Pets and grief: involving other pets in an end of life appointment.

Old dog friendsOften, our clients have more than one pet at home, and they wonder where their other pets should be during the euthanasia appointment.  While this is a personal choice and it depends on the pets involved, we do have some suggestions on how to include other pets in a MN Pets home visit.

Consider the pet.  If the other pets in the home are lively and exuberant, you may want to consider separating them for the actual euthanasia.  Many clients wish to have a calm, peaceful setting for their pet to pass away, and some boisterous puppy energy might disrupt that.  On the other hand, if the other pets in the home are calm and gentle, you may want to consider having them present for the visit.

Consider the relationship.  Many pets that live in the same home form bonds, and these special friendships are often evident; pets that sleep curled together, groom each other, or follow each other from room to room may be bonded.  Alternately, some pets in the same home may merely tolerate one another.  The relationship between pets may help you decide if you would like the other pet present during the visit.

After the appointment.  We believe that pets can, and do, grieve the loss of their furry housemates.  You can read more about how pets grieve here.  We believe that letting your other pets have the opportunity to say goodbye to the deceased pet can help bring closure.  When possible, we encourage the other pets in the household to be allowed to see their friend.  Smelling, licking, vocalizing, and even sitting or laying next to the deceased pet is all normal behavior.  As you can imagine, this can be very emotional to witness, but know that you are providing your other pets with the opportunity to understand that their housemate has died and they are having the chance to say goodbye in their own way.

While involving all the pets in your home in an end of life appointment can be a difficult decision, know that our support staff and veterinarians are here to answer your questions and help guide you through the process.

This entry was posted in Grieving the loss of a pet, Preparing for your pet's appointment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pets and grief: involving other pets in an end of life appointment.

Leave a Reply