Preparing for the passing of a loved one

When the time comes to say goodbye to your much loved animal, who has been a loyal friend, a loved companion and a mate who is always there … the process can at times feel overwhelming. 

One way to help you navigate the process is to know what needs to happen, when it needs to happen and where to get the help and support you need. 

The following is a simple guide to help you through the practical process and prepare you for the decisions and events that often occur in a way that supports and helps you through this difficult time. 

Some of the language you may expect to hear when the time comes 

Euthanasia - the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering 

Put To Sleep or PTS - Euthanasia 

Cremation - an alternative to burial, cremation is burning the body through combustion 

Ashes - the remains of the cremation 

Burial - placing a deceased body into the ground so it can naturally break down. 


Deciding when it's the right time: make a time to talk to you vet 

On most occasions you will have been in discussion with your vet about what is happening to your loved one, it can be a good idea to: 

❏ ask your vet about what behaviours you might expect to see, 

❏ what physical signs to look for and 

❏ what sort of time frames you need to consider. 

Considering your options about the time and place of the Euthanasia 

❏ Are you able and OK to bring your animal into the vet for euthanasia? 

❏ Who needs to be at the euthanasia, do you need to discuss with friends and family? 

❏ When is the best time to make the appointment at the vets? 

❏ How much notice does the vet usually need to make appointments (can you make appointments on the same day?) 

❏ Are you wanting to put your animal to sleep at home or a place that is not the vets? 

❏ Does your vet do home visits and what are the costs? 

❏ Is the vet able to come to your home any time of the day or night? Am I best to pre book a home visit? 

❏ What happens if my pet deteriorates when the vet clinic is closed? 

❏ Does your vet offer after hours all the time? 

❏ Are there other options for vets after hours? 

Decisions to about what to do with the body of your Pet once it has been Euthanised? 

❏ Do you want to bury your animal at home? 

❏ Are you able to dig a hole that is big and deep enough, clear of any water sources and secure enough to reduce other animals digging around it? 

❏ Would you like to cremate your animal? 

❏ What services does your vet clinic provide to facilitate cremation? 

Once your animal has been euthanised? 

❏ Go gentle, the loss of losing your best friend, mate and pet can not be underestimated

❏ Contact someone in your circle of friends and family that can you call on during this difficult time?