Discussing euthanasia and when it's the right time is something we are no stranger to, however the topic of what to do with your other pets during the euthanasia is something I feel isn't spoken about enough.
From my personal experience and the experience of the other staff in the clinic, we recommend having your other pets around during the euthanasia if at all possible.
We are always more than happy for you to bring the whole family, humans and animals alike when it comes time to say goodbye to your furry friend.
Animals are smart, they understand far more than we give them credit for so we need to give them a chance to know what is happening.
Generally for euthanasias that happen at home, the other pets are just 'around'. They go about their business and may seem to not take an interest in what is happening. However, these pet's don't seem to spend as long looking for the dog or cat who isn't with them any more, when compared to pets who were not present during the euthanasia.
For pets who remain at home when the other pet is taken to the vet for their final visit, or are removed from the house when the vet makes the house call, the searching for their friend seems to continue for longer.
All too recently I was with a friend, in her home when she had to say goodbye to her beautiful dog Rascal. Her other dog Thor, was in the house and seemed anxious. He didn't bark at people coming to the door as he normally would, he could not settle in one spot, he paced up and down the hall, he jumped on too and off of the couch and was generally very unsettled and anxious.
When Amy, the wonderful vet from Paws at Peace gave the final injection to Rascal, it was almost as if Thor knew the pain was over for his friend. He jumped up on the couch, made himself comfortable and with a big sigh, settled down to sleep.
If you are able to, give your pet the chance to see and smell for themselves that their friend isn't going to be around anymore. It can be very healing for them, shortening their grieving period and also, you'd be surprised at how often they come to you, knowing you need comfort too.
If this is something you would like to discuss further and in relation to your personal situation, please don't hesitate to call us.