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:: Saying Goodbye


Woman and Dog on Beach PawPrints Network is dedicated to honoring your relationship and journey with your pet.

Preparing for the end of your pet’s life is an emotional journey and these questions are designed to help you thoughtfully consider and plan for important issues before the end of your pet’s life.

  • Initiate conversations with your friends, family and veterinarian regarding who will participate in discussions and decisions about your pet’s end of life care.
  • Consider which veterinary provider will support your pet’s end of life care.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine the extent of medical treatment that may be provided to support your pet’s continued care and quality of life.
  • Discuss signs of end of life with your veterinarian.
  • If you are considering euthanasia as an option for your pet, reminders to consider include
  • Determine who would perform euthanasia: your primary veterinarian, a home practice veterinarian, Emergency Veterinary Hospital , or other provider
  • Explanation of the euthanasia procedure
  • Where euthanasia should occur:at home, outside in a garden or natural area, inside the veterinary clinic, or elsewhere
  • Select the pet cemetery or cremation service that you will use.
  • Your options and preference for caring for your pet’s remains
  • Burial at home
  • Burial in a marked grave
  • Burial in a common grave
  • Private cremation and return of ashes
  • Community cremation
  • Consider if or how to memorialize your pet, with some examples including:
  • Creating a special place in your home to display your pet’s photos, collar, ID tags, ashes
  • Holding a memorial service, special meal, or other ceremony with friends and family
  • Planting flowers, plants, or trees
  • Creating a scrapbook, photograph display, journal or poetry
  • Charitable donations in memory of your pet to animal-related charities

For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, click here to read “The Last Goodbye: Preparing for and Coping with the Death of Your Dog,” originally featured in the May 2010 issue of the Whole Dog Journal