Skip to main content

Sub navigation

Saying Goodbye

Losing a family pet is always hard, no matter what the circumstances.

As pet owners ourselves, we've all experienced the pain of having to say goodbye to a much-loved member of the family and we never forget how hard it is.

Making the decision to put your pet to sleep, when it is taken to ease any pain or suffering and after advice from your vet, will always be the right decision - a final act of love.

We have found that it is often easier to cope when you understand a little about what is going to happen, and can therefore make some of the practical decisions and arrangements in advance. So we've put together some information to answer many the common questions we are asked.

Please do feel free to speak with any of our team in confidence with any questions you may have, or for individual advice as you begin to think about making plans for your own pet.

What is 'euthanasia'?

Often described as 'putting to sleep', euthanasia describes the process of gently administering a large dose of anaesthetic. Pets quickly become unconscious and as their heart stops beating and breathing stops, they slip peacefully away. It is quite normal for your pet's eyes to remain open, and you may also see small muscle spasms - please be assured that these are very common, and in no way indicate that your pet has suffered.

In the majority of cases we place a catheter into your pet’s leg; we may need to shave a small area of fur. Having a catheter in place means that we can give you more space should you wish to hold your pet hold your pet whilst the anaesthetic is administered and it limits the amount of restraint we need to use at this time. We take care to minimise any stress and always take your wishes into account at every step - you may prefer to wait outside for example.

We try to allow as much time as possible both before and afterwards for you to say your goodbyes, and we promise that we'll never rush you. If you would prefer us to come to your home, please do discuss with us.

What happens to my pet's body afterwards?

Just like us, pets can be cremated or buried. You may wish to bury your pet at home, otherwise a pet cemetery offers a permanent home for your pet if you subsequently move house. Pets left with us are collected by Cambridge Pet Crematorium.

Cremation can be undertaken either individually or communally - please note that only in the former case can your pet's ashes be returned to you.

A wide range of tasteful urns, memorials and keepsakes are available, so you'll always be able to choose something fitting to keep your pet close. Lots of people tell us they find it useful to browse at options before the time comes so that they have an idea of what they wish to do before the emotion of the event overwhelms them.

If you are not ready to decide at the time your pet is euthanased, please just let us know and we'll give you as much time as you need.

Where can I find more support?          

Feelings of loss and helplessness are perfectly normal following euthanasia and there is no 'right' way to grieve. There are a number of organisations that can help you talk through your feelings or connect with other owners going through the same thing - we recommend two in particular:

·         www.theralphsite.com

           www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-support

Back Forward Home Print Close

Please wait... loading