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Is it right to put to sleep pets?2013/10/17

put to sleep

To put to sleep, put down, euthanize an animal, these are all different ways of saying the same thing- a veterinarian giving a strong anesthetic injection, which allows a sick animal to pass away gently and without suffering, and end their life.

Different people and different cultures have different beliefs about the ethics of the rights and wrongs of a veterinarian performing this act. But remember, before they consider doing this,  veterinarians have done everything else that they can to treat and save your pet, and that they may have advised that this could be the kindest way to take the pet’s pain away.

But some people believe that the choice of when an animal dies should only be up to God, and we can’t ethically make this decision. What your ethics and beliefs say is a personal choice, the job of the Veterinarian is to give guidance and advice from a welfare and medical point of view for the pets, and from the vet’s considerable personal experience also.

Pets are more than just animals which families own — they’re members of the family, and our best of friends. Sadly, the happiness of owning a dog or cat goes hand-in-hand with the sadness of losing one, either due to old age, severe illness, or perhaps an accident. We all have different thoughts on what’s kindest or most natural for the end of life of a pet. I would like them to just pass away naturally in their sleep at a healthy old age, without any pain. If this cannot be the case for every pet, at least perhaps we hope that pets can have a pain free and dignified passing.

Here are some thoughts on how to prepare for the Loss of a Pet

1. Expect to be upset and experience many different or conflicting emotions at the time.

2. Consider what your beliefs are about your pet’s soul or spirit? 3. It is an individual decision whether or not you and your family want to be present during a euthanasia procedure.

4. Let different family members grieve and express their emotions in their own way. How you personally express this may be very different than how your partner or friends or even your children grieve.

5. Comfort your pet at the last hours and minutes, and encourage your family to share this time. Feed your dog or cat a favorite meal, take them outside to a favorite place in HK, spoil them, allow your children to draw a picture for him, and spend some time alone with your pet. This will help the family all create a positive last memory of doing something special, as well as prepare the family for the likelihood of the pet’s death

6. Think about where you want your pet to pass away; At Homevet we find that most pet owners would rather allow that to happen at home, rather that than take dogs or cats to the vet’s for a final trip. If you want to say good-bye at home, with the vet’s help, find out how much it all costs, how your animal’s body will leave the house, and the other practical things, in advance.

7. Focus on the positives- perhaps you have tried everything and know your pet would never get better; at least this way the pet will die peacefully, without feeling hurt or scared. In many ways perhaps you don’t have a choice. Remember the happy times, and the memories of the nice things you did together, that you share with your pet.

8. Think about planning a celebration of your pets life-a pet memorial service at the pet crematorium, or even somewhere else in Hong Kong? Who will you invite to the pet cremation service?

9. Think about a physical memorial of your pet. What urn type do you want to hold the ashes? Do you want to scatter the ashes of your pet in a special area or a pet cemetery?

10. you are not alone, ask others for their advice and experiences. We at Homevet, are happy also to talk on the phone, or What’s App, or email about this or any other issues.

See here for a link to the American Humane Society, for other advice on these decisions.