The perpetual difficulty of being a pet owner is that most domestic animals don’t grow old as humans do. As much as we wish for our beloved pets to grow old with us, there will be times that we will have to say goodbye.
At Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial, we hold this difficult question at the center of our hearts as well as our business. Here we will be discussing the healthy ways to deal with grief when facing the inevitable end of your pet’s life.
Keeping a pet dog or cat is one of the greatest blessings for a family. They show us what true love is by loving us unconditionally. It is devastating to say goodbye to them so soon, but the following tips can help you make your pet’s last days memorable, full of joy for them and yourself, and a celebration of his or her life spent with your family.
Spend time with your pet
They say the bedrock of love is attention. Spend time just looking at your pet. Pay attention to all the small details about them. Note their special marks or the particular shade of their fur or how their eyes light up when they see you. These are some of the small but important things that you will remember later, allowing them to stay in mind for as long as you can recall these detailed pictures. Photos are great, but being present with them is even better.
Saying goodbye to your pet is one of the hardest things a pet parent will endure in life, and this exercise may seem just as painful. But make sure you make the most of the time you have with them so you will not have any regrets later on. Try not to stress out in front of your pet. Your calm attention will allow them to be just as calm and as happy as possible.
Sit and pet them on your lap, go on car rides, or walk along your beloved pet’s favorite spot at a beach or park. Help your pet with daily activities. If they are having a hard time walking or standing, carry them around. Help them gently groom the parts they have difficulty reaching. Place floor coverings to keep them from slipping.
Decide what to do in advance if possible
When your pet’s time with you is almost done, you have to decide the details of seeing them through. This will allow you to have a clear head and make the right decision. For example, you have decided that you want to cremate your pet, or perhaps you want to hold a pet memorial. You might want to have a memorial stone made to honor your pet’s memory. There are a lot of options for the aftermath. If you have a backyard, you can hold a memorial to celebrate their life with you and your family.
Make sure to not waste any time during your pet’s last moments thinking about these details last minute; you must figure out the right choice for your family ahead of time.
Spoil your pet
Spoil your pet and let them know that you love them. If they still have their appetite, give them their favorite food, whether it be a cheeseburger or a puppoccino — anything they enjoy eating and that won’t upset their health. Stock up on their favorite treats to munch on while you are on your way to the vet’s clinic. This will also take their mind off the possible pain, anxiety, or fear they might feel when visiting the vet. Some pet owners give their pets their favorite wet food on their last day. These are only some ideas that you can do for your beloved pet before you say goodbye to them.
Take lots of photos
During your pet’s last moments, you will want to make lots of memories with them. This is probably obvious, but do take all the photos you can to remember them by. Go a step further and make a photo album dedicated to your beloved pet. Record videos of your time together. Some pet owners even use their pet’s photo as a reference when they decide to get a tattoo of them. Take special pictures together with your pet — even hire a professional photographer to capture moments you can treasure forever.
Collect mementos and keepsakes
Ask the veterinarian for your pet’s paw and nose prints. You can use them to memorialize your pet through memorial stones, jewelry, or art. A print or impression from your beloved pet’s nose or paws can be a great way to keep close their uniqueness. You can have souvenirs made from the impression of your beloved pet’s paw print to give to your family and friends.
Discuss your pet’s quality of life with your veterinarian
What activities does your pet love doing? You must observe if they can still enjoy them or not and discuss what they can be allowed to. This can be a burdensome conversation with your vet, but it is important to ensure the overall comfort and safety of your pet. You and your veterinarian must be on the same page with regards to any treatment that your pet will need and also the hard-to-swallow end-of-life decisions to ensure your pet is not overexerting themselves unnecessarily toward the end.
Mark the last moment with your pet
Veterinarians who work in pet hospices and administer home euthanasia have recommended that pet parents light a candle during the appointment. Once the pet has passed away, you can have a moment to say goodbye to them and then blow the candle as a symbol of the end. You can offer a prayer or say something to honor your beloved pet’s life, or you can also kiss the top of your pet’s head. These things can allow a form of closure.
Do not give in to the pressure of fulfilling a bucket list involving your pet
You cannot decide to go on a road trip across the country and be away from your veterinarian. During your pet’s last days, you must always consider your pet’s current status and safety. They may feel pain and will not be able to move properly, so you must make them feel safe and comfortable as much as possible. This consideration is more about them than you.
Do not avoid feelings of sadness or neglect the pain
Focus on spending your pet’s last moments the best way you can, but also allow yourself to feel moments of grief and sadness. Most pets are emotionally attuned to their humans, so you will need to be careful of upsetting them too much as they will want to exert themselves to comfort you. Let them if they can. You are in this together. However, be mindful of when it is best to mourn in another room to avoid stressing them out. Nobody has to do this alone. Reach out to your special someone, family, or friends, or health professionals in case you need further emotional support.
Discuss with your veterinarian how you will handle your pet’s final days
Some fur parents go for euthanasia in the clinic, while others opt for home euthanasia to make their pet feel relaxed and comfortable. Discuss your options with your vet. Ask about pain regulation and other options such as hospice care.
You must do your best to make your pet’s final moment a happy one. This will not only allow your pet to feel how much you love them but you can also face the final moments and be content that you did everything you could.
People are symbolic beings, and often it is the symbols and gestures that help the most in these times. If you want to formally honor your pet’s memory with a symbol, you can consider getting a pet memorial stone.
At Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial, we create high-quality pet memorial stones using natural river stones. We carefully select the stones and create the design depending on your preference. If this is something you may want for your pet, check out our design catalog, learn more about available sizes and prices, and glance through what previous clients have requested to see some samples of our work. For other questions, you can contact us by filling up this contact form — we will get back to you as soon as possible!
Since 1996, Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial has been offering pet memorial stones, pet garden stones, and personalized pet gifts — there are plenty of options to choose from to suit your preference and needs. We also customize orders according to your specifications.
If you want to inquire about our shop or the products that we are currently offering, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us at 208-253-4557 or reach us at our toll-free number 1-866-276-2548. Write us an email at [email protected] or reach us at our PO Box Address, P.O. Box T Council Idaho, 83612.
We will do our best to help you honor your pet’s memory with all the love and devotion they deserve.