It may be the way in which our pets love us that makes their demise so difficult for us to accept. Pets often become loyal companions and valued family members. Pets usually love their owners unconditionally. The loss of a pet can be devastating for its owner, particularly if the owner is required to make the difficult decision whether to put the pet to sleep. This decision can become complicated and carries a very strong emotional charge if you're the one required to choose whether and when to euthanize your pet. People often see the pet as an extension of themselves, so the decision to euthanize can be interpreted as a betrayal of your trust and love for your pet. Don't get caught in this emotional trap - senseless and continuous suffering neither serves the pet nor its owner.
This is why when it comes to euthanasia, allow your to help you make the decision. A veterinarian will be able to give you an honest, professional assessment, without the emotional burden that might be clouding your better judgment.
Other animal lovers understand the grief a pet owner experiences, but that empathy can't stop the emotional suffering. Allow yourself to grieve. Don't try to dismiss or suppress your feelings; your pet was an enormously important part of your life and you should take the time to deal with the loss.
If you have other animals, they will grieve too. Animals form strong bonds and have an innate understanding of life's cycles. It may be the kindest thing you can do to let your other pets see their companion once the pet has died. Being able to see and smell the dead body will inform them of what has happened. Pets can be very emotional as well and closure can be helpful for their grieving process as well. They will be distressed, confused and will search for him, perhaps for weeks or even longer. You can either bring the dead body home, which may be very difficult for you, or you might ask the veterinarian to make a house call to euthanize the sick animal. If your pet dies peacefully at home, in familiar surroundings, then the other animals can see him after death. The veterinarian can take the body away when you're ready, or the veterinarian can leave and you can ask a friend to help you with the necessary practicalities.
If you have sufficient property, you may want to bury your pet on your own land. However, you must check with the authorities to know whether its legal to do so. You may prefer to have your pet cremated and then scatter his ashes at a favorite place. Your veterinarian may be able to help you with burial options.
Don't try to get rid of all the reminders of your companion right away. Instead, move slowly to reorganize your life. Keep photos and such things as a dog's collar and food dish. You may be very glad you kept them months later when your grief has subsided and the memory is not quite so painful.
Give yourself some time. Only you know how much your pet meant to you. It's unrealistic to expect that the loss of this companionship will be easy. If you find your grief is overwhelming, or if it's having a serious impact on your life and work, a grief counselor may be able to help you. Your veterinarian may know a local professional who works with grief-stricken pet owners.
For more information on pet death and pet funeral services visit GotTrouble.com