Preparing for when the time comes to say goodbye

There are so many things to think about when the time comes to say goodbye to our beloved pets.  Although we do not want to think about our animal companions passing away, sadly it is inevitable.  A lot of decisions are hard to make at the time of saying goodbye. If possible, it is best to have a plan in place.

Things to think about include:

  • Where – options include at our bespoke homely clinic at Cherry Tree, at your vets, in your home, in your garden if weather allows
  • Who will be present – Family, children, friends, neighbour or dog walker for example. Note that at the moment due to the pandemic, most vets are only allowing one person to be present with their pet.  However, if the euthanasia is done at home or at a bespoke clinic, it allows for more people to be present.
  • Costs – euthanasia and cremation are not a cheap service. The euthanasia often and should include sedation and pain relief prior to the final injection.  Another thing to note is that the bigger the breed of dog, the more the cost will be.  You should allow for around £500-£650 for a home euthanasia with sedation and in individual cremation.
  • Payment – most payments for euthanasia is required prior to or at the time. This may seem heartless, but getting the payment done prior to the euthanasia can allow everyone to concentrate on what is happening in the moment.  There is also nothing worse than trying to chase a client for payment after the animal has passed away.
  • Insurance – we always recommend that your pet has insurance throughout its life. Not all insurances do however pay for euthanasia or cremation. Some do cover this and so is always best to check your policy. Not all vets allow you to claim directly through your insurance, and so payment is often paid at the time. The costs from the vets and crematorium can then be claimed back.  Make sure if your are able to, you have some money put to one side for when the time comes.
  • Type of aftercare – options include home burial or cremation. If you are wanting cremation, would you like to be able to have the ashes to keep? If so, then you would need to have an individual cremation performed.
  • What crematorium? – there are independent pet crematoriums available, like Cherry Tree Pet Crematorium that often do same day cremation. The ashes are ready either on the same day or next working day to collect. A lot of vet practices use corporate pet crematoriums. Although cheaper, it often means you are waiting for 2 weeks to have your pets ashes back to you, rather than within a day or two with an independent pet crematorium. Please always ask your vets who they use.  It is your choice what crematorium you pet goes to.
  • Memorials – these could include ink paw prints, clay paw prints, fur clipping, jewellery with the ashes inside, photo frames. as examples. It is worth finding out what options are available from your local pet crematorium.  Cherry Tree Pet Crematorium offers all of these options.
  • Quality of life consults – It is often a good idea to have a quality of life consultation with your vet, or with Nicola from Cherry Tree Gentle Farewells. This is an opportunity for you to discuss what things to look out for. This can to help you know when the right time is to sadly say goodbye. This also allows you to ensure you have explored all treatment options that are available to you. You can also discuss your aftercare and memorial wishes at the quality of life consult to ensure you have a plan in place. Quality of life consultations also allows your pet to become familiar with the vet who will be performing the euthanasia (obviously if the euthanasia becomes an emergency, then the same vet cannot always be guaranteed).
  • To set a time and date or not – some people find it hard to book an appointment in advance as they do not like to set a time or date. Others find this brings comfort as a plan is in place. Things to be aware of, is if you suddenly decide that today is the day to sadly have your pet put to sleep, a vet may not always be available.  Every day the diary is different for vets as the business is so unpredictable. Some days are fully booked, others less so.

As you can see, there is so much to think about! If you wish to have a chat with our Vet Dr Nicola Carrier to run through some of your wishes or to form a plan, then please call 0122 226440. We are more than happy to help you with your plans and for when the time comes.