End of life care

End of life care

As pet owners we all hope that our pets will live healthily to a ripe old age and, when their time has come, they will curl up and pass away in a favourite spot in the home.


Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way, and we may be faced with the difficult decision to let our pet go.


Ending their life voluntarily is called euthanasia and we sometimes choose to do this as a means of preventing suffering when it is clear that we can no longer help our pet maintain a reasonable quality of life. 


Euthanasia provides a dignified and comfortable way of doing this.

We understand this will be an emotional period for all involved, and therefore we do our best to provide a quiet and respectful time and place for the euthanasia to be carried out.


Most euthanasias take place at the practice in a private room, with a vet and nurse present.


The vet will talk you through the procedure in advance. This entails giving your pet an overdose of an anaesthetic drug by intravenous injection that allows your pet to lose consciousness peacefully.

Some owners like to be present and remain with their pet, however, some prefer to remember them in better days so choose not to stay. The choice is yours.


In certain circumstances it may be possible for us to make a home visit for euthanasia.


Once the euthanasia has been carried out the final decision for an owner to make is how to take care of their pet’s body.


A small number of owners choose to take their pet home for home burial. However, it is made clear to the owner that they must dig a deep grave in order to prevent other animals from uncovering the body.

The alternative method is cremation and we take care of the vast majority of pets in this way.


We employ the services of a reputable pet crematorium called Elysian Fields for all cremations. Elysian Fields offer both communal cremation or individual cremation.


Further help: Compassion Understood

After a difficult or traumatic event, it can be useful to speak about your feelings.


Compassion Understood is a service which provides support for pet owners before, during and after a bereavement, to help you to reach the best decision and to cope with your pet’s passing.


They work with veterinary professionals and specialist pet loss experts, and can help to make a difficult time more bearable.


To find out more about Compassion Understood and how they can help you, visit their website or speak to a member of our team in practice.