expressing grief is so important as it means that you have accepted what has happened and can open up. Tears are important.