When is the right time to say goodbye?

by Dr Debbie
in HVH News
9 Aug 2017  |  0 Comments

When is the right time to say goodbye?

One of the toughest decisions a pet owner faces is regarding euthanasia. “How do I know if this is the right time?” “Am I making the right decision?” “Am I being selfish” These are questions I am asked regularly when people are wrestling with the prospect of euthanasia for a beloved pet.


Pets are such an important part of our families so it is understandable that parting with them is particularly hard. At HVH our veterinarians, vet nurses and support staff are, like you, pet owners and animal lovers, so we understand how hard euthanasia is.


We feel it is important to talk about euthanasia to make sure you understand the decision you are making and what will happen. Our vets and nurses are able to offer support and guidance throughout this time. For every pet owner and every pet the “right time” is different. We will discuss issues such as eating, drinking, toileting, mobility, signs of anxiety or pain, sleeping habits and general enjoyment of life. All these factors combined help to give us an idea of your pet’s quality of life.


We will also do all we can to improve their quality of life for as long as possible if you would like us to. There is one comment I have heard many times when a pet is presented for euthanasia which makes me very sad,  “Oh, I didn’t bring him/her any sooner as I knew you would tell me I had to put him/her to sleep”. It makes me sad on two fronts, firstly there may have been things we could have done to improve the quality (and possibly the quantity) of life had we seen them sooner and secondly the impression that we would force someone into making such a big decision.


When considering euthanasia there are some decisions that you will need to make and giving them consideration beforehand can help to make the time of euthanasia a little less stressful. We offer in-clinic or home visits, and quite understand if you choose to be present, or opt to have our staff comfort your pet. Dog and cat euthanasia is never easy, so please talk to us about your decision.


We can also help with your pet’s after care. If you have somewhere suitable you can take your pet home for burial, we can also take care of your pet’s body or arrange cremation and have your pet’s ashes returned in a receptacle of your choice.


If you need help coping with the loss of your pet and feel the need to talk more about your pet’s life and death, we can refer you to professional counselling services.


After your pet’s passing we encourage you to place a photo and record some memories for our Memorial Garden on the HVH website. Some people find the act of writing has a beneficial effect on the grieving process.


Pet euthanasia is never an easy decision to make, but our compassionate and understanding team are here to make the process just that little bit easier for you. Do not hesitate to contact us or make an appointment to talk about pet euthanasia.



Author: Dr Debbie

Dr Debbie

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Horsham Veterinary Hospital

Call 03 5381 1439
for enquiries

25 Dimboola Road, Horsham VIC 3400
Opposite McDonalds

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Hospital Opening Hours
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Phone 03 5381 1439
25 Dimboola Road
Horsham, Vic 3400 

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