The Harmful Old Wives’ Tails, Part 3: Pain and Suffering in Dying Pets
By Brad Bates, DVM In the first two parts of this blog series, I described misleading “old wives’ tails” behind pet eating and greeting behavior as it applies to dying pets and decisions about euthanasia. I will touch on another very common and harmful one. I will now touch on another very common and harmful […]
Preparing Pet Families for Euthanasia
For most pet parents, the decision to euthanize a beloved pet is probably the hardest one they will make. Veterinarians need to consider how to prepare pet parents for this possibility, explain the process, and present certain decisions they must make. Pet Parents Need a Veterinarian’s Guidance Before Euthanasia As a veterinarian, I realized how important […]
Communicating With Your Vet Team
As a pet parent, I know that I have a tendency to jump to catastrophic conclusions when I feel like there is something wrong with my dog. For example, when I found a tick lodged in his neck, I was convinced he had Lyme Disease and rushed him to the vet for bloodwork. I can’t […]
How to Remain With Your Hospitalized Pet at Death
by Nancy Kay, DVM I’ve been able to ensure my clients had cage-side access—pretty much 24/7—with their very sick hospitalized pets at nearly every place veterinary facility where I’ve worked. I didn’t last long at the one place where this wasn’t an option. I wanted my clients there with their pets, particularly if I felt a beloved pet’s […]
How to Find the Best Vet for Your Pet
By Denise Alston How do you determine the right veterinarian for your pet? Pets are our children—our babies!—and we want only the best for them. So what should you do to make sure they receive the best care from the best vet out there? Three Steps to Identify the Best Vet for Primary Care It’s best to find […]
Grief at Work When a Beloved Pet Dies
By Kathleen Begley Handling grief at work is awkward. But we can’t just turn off our emotions after the death of a loved one—even if the loved one wasn’t a human. It doesn’t help one bit to hear comments like these from anyone. At work, though, it can be particularly hard to swallow grief when responses […]
Four Ways to Feed Older or Sick Pets
By Sandra Lewis It can be hard to feed older or sick pets. Very often, age-related issues or battling chronic or terminal illness makes food less interesting to them, just as it does to some people! But our pets need to continue eating while they are ill or have a chronic condition. You know your […]
If You’re Old Enough to Love, You’re Old Enough to Grieve: Children and Pet Loss
For children, the loss of their pet is often their first experience with death. If we handle this loss with honesty and understanding, we can help to prepare them to cope with future losses in a healthy way. Children are amazing, intelligent, inquisitive, sensitive little people. They actually know how to grieve better than we do. They are not ashamed of their feelings; they mourn openly, cry freely, and make great use of rituals. They don’t think it’s silly to have a funeral for a rabbit. They don’t live in the death denying society that we do. We could learn a lot from them.
Coping with the loss of a beloved pet.
For many of us pet parent’s, the bond they have with their companion animal can be a beautiful relationship of unconditional love and loyalty. And as we know, there are many reasons we bring animals into our lives: to provide companionship when we are lonely, to nurture a pet who has been abandoned or neglected, or even to save a life that’s about to be ended through no fault of the pet.
The attachment that forms between pet parent’s and their pets is often so profound that we are shaken to the core by all the feelings that will inevitably arise when they are no longer with us. Questions will arise from within yourself and others such as “Are these feelings of grief normal or common? Who can I turn to share my thoughts and feelings? How can I cope with these overwhelming emotions?