Putting to Sleep

Pets provide us with unconditional love and affection and become a member of our families. Making the decision to say goodbye is one of the hardest decisions to make as a pet owner.

We are here to offer support and guidance for you and your pet every step of the way.


When is the Right Time?

One of the most conflicting and emotional decisions a pet owner may have to make is whether, or when, to have their pet put to sleep. When an illness or old age leads to pain or distress that can no longer be managed, euthanasia may be the kindest and most appropriate decision to be made for your pet. We will be here to provide support and offer guidance throughout this difficult time.

Although we will offer as much guidance as we can and make sure that an owner understands their pet’s condition and what options are available, the final decision to have a pet put to sleep will always rest with the owner.

What are my Options?

If you are concerned for your pet, their quality of life and the options available to your pet please contact us to discuss your worries. If you feel your pet may require this service our staff will talk you through what will happen next.

Some pet owners choose to arrange for a house visit, whilst others prefer that it is carried out at the Practice. Similarly, some people choose to be with their pets in the final moments, while others find it too difficult, each decision is very personal and entirely up to the individual owner – there is not right or wrong decision.

A consultation with one of our Vets will allow us to go through all the options available, including cremation services so that you can choose the best combination for you and your pet. At Willows we have a dedicated family room to give you the time and privacy needed in these difficult moments.


What Happens when a Pet is put to Sleep?

Pets who have sadly have come to the end of their life journey can be put to sleep peacefully and painlessly by injection. Animals quickly fall asleep and usually pass away very peacefully while the injection is still being given.

Sometimes an injection into a vein is not possible. In such cases, we will give a sedative injection into the skin or muscle which allows an animal to relax and become sleepy first before we inject the anaesthetic into the blood stream. We always try to minimise any stress for the animal so that he or she will pass away peacefully and painlessly.

Some animals will not move at all after they have been put to sleep, however it is perfectly normal to see some muscle movement or even something that looks like breathing for a few minutes after the injection., This is nothing to worry about and is simply reflex muscle movements that can go on for a few minutes after a pet has passed away. We always make sure that an animal has definitely passed away by feeling the pulse, listening to the heart.


Grieving for a Pet

Saying goodbye to a pet is an emotional journey for the whole family, it can be devastating to lose a four-legged companion. At Willows we will always offer help, support and advise you on the options available and how to cope. There are also a range of support services out there that are even better equipped to offer support at this time including the Blue Cross and the Ralph site.

Should you have any worries or questions following the loss of a pet please feel free to contact us, we fully understand that questions often come to mind days or even weeks after the event and are here to support you.