Should I be present?

Being present while your pet is euthanased can obviously be an emotionally distressing experience and some people simply cannot face it; others would rather not see their pet in the dead state preferring instead to remember them as they were alive. Some owners are not present during the euthanasia but do then spend a few moments saying goodbye afterwards.

There is much to be said for you being present during the euthanasia. As your pet’s best and most trusted friend, it is logical to think that you being there will provide your pet with the maximum amount of comfort possible; some owners that are not present during euthanasia go on to feel a considerable sense of guilt that they abandoned their pet during their final moments. Furthermore being present during euthanasia will allow you to witness that it was quick and peaceful and therefore eliminate any worry about how distressing your pet’s final moments were.

Although there are no hard and fast rules, in general it is recommended to stay with your pet during euthanasia. However, if you feel that your own emotional responses and grief will worsen rather than alleviate your pet’s stress then perhaps being present is not sensible.

Whether or not children should be present during euthanasia very much depends on factors such as the age and maturity of the child as well as their individual personality. This is a decision that parents are best place to make but your veterinarian may be able to advise you; also some practices may have a policy discouraging children being present so it is wise to discuss this in advance of possible.

Another consideration may be deciding who else (if anyone) you would like to have present during the euthanasia. If you wish to be alone during the procedure, you may still want to ask a friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment so you will have support before and afterward. It is also important to make sure that you do not drive home in a distraught state and this individual can therefore also drive you home. Alternatively, you can take a taxi and return some other time to collect your vehicle from the veterinary practice.