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There’s no way around it. Learning that you’ll soon be saying goodbye to a beloved pet because of advanced age or a terminal diagnosis is heartrending. However, pet parents can make the situation more difficult by focusing solely on the grief of losing their pet … even while said pet is sitting at their side.
It’s understandable to feel this way. As humans, many of us are all too aware of the circle of life, and when we know that death is imminent, how can we focus on anything but that? The key is realizing that your pet is possibly unaware of what’s to come and living in the present — with you! By appreciating the present rather than fearing the future, you’ll benefit yourself and give your pet a reason to wag or purr throughout his final days. Here are a few tips.
Finally, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about how you want to handle your pet’s final days, remembering that opting for a natural death does not mean doing nothing. Ask your vet about pain management and end-of-life options, such as hospice care and in-home euthanasia. (You can also search for “end-of-life care” on Vetstreet.com to read more about these topics.) And consider making your pet’s final moments happy ones with a special treat. You just might find yourself smiling through your tears as you say goodbye.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of HealthyPet magazine.
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