Saying goodbye to a beloved pet can be an immensely traumatic experience for many owners. It’s a moment so emotionally charged that some find it too difficult to bear, and they opt not to be present with their animal companion until the very end. However, veterinarians emphasize that they absolutely should be there.
A tweet by Jessi Dietrich shed light on this sensitive issue. She shared, “Asked my vet what the hardest part of his work was, and he said when he has to put an animal down, 90% of owners honestly don’t want to be in the room when he injects them. The reality that animals usually spend their dying moments helplessly looking for their owners shattered my heart.”
In response to Jessi Dietrich’s tweet, Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, echoed the sentiment. Despite the emotional turmoil it may bring, the clinic urged pet owners to be there for their animals until the very end.
Even though it’s challenging, a “weary broken-hearted vet” at the clinic implored people who bring their animals in for a humane, pain-free end not to abandon them. They encouraged owners to stay with their pets, not forcing them to transition from this world to the next in an unfamiliar place. Pets look for their loved ones in every corner of the room, especially when they are unwell, scared, or old, seeking their comfort and understanding why they were left behind. The clinic emphasized not backing down because it might be too difficult.
According to Melbourne veterinarian Dr. Lauren Bugeja, euthanizing older pets in their homes can indeed be a challenging affair. She explained that while some owners may occasionally be too distraught to stay in the room, animals generally feel comforted and peaceful during this time.
Dr. Bugeja highlighted that she always takes the time to talk to and console the animals with her presence to prevent them from experiencing fear or distress in their final moments.
She noted that if a pet is left alone in an unfamiliar setting like a vet’s office or examination room, they are more likely to worry because they are unsure of their surroundings. “For this reason, if you prefer to do it at a clinic, I would recommend staying in the room with your pet.”