Grief Of Pet Euthanasia (Put To Sleep): How To Cope
Have you ever lived with a pet? Irrespective of what species you’ve been living with, does the thought of them passing make a shiver go through your spine? When we live with pets, they become a part of our lives, an inseparable part of us. Pet euthanasia is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner ever has to make.
Losing a pet is equivalent to losing a family member or a close friend. They have been there for you when you were sad or happy or bored, they were always there. And one day you are told that they are very sick and no medical intervention can help them, how would you feel?
To be honest, it feels terrible, it feels like you failed them. Opting for pet euthanasia is one of the most emotionally challenging situations to be in. Choosing to put your pet to sleep (for good) does not come easily. It’s like putting a spear through your heart on purpose.
Today, we are going to talk about how one can cope with the emotional distress of choosing to euthanize a pet euthanasia… shall we begin?
What Is Pet Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is a medical procedure that is used to put an end to someone’s life, commonly done by injectables. Pet euthanasia is a very common procedure used to put an end to one’s pet’s misery.
If a pet has developed a beyond-repairable condition medically or otherwise, one can decide to put an end to their life to end their pain and suffering. Dani McVety, CEO and founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice (providing in-house euthanasia) claims that the only benefit of euthanasia is that it can put an end to your pet’s pain and suffering. If euthanasia is the next best thing for your pet, however difficult, you must go for it.
Here are a few things you need to know before going for pet euthanasia;
- Pet euthanasia involves 2 injections (a sedative + euthanasia solution). The euthanasia solution is an overdose of seizure medication that stops the respiratory system.
- The procedure can take up to several minutes to finally let your pet transition to a non-living state.
- Because of the sedative, your pet will feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
- The charges of pet euthanasia can range from $20 to $300 depending on the facility you choose to use.
Trauma From Pet Euthanasia
Every pet owner knows that one day they will have to part ways with their pet. We all somehow feel like we are prepared for that day but when that day finally comes, it is devastating. Do you know what is even more hurtful than losing your beloved pet?
Choosing to put them to sleep forever! It is extremely painful to know that your pet is breathing when its last few breaths because you chose euthanasia. To know that you are the one deciding how much longer they can live.
It has the possibility to scar you emotionally and disturb your mental peace. You are filled with guilt for doing it to your pet, there is doubt, and second thoughts– what if you could save them, what if there was something else you could have done?
The trauma of pet euthanasia can leave you emotionally and mentally drained. Not everyone understands what your pet meant to you, therefore, your support system might not be strong enough to help you come out of grief.
Also Read: Is it Denial or Absence Grief? | What to Know About Absent Grief
Today we will uncover some practical ways you can cope with the grief of pet euthanasia…
How To Cope With Dog Euthanasia?
The grief of losing a pet is too challenging in itself, imagine an added guilt, shame, and doubt to that grief. Coping with dog/pet euthanasia is very important because the grief of pet euthanasia can have a huge impact on your emotional and mental health.
Here are a few ways you can cope with dog euthanasia;
1. Talk about it:
It is important to talk about how you have been feeling about your pet’s euthanasia. Drawing in guilt and doubt will only make things worse for you. Let your feelings and thoughts out, trust me, it’ll make you feel much better. Find someone you can trust and to be honest, cry your heart out!
2. Cut yourself some slack:
You do not need to punish yourself for the choice you make. In this hour of grief, all you need is a little love, understanding, and kindness. You need to stop blaming yourself and be a little kinder to yourself.
3. Know that euthanasia was the best option:
When someone opts for euthanasia, it’s because you don’t want them to be in pain anymore. When you know they aren’t going to make it, why be selfish and hold on to them? They are in pain and cutting their pain and euthanasia is one of the most selfless things that you could have done.
Also read: The Five Stages of Grief :Be Your Healer
4. Honor their memory:
It is important to remember them as the happiest and healthy beings that lighten up your life. They have lived a happy life and you need to honor them. Find productive ways to honor their memory, perhaps plant a tree in their name or turn their ashes into something beautiful.
5. Do not get a replacement pet:
I know you’re dying to fill the void your pet has left in your life. But it is important to first completely heal from the grief and only then get another pet if you want to. Allow yourself to heal and process the loss completely, take your time, and only then can you make a meaningful place for another pet in your life.
6. Allow yourself to heal:
It is painful to lose someone so close to you, it is okay to take some time off and allow yourself to process everything. You don’t need to rush back into your life, sit down and let the pain out. You deserve a little time off and let the healing happen.
7. Forgive yourself:
I know you’re blaming yourself for putting your pet to sleep, it’s time you forgive yourself. There is nothing you could have done to save them, euthanasia has saved them from being in pain for a longer time. You’ve done a brave thing and you deserve forgiveness, it is not your fault!
8. Move on:
I know you can never forget them and I’m not asking you to do that either. You need to let them go, holding on sometimes hurts more than letting go. You can always have them in your fondest memories but also move on in life.
“What leaves you, comes back to you in some form” – Rumi
Also read: Grief in Children: How to Help Your Young One Process Grief
That’s All Folks!
I hope you found this blog about how to deal with the grief of pet euthanasia helpful, interesting, informative, and thought-provoking. Do share this blog with your friends and family, especially those people who might be dealing with the grief of euthanasia.
Thanks for reading.
Take care and stay safe.