Saying Goodbye

When is it the right time?

Our pets are our family, so when it comes to saying goodbye, it can be an extremely difficult time for owners. 

Knowing when is the right time can be the hardest decision pet owners will make. Always remember to think about the pets quality of life and what is best for the pet, however tough that may be. 

No case is ever the same, so talking to your vet will help. Because vets are less emotionally involved, it can be easier for them to think about what's best for your pet and will help talk you through the options available. Ask us as many questions as you like, we are here to offer guidance and support but don't forget to call on your family and friends for emotional support too. 

Preparing for pet loss

Coming to terms with the idea that your beloved pet has come to the stage in their life where they are suffering an untreatable illness/injury, old age or where their quality of life is not as it should be, is not easy. Making the decision to have your pet put to sleep and relieve them of suffering is often overwhelming and distressing. 

Unfortunately we often feel like we have little control over our pets fate during this time, which some owners may find difficult. Try to focus on the things you can control, i.e. calling your vet out for a home visit so that you and your pet may be more comfortable. 

You can also decide on where your pets resting place will be, and if they will be buried or cremated.  We (Wye Valley Vets) work with a family run company called Summerleaze Pet Crematorium. They are very sympathetic, respectful and dignified when caring for your pet on their final journey. Summerleaze can offer both private and communal cremations. 

When choosing a private cremation, you can choose to have the ashes returned to you in a vessel of your choice. If you chose a communal cremation, your pet will be cremated with others and not returned to you, but the ashes are interred within the gardens of the Crematorium grounds. You can request a brochure at the surgery, or look online at 

What to expect

We know just how difficult this time is for pet owners, so we want to make sure both you and your pet are as comfortable as possible. When it is agreed that putting your pet to sleep is the kindest option, you will be asked to sign a consent form, which will include you clarifying what you would like to do once your pet is at peace, and what choice of vessel you would like your pet to be returned in (vessels are for private cremations only). 

The vet may recommend that your pet is sedated, or you can request this, before the final injection is given. The vet will usually shave an area on your pets leg before placing a catheter and giving an injection of very strong anaesthetic so your pet will gently slip away and cross the rainbow bridge.

Euthanasia can be performed here at the surgery or if you would rather a home visit, a vet can come to your home. Most visits are arranged in advance, but we understand that some visits are an emergency and you can contact the practice at any time to arrange for us to see you as soon as possible, even out of hours.

Visit for an online, quality of life calculator.

For bereavement support you can visit or call Blue Cross' bereavement support line on 0800 096 6606