After years of life with a special pet, there comes a time when we have to say goodbye. Parting with a cherished pet companion is one of the hardest things pet owners have to face, but face it we must. Some have a tendency to avoid the end of life by not being present with their pet. We understand how hard it can be, but there is good reason to stay with your pet during euthanasia.

The team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is here to explain why being present at the end of your pet’s life is essential to their peace and comfort.

To Stay…Or to Go

For most pet owners, the decision to stay with their pet during euthanasia comes with plenty of emotion. It’s a tough decision between doing what might be considered the right thing to do for your pet versus sparing yourself the emotional impact of death.

In the past, many pet owners would choose not to be a part of the end-of-life process. It was commonplace for pet euthanasia to be handled by the veterinarian in a sterile exam room. There was less emphasis on the atmosphere, pain considerations, and stress level for the pets themselves. Now that we know more about the emotional life of animals and the human-animal bond, things have turned the corner. There is a direct emphasis on the well-being of the pet whose life is coming to a close.

Reasons Why You Should Stay with Your Pet During Euthanasia

Choosing to stay with your pet during euthanasia is best because it alleviates their stress. Having you present reduces the anxiety and fear they may experience at the end of life. The process of dying can trigger anxiety in a pet. Having their loved one near relieves some of their discomfort. This is the primary reason for staying with your pet–for their ultimate sake.

Here are other good reasons why you should stay during euthanasia.

  1. You get a better sense of closure – The act of seeing your pet pass peacefully can give you a sense of relief. You know that they are now free from pain and discomfort. You can see that you did the right thing for them.
  2. Yours is the last face they see – It can be comforting if you stay with your pet, so they see you through the very end. Your love and attention is right with them during this transition across the rainbow bridge.
  3. You avoid regret – Many pet owners regret the fact that they weren’t there when their pets passed on. If you are on the fence, consider how you might feel if you didn’t help your pet transition in peace and comfort.
  4. The depth of your love strengthens – When we choose to do difficult things for the sake of another, it deepens our love and sense of integrity. Your pet stayed with you through good and bad times. Now is your chance to prove your love and commitment to them.
  5. It helps with grief – Staying with your pet during their passing is something most people prepare to do. You have the chance to realize that this goodbye is best for your best friend, to end their pain and suffering. With this in mind, you can start the grieving process well before the end. Grieving is a normal process of healing from loss. By being present with your pet’s death, this helps you better cope with the emotions that come later.

This is an emotional time, letting go of a beloved pet companion. Choosing to stay with your pet during euthanasia can offer you and your pet the final, deeply felt bonding experience.

If you would like more information on end-of-life and other pet-related questions, please check out the pet loss resources on our website. While there, you may want to watch our video ‘Is It Time? End-of-Life Care for Your Pet’. Call the ULVH team if you need our help with end-of-life pet care or cremation. We are here to support you and your fur friend through the best and hardest of times.