Pet bereavement and end of life care

Sadly, our beloved little friends don’t live forever; in the autumn of their lives, they often need extra help and when they are near the end, they might require care that you are unable to give them yourself. At Claygate Vets, we provide End of Life Care both at home and in-practice.

Every situation is different and we want you to know that you won’t be alone through this difficult process; our caring & compassionate team are here to support your pet and you, every step of the way. Whatever the circumstances, we will be there for you – never hesitate to ask us for help.

You can book an appointment with a member of our end of life care team to talk about your pet’s situation; we can do this face to face, over the phone or via video – whichever is best for you. We understand that talking about end of life care can sometimes be too distressing, so you can email us your questions if you would prefer.

Talk to us about end of life care


We are here to support your pet & you

Personalised end of life care

At Claygate Vets, we will provide compassionate, personalised, and affordable solutions to support your pet and you, with medication, therapy, monitoring, and visits to suit your specific situation. Our team can help you make your beloved pet’s last days as happy and carefree as possible.

You can count on us to be there for you when the time comes to say goodbye. We will listen to your needs and talk you through the whole process and all the options in advance. We will give you the peace of mind and support you need at this difficult time.

Making decisions in advance, at a time that feels more comfortable for you, can help to alleviate some of the worry and distress you may feel as the day draws closer. We can help you with:

  • Timing
  • Location (at home or at the practice)
  • Who would like to be present
  • How you would like the entire process to be
  • Options for burial or cremation of your loved one

We can also help with how you would like to remember your pet, and provide emotional support for you after they have gone.

"If this candle is lit someone is saying goodbye to their beloved pet" sign


Knowing when is the right time to say goodbye

It’s always hard to see your beloved companion’s health decline. In some cases it will have become obvious that your pet’s life is drawing to a close, or perhaps they are suffering due to an injury or illness, which has impacted their quality of life. The decision to have them ‘put to sleep’ (euthanised) may be one of the hardest decisions you ever have to make.

Although we all wish otherwise, it’s less common for pets to pass away naturally in their sleep. Instead, as owners, we are tasked with making this life-ending decision on their behalf. At Claygate Vets, we believe that choosing to have your pet euthanised is the kindest thing you can do for them if they are suffering.

Our Veterinary and Reception teams have all undergone training in pet bereavement and being pet owners themselves, understand how special pets are to their human companions.

Common questions we get asked about pet euthanasia:

  • How will I know when the right time is?
  • What will happen during the procedure?
  • Should I stay with my pet?
  • Should I let other pets or my children be there?
  • What will happen after?

The final decision ultimately lies with you. However, our team has the experience and knowledge to offer you advice, explain your pet’s condition and what they will be experiencing, and answer your questions.

Pet cremation services – dignity & care for all pets

At the Claygate Veterinary Centre, your pet will always be treated with the dignity and care they deserve. We use a trusted pet cremation service, who will also care for your pet in this way.

If you have any concerns about your ageing companion or a sudden change in your pet’s health, call us for advice on 01372 460107.

Commemorating your pet

Finding ways to commemorate the wonderful times you shared with your pet can help with the grieving process. If you decide that you wish to have your pet’s ashes returned to keep or scatter, you can choose from a lovely range of caskets, urns, and other tributes. Ask our team for more information.

If you would like a lock of hair to treasure, we can arrange this for you whilst your pet is at our Claygate practice.

For pets buried at home, a shrub or flowers to mark the spot can be a lovely reminder.

Further pet bereavement support

The Blue Cross has a bereavement service, accessible 365 days a year – their telephone number is 0800 096606.

A sensitive pet bereavement website, The Ralph Site, offers advice on dealing with the loss of your pet and offers owners a chance to share their stories if they so wish –

For children, we often recommend a lovely book called Missing my Pet, written by a vet and her son Alex, who was 6 years old when his dog, Star, died. Other books on this topic are available from online retailers.

Contact us about our services for pet bereavement in Claygate


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