Saturday, February 4, 2012

Should other pets be present during a euthanasia?

Should Other Dogs or Cats Be Present
During Another Pet Euthanasia?

Putting a dog or cat to sleep is not only difficult on the human family members but can be upsetting to the other furry family members as well. We are often asked if other pets should be present during the euthanasia appointment. 

It is our experience that other household pets absolutely need time to say goodbye, as long as they are not disruptive to their sick housemate or other family members.  

"Boots" saying goodbye to "Powder" (Dr. Dani McVety)
Photo curtsey of DVM News Magazine
If needed, other pets can be placed in another room, then allowed to come say goodbye after their friend has passed.  They may act depressed or mope around for a day or so after, but it seems there is much more closure when they are able to see and smell the body of their friend.  Dogs and cats have been known to search the house for days when not allowed closure. 

Sometimes, other pets in the house will appear to ignore their friend who has passed. Rest assured, they have taken in the situation and understand despite their lack of reaction. Other pets may shake or cry. 

Many of the euthanasia appointments I have done with other pets present have been really nice for everyone involved. Even the 'sassiest' of housemates seem to relax a little during the process.  It always amazes me how well our pets can pick up on the vibe in the room.

Make sure you pay extra attention to remaining pets to reassure them that everything is ok. You will need the closeness as much as they do!    

Posted by:
Mary Gardner, DVM 
(Broward County Florida)
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In Home Euthanasia

For more answers to frequently asked questions regarding pet euthanasia - please follow this link:

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