There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your pet in pain.
But sometimes old age or ill health means animal lovers have to make the difficult decision to euthanize their pets.
It’s sad no matter which way you spin it, but there are of course some benefits to this medically-assisted way of passing over. First and foremost, it puts an end to any suffering a pet may be going through if they’re sick or in pain. It also gives them a more dignified way of dying.
You can have a level head and try to keep all of this in mind, but it never makes it any easier. It’s just one of those sad, unavoidable facts of life that we all have to face at some point.
And even though being by their side in their final moments is hard, it’s what most pet owners want to do.
If you think you’re one of those people, it may come as a surprise to you that there are others who can’t bear the idea of being there when it happens. The emotional stress is too heavy, or they might not think it makes a difference to the pet if they are there or not.
But that’s not the case! Evidence has shown that our pets are very aware, and appreciate the support of their best friend in their final moments.
My eyes are already welling up too, don’t worry. But this kind of thing is important to know!
One compassionate veterinarian decided to share their experience with euthanizing pets on Facebook. It has now been shared hundreds of thousands of times around the world, and is acting as a valuable lesson for pet owners everywhere.
The post touches on a few important notes. Calling on owners to tough out the emotional moment and be brave for their furry friends.
“Do not make them transition from life to death in a room full of strangers, in a place they don’t like. The thing people need to know that most of you don’t is that they search for you when you leave them behind.”
And other vets have since spoken out to agree with the comment.
Dr. Evan Shaw is another vet who has seen from years of experience the different it makes for a pet when their owners are in the room. Some say it also ends up being better for the owners in the long term, too.
Dr. Evan Shaw agreed with the post.
“I have a lot of return clients and I have found that people who aren’t there at the end of their pet’s life find it to be one of their biggest regrets at a later point. I totally understand how hard it would be, but death is ultimately a part of life and needs to be experienced to help the grieving process.”
And one pet owner, Jessi Dietrich, was heart broken after speaking to her own vet who made a similar comment.
She shared his emotional response with her Twitter followers:
“He said when he has to put an animal down 90 percent of owners don’t actually want to be in the room when he injects them, so the animal’s last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners and to be honest, that broke me.”
Girl, that broke me too.
And even if you’re not a pet owner, and just an animal-lover like me, this will have probably made you think about all the stray animals that have to be euthanized. They often die alone without the love of an owner.
The American Veterinary Association has published a lot of useful information regarding the euthanasia process.
It’s helpful for pet owners who want to be prepared for the difficult time. Their website says:
“Grief for a pet, or pets of particular species, may not be fully respected by some members of your community. Even well-meaning family and friends may not realize how important your pet was to you or the intensity of your grief. Comments they make may seem cruel and uncaring, although they were not meant to be taken that way. Be honest with yourself and others about how you feel. If you feel despair, talk to someone who is receptive and nonjudgmental when listening to your feelings about the loss of your pet.
They also provide help for people who are struggling with grief, which is a totally natural response to the death of both humans and animals alike.
Pets really do become like members of the family!
“Seeking out social support can help you work through your grief. If immediate family and friends are not able to provide this support, seek out an emotionally safe and accepting environment such as a pet loss support group. Talk about your sorrow, but also about the fun times you and your pet spent together the activities you enjoyed and the memories that are meaningful to you.”
Your pet loves you more than anything in the world. Don’t leave them alone in their final moments. Being at their side will help them know everything is going to be okay.
Show them how much you love them right until the very end. It might be hard, but you won’t regret it.
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