EUTHANASIA

when it's time to say goodbye

Hospice and Euthanasia for Pets in Georgia

Pets provide so many benefits: companionship, unconditional love, and acceptance of exactly who we are.

They make us happier and even healthier. Just by petting them, our blood pressure lowers. They give us comfort, security and sometimes even a new purpose.

In return, we provide our pets with love, comfort, shelter, food, and protection. Keeping them healthy, safe and loved is our job. But no matter how hard we try, accidents happen and our pets age and get sick. We all know it is part of life, but our pet’s lives are so much shorter than ours. It can be hard to acknowledge how quickly that time comes.

 

Sometimes loss of a pet can be very sudden and unexpected. Other times it is a long, slow process that we see coming slowly towards us. One is no easier than the other. The loss simply hurts.

euthanasia for dogs

There are so many questions we have:

How do we know when the time is right? How does it happen? What are my options? What will my other pets do? How do I tell my children? Should I get another pet and when? Why does it hurt so much? Why do I feel so guilty?

These are all normal questions and concerns. We are here to help you and stand by you through these decisions. We will answer any questions you have and can offer several resources to help you as well.

Loss of a beloved pet is hard enough, but having to make the decision to let them go is simply one of the hardest things our families have to do.

We have several resources to help you with the timing of this decision, including a form that describes common problems our sick and older patients face and what to look for. We are also available to discuss this question on an individual basis, either in person or by phone. We want to help you keep your pet as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.

It may be impossible not to feel guilt given the circumstances, especially because sometimes we feel a little bit of relief that the decision is made and that the sometimes difficult care we have had to give to our sick and geriatric patients is nearly done. These feelings are completely natural.

The real truth is that euthanasia for the sick patient is one of the kindest, most unselfish gifts we can give.

Pet Euthanasia When is it time

What Happens During Euthanasia?


The first thing to know is that you have options. Some prefer their longtime family veterinarian, while others want to see a veterinarian that they do not know as well. This can be the case particularly since it is often difficult to return to a hospital where a pet has been euthanized.

Both of these options are OK. There are also a few really wonderful groups that will come to your home. We have their links listed below with a few other resources.

At Cherokee Animal Hospital, we try to let our families know they have our support no matter what option they choose. In our hands, euthanasia is gentle and loving. We provide a sedative for our patients first. This gently relaxes the pet so they are no longer aware of what is around them and we can let them go without fear, pain or discomfort.

Some owners choose to say goodbye while their pets are awake. This is perfectly fine. Sometimes staying is just too painful. We will give sweet words and kisses on their behalf. Others choose to stay with their pet until they are relaxed and unaware. Still, others choose to stay through the end. There are no right or wrong choices.

Our pets simply know how much we love them. They don’t require special words or gestures.

euthanasia for dogs and cats by vet

What Are My Burial Options for My Pet?

This is sometimes uncomfortable for owners to discuss, but the options are similar to the choices made for people. You can choose cremation for your pet, or to take them home for burial. If you choose cremation, you have the option of receiving your pet’s remains, but this is not a requirement.

This is a very personal choice and, again, there are no wrong answers. We make a paw print impression in clay for each family and can make more than one if some family members wish to have a memento of their own. We will also make a contribution in each pet’s name into an Angel Fund that helps sick and injured pets.

What Will Happen to My Other Pets?

Pets do grieve, though perhaps not in the same way we do. Each pet responds in their own way, just as there are differences in how people grieve.

Some will go on without any change in their routine other than to perhaps show concern over you. Others will be depressed, lethargic or experience other behavioral changes. These changes can last a few days to up to 6 months sometimes.

Distraction with extra attention walks and playtime can help, though on occasion, medication can be prescribed if needed for short periods of time.

Canton Animal Hospital Ga

How Do I Tell My Children?

We have linked resources to help with this question, but the bottom line is, to tell the truth.

Euphemisms such as “sleeping” end up frightening children because they take this too literally. Making up alternative stories such as the pet running away are also discouraged. Children are far too aware and know something is wrong. Without the truth, they often believe they have done something wrong or are to blame.

Older children sometimes have the hardest time because they have a hard time accepting the decisions to euthanize a pet. They need to understand the reasons behind why such choices are made.

We have resources listed to help children understand what is happening and how to talk to them about grief. We have books available for families to borrow for younger children as well.

There are so many questions we have:

How do we know when the time is right? How does it happen? What are my options? What will my other pets do? How do I tell my children? Should I get another pet and when? Why does it hurt so much? Why do I feel so guilty?

These are all normal questions and concerns. We are here to help you and stand by you through these decisions. We will answer any questions you have and can offer several resources to help you as well.

Loss of a beloved pet is hard enough, but having to make the decision to let them go is simply one of the hardest things our families have to do.

We have several resources to help you with the timing of this decision, including a form that describes common problems our sick and older patients face and what to look for. We are also available to discuss this question on an individual basis, either in person or by phone. We want to help you keep your pet as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.

It may be impossible not to feel guilt given the circumstances, especially because sometimes we feel a little bit of relief that the decision is made and that the sometimes difficult care we have had to give to our sick and geriatric patients is nearly done. These feelings are completely natural.

The real truth is that euthanasia for the sick patient is one of the kindest, most unselfish gifts we can give.

veterinarian assistance with euthanasia for cats dogs canton ga

Why Does It Hurt So Much and Why Do I Feel Guilty?

No matter how rational the decision or how much we believe we are doing the right thing for our pets, it can still feel wrong on a fundamental level. There is often guilt associated with worrying that we didn’t do enough, or perhaps did too much.

Our pets and their families place their trust in us, and we firmly believe it is part of our responsibility to make sure that we do not let them suffer or linger in a state of discomfort or pain when treatment is futile. We will help you let them go when the time is right and will be honored to stand with you and celebrate your pet’s life and the love they gave you.

Many times after letting a beloved pet go, we hear owners say that they will never get another.

We understand that in the moment this is the grief talking. They can’t imagine opening their hearts again, knowing they will go through this pain yet again.

As the owner of many pets, most of whom are older when I have adopted them, I understand. For some, this is the right decision. For others, it isn’t. I hope most will remember when they are ready how much joy their pets gave them and how much love, acceptance and loyalty their pet brought into their lives.

We hope they will remember they that they gave something, too. They gave a pet a warm, safe and loving home. The relationship between a pet and their family works both ways and this love is worth repeating when the time is right.

when a dogs life ends