How to Prepare for Your Pet’s Passing
Although a pet’s passing is never easy, preparing for the eventuality can help ease your mental and emotional distress. Here are four ways to help prepare for—and grieve—your pet’s eventual passing.
#1: Assess your pet’s quality of life
Your pet can’t tell you when they feel unwell, but they can indicate poor mental and physical health. Using a quality of life scale, you can assess your pet’s health and happiness as they age or deteriorate from a chronic medical condition. The quality of life scale allows you to be objective when evaluating your pet and can help determine if they are suffering.
#2: Decide when to schedule your pet’s euthanasia
While a pet’s unexpected death removes the burden of deciding when—and if—euthanasia is the best choice, you may also question if you missed your pet’s illness. On the other hand, determining when your pet is ready to pass on and when to schedule euthanasia is always difficult. However, remember that few pets pass peacefully in their sleep so humane euthanasia can be your last act of love for your suffering pet.
#3: Discuss how to care for your pet’s body
When your pet passes, you may be unprepared for their after-care. If you know the end is approaching, discussing how you would like to care for your pet’s body can eliminate some stress. Cremation is a popular choice, and you can choose that you receive your pet’s ashes. Aquamation is also growing in popularity as an after-care option but is not yet widely available.
#4: Rely on grief support groups to process your pet’s death
In addition to leaning on family and friends as you grieve, reach out to support groups. Many veterinary universities offer pet loss support hotlines, and a multitude of pet bereavement groups on social media may fit your unique situation. You never have to make your journey through grief alone.