Pet bereavement and end of life care
At Claygate Vets, we understand how difficult losing a pet is. We want to do everything we can to help you and your pet during this difficult time, which includes providing a personalised End of Life Care service both in-practice and at home.
Personalised end of life care
Sadly, our beloved companions don’t live forever. In the autumn of their lives they often need extra help and when they are near the end, they are likely to require care that you are unable to give them yourself. 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.
With Claygate Vets, our team can help make your pet’s last days as happy and carefree as possible with medication, therapy, monitoring, and visits to suit your specific situation. We provide dignified care that is affordable, and personalised for you and your pet.
Talk to us in advance
Hearing back from many of our clients, talking to a member of our team before the time comes to say goodbye can be very helpful. Making decisions in advance can ease some of the worry and distress you may feel as the day draws closer. We offer appointments face to face, over the phone, or via video – whichever is best for you. Alternatively, you can email us your questions if you would prefer – our contact details.
We can help you with:
- 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.
Knowing when is the right time to say goodbye
Although we all wish otherwise, it is 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 ‘put to sleep’, or euthanised, is the kindest thing you can do for them if they are suffering.
It may 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. Knowing when is the right time can be difficult as an owner and may be one of the hardest decisions you ever have to make. 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.
The final decision will be yours, however we have the experience and knowledge to offer you advice, explain your pet’s condition and what they will be going through, and answer your questions – these might include:
- 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?
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.
Pet cremation services & remembrance
We use a trusted pet cremation service who will treat your pet with the dignity and care they deserve. 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.
For pets buried at home, a shrub or flowers to mark the spot can be a lovely reminder of the wonderful times you shared, and can help with the grieving process. If you would like a lock of hair to treasure, we can arrange this for you whilst your pet is at our Claygate practice.
Further pet bereavement support
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 – www.theralphsite.com
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.