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GREATER BUFFALO
VETERINARY EMERGENCY CLINIC
4821 Genesee Street
Cheektowaga, NY 14225

The Last Moments | Dealing with the Grief of Losing a Beloved Pet

The Last Moments | Dealing with the Grief of Losing a Beloved Pet

As an emergency and urgent care center for pets, we are unfortunately faced with a cold reality — sometimes a pet’s sickness or injuries are so severe, that there are limited options available. Losing a pet is essentially losing a family member, and we understand the magnitude of change it brings for you and the rest of your family. The decision process may be very difficult, but it is all part of being a pet owner. At some point in your relationship with a pet, there may be a time when you are forced to let go. Just like with any ailing family member, a pet’s quality of life is the most important factor. When a pet’s quality of life is decreasing, we can ease their suffering and give them a peaceful transition out of this life. This will unquestionably be one of the hardest decisions you have to make, so we would like to take a little time to discuss how to grieve and relieve yourself and family after the loss of a pet.

How Do I Tell the Family?

Usually close family members are already aware of a lingering illness, or significant emergency. Before making any major decisions, you should certainly discuss the situation with the family if at all possible. This can be very difficult for people with young kids, or longtime pet owners. Consider everyone’s feelings when a Veterinarian tells you that putting a pet down may be necessary. Consider asking your veterinarian to help explain to other family members how and why this is what is best for the animal.

How Do I Say Goodbye?

Sometimes traumatic accidents happen. Sometimes an animal just gets too old to live the comfortable life they deserve. Whatever the cause, the decision of having to put an animal down is extremely taxing on owners’ hearts and minds. Once you have discussed the situation with your family, a good idea is to acknowledge and respect the resultant sorrow and grief. It is natural for everyone to feel as if they are losing a friend. Consider a last meal or last evening to celebrate the days spent with the animal, rather than focusing on the sadness of future days lost. Family members who want to spend time alone with the animal either at home or at the hospital should always be allowed their time to say their farewell if at all possible.

How Will I Deal With How I Feel?

Grief, sorrow, anger, denial, and other feelings associated with losing a pet are completely natural. Accepting the reality that the pet is gone forever is never easy for any pet owner. Accepting a new life that doesn’t include your pet is painful. This is a personal process. Once the initial shock and tears subside, you and your family will still need to acclimate to this new life. You can’t expect people outside of your circle to fully understand what you are dealing with, but feel free to talk openly about any feelings you or your family are having. Speak openly together about old stories, and memories with your pet. Celebrate the life they lived. Eventually, like most everything in life, remember that this heavy grief too shall pass.

Should We Get a New Pet?

Take your time. Remember everyone in the family is grieving in their own way. The death of a pet is very emotional, so it is vital to take each family member’s thoughts and feelings into account. Just as grief is a personal experience, choosing when to get a new animal to replace a lost pet is also personal. When the time is right, you’ll know.

Hopefully this helps anyone who is, or knows someone dealing with the grief of a lost pet. Understand that no one ever WANTS to go through losing a pet to an emergency or debilitating illness. But as a pet owner, this is unfortunately all part of the process. Everything has a beginning, and everything has an ending. Celebrate the wonderful times spent with your favorite friend.

Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Cheektowaga NY is your 24 hour emergency veterinarian dedicated 100% to emergency and urgent care. If you or someone you know is faced with an pet emergency, call V.E.C. right away at 716-839-4043. We will answer any questions you have, and have you in as soon as possible.

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GREATER BUFFALO
VETERINARY EMERGENCY CLINIC

4821 Genesee Street
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
(716) 780-4533
(716) 839-3256

Open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, including nights, weekends and holidays!