We know that deciding to say goodbye to a pet can be a very difficult and emotional time. For some people, knowing a little about the process in advance and what happens afterwards can help to make things easier.

I don’t know if I’m ready to make the decision or if it’s the right time for my pet – what do I do?

It can be very difficult deciding when is the right time to say goodbye. If you are concerned about your pet and want to discuss end of life care with one of our vets then please make an appointment. In some cases it may be possible to prolong your pet’s quality of life with simple treatment. In other cases it may be that the kindest option is to make that final decision. Either way, we are here to support you through this time and give you the confidence that you are making the right decisions.

Can I have my pet put to sleep at home?

For some people and some pets saying goodbye at home is easier than in the practice environment. It is usually easiest for us if we have a little advance notice (a few days is usually sufficient) but we appreciate that this cannot always be planned and will do our best to accommodate you. Please note that we cannot offer home visits at the weekend as we only have one vet and one nurse on duty.

How does it happen?

The final injection is essentially an overdose of an old-fashioned anaesthetic. The injection is usually given through an intravenous catheter placed in vein in your pet’s front leg. Some people like to hold their pet for this final injection. Others prefer to talk to them and stroke them, but have one of the nurses to assist in holding. For nervous pets or if you would prefer, we can give a sedative prior to the final injection. This makes the process take a little longer from your point of view, but can help to reduce stress for some pets.

Do I need to stay?

Some clients want to stay with their pet until after they have passed away and say a few final goodbyes then before leaving the practice. Other prefer to say their goodbyes after their pet has been sedated, or say goodbye after the consent form has been completed and let one of our lovely nurses cuddle their pet through the procedure. Everyone is different, so just let us know what you’d like to do.

How do I book the appointment?

You can telephone the practice on 01227 264915 and speak to one of our lovely reception team to arrange an appointment. If you have any questions for them then please do ask. If you would rather arrange an appointment online then please use the links on the website or the Facebook page. If you don’t see an appointment at a suitable time then please give us a call as we may be able to rearrange the diary to accommodate your needs in some cases.

I’ve booked the appointment – what do I do when I get to the practice?

Please let the reception team know that you have arrived. You can come in to the reception to do this, or call from the car if you prefer. We have a dedicated goodbye room where you can wait with your pet in privacy. There are tea and coffee making facilities so please feel free to ask if you need a cuppa. If you’d rather wait outside, there are two picnic benches, one in the garden to side the of the practice and one on the lawn opposite. If it’s a nice day and you’d like us to perform the procedure for your dog in the garden then we are happy to do so.

Once you’re settled, the vet will come and join you and answer any questions you may have. If you’d like us to check your pet over first to reassure you that you’re making the right decision, or explore any other treatment options that may be available then please do ask.

When you’re sure that you’ve made your decision, we will ask you to sign a form giving us consent to put your pet to sleep and indicating what you would like to do with your pet afterwards (please see below for more details)

What happens afterwards?

The crematorium we use for all our pet cremations is a local, family run company called Treasured Friends. They have recently moved to lovely new premises in Manston. Most pets are collected from the practice on the same day, or the day after, and ashes are returned within 1-3 days. We will call you when your pet is back with us and ready to come home, but if you need a few days before you come in to collect then we are happy to look after them until you’re ready.