Losing a Pet

Vet Tech Tips All Animal Tips Advise Losing Pet

Losing a pet is a very emotional time but here are a few things that might help with being prepared when that time does come.

1. Losing Your Pet

2. How and If You Want Your Pet Back

3. Being With Your Pet

4. Options

5. Additional Things to Have

6. Information

7. Talk to Your Veterinary Team About How to Keep Your Pet Comfortable 

8. Other Articles on Senior Pets

Losing Your Pet

The worst part of having a pet is losing them. Most pets we get will live much shorter lives than we do, and being prepared for that day can help with the process. Everyone reacts to losing a pet in different ways and has a different bond with each pet. You will never know how you will grieve until it happens but there are things that can help. Some areas have counseling groups about pet loss. Knowing your options of the help you can get and the options of how to take care of your pet at the end of their life is important to do before the moment that it is happening. This way you get what you want and it’s not something you have to decide while you are emotional.

How and If You Want Your Pet Back

Knowing if you know you want the ashes back, a burial, paw prints, etc. can help you prepare for the costs of these things and what you and the people in your house want. Some areas have veterinarians that will come to your house to have the procedure done at your home too. This can take time to find someone that will come to your house so knowing your options for your area in advance will be helpful.

Being With Your Pet

Knowing whether you want to be in the room with your pet or not is important too. For some species, it is not possible to be with them while they are getting the injection since they do not have veins that the medication can be given via IV injection. Dogs and cats normally can be given an IV injection while you talk to them and be with them for the entire procedure. Pocket pets, reptiles, and birds can sometimes be given IV injections but if they are really small it makes it even harder to have access to their veins.


Most veterinary hospitals and clinics will do private cremations where you get the ashes back in an urn or a wooden box, group cremation where multiple pets are cremated together and then buried at the cremation location, you can bury your pet at your property (make sure this is legal where you live), or the pet can be buried with a tombstone. Ask your veterinary team what they offer or if they know of another crematory that has the options you are looking for in your area.

Additional Things to Have

Some clinics offer paw prints on clay or with ink, and/or nose prints with ink. Knowing if you want these will help at the time of the euthanasia too. You can get some of their hair back if that is something you want. I have had people want a specific pattern on their pet or a soft spot from their body. You can get fur keepsake boxes online if your clinic does not offer them. Here is a box, or a glass jar for your pet’s hair. There are also picture frames with paw prints. If you do not know your options you might not get what you want. If you want their collar or anything else you brought with your pet make sure to get it back or take it with you when you leave.


There are a lot of options your clinic may have. They normally have information or maybe even a packet of information on pet loss. If you are emotional during the process, it can be hard to pay attention to the options. This is why having the information before you are really emotional can be helpful.

Talk to Your Veterinary Team About How to Keep Your Pet Comfortable

If your pet is getting older and you have questions, talk to your veterinary team to see what your options are and if there are medications that can help your pet at the end of its life.

Other Articles on Senior Pets

If you have an older pet and need some tips on what can be helpful, please read my articles on Senior Pets Helpful Tips, and Senior Health Issues to find out if there is something new that you might not have known about to help your senior pet.

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