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When it comes to saying goodbye.

The passing of a much loved pet is a sad (and can be traumatic) event.

They are, after all members of the family - may have been with us through difficult times and in some cases they are the main reason we get up in the morning.

Those of us who have loved and lost a pet will understand that they are not ‘just a dog/cat’ and that we will grieve their passing just like any other loss.

If you are in the situation of trying to reach a decision about what to do, you can talk to us and we can guide you through the options. Taking a little time to prepare in advance can help you when the time comes. Things to consider will be-

  • Would you prefer to have an appointment at a quiet time when you can sit in our dedicated ‘quiet’ room where there are comfy seats, a padded bed for your pet to lie and trained members of the team to help you make decisions such as burial and cremation options.
  • Would you want to have visit to your house where one of our vets will be able to perform the injection in familiar surroundings?
  • Would you want a friend or relative to be with you?
  • Is there a particular vet or nurse you would prefer to be present?
  • Do you want to stay with your pet whilst the injection is given or would you prefer not?

The procedure involves an injection of a barbiturate anaesthetic. The injection is quick and painless. The vet may place an intravenous catheter in order to give the injection, and may suggest a sedative in order to relax your pet beforehand. If you unsure as to what is happening and why then just ask and we will be more than happy to discuss your options and explain everything to you.

Because the injection needs to be done with your consent you will be asked to sign a consent form with your wishes. The options for you to consider will be

  • Home burial
  • Communal cremation - this is done at a licensed facility. We use Summerleaze pet cremation services.

  • Private cremation with ashes returned (please ask if you would like to see the choice of scatter boxes or urns).

From a vet’s point of view:

We are here to help you make a decision and would never suggest you make a decision you are not comfortable with. People often tell us that it is the worst part of the job, but in actual fact it is a privilege to be able to help both the animals and their owners at this time, especially if not taking action will mean your pet may suffer pain and distress.

Please talk to us about any concerns you may have - we will never judge, and if it’s not the right decision for that day then we can rearrange or postpone until you are ready.

Dealing with grief.

Everyone’s relationship with their pet is unique and we may respond to grief in different ways. You may experience feelings of loss, anger or guilt for weeks or months afterwards. Do not be afraid to ask for help during this difficult time. We have bereavement advice available and would recommend you seek professional help if your feelings persist for longer than a few weeks. Some useful resources include: - resources for pet bereavement and loss.

The Pet Bereavement Support Service (run by The Blue Cross) 0800 096 6606

British Association of Counselling  01455 883300

Samaritans  116 123

About the author

Fenton Vets

Havefordwest Practice

Fenton Vets

21 Portfield, 
Pembrokeshire SA61 1BN


Small Animals:
(01437) 762806
Farm Animals:
(01437) 762511

Pemboke Dock Practice

Fenton Vets

Unit B,
London Road Shopping Mall,
Kingswood Trading Estate,
London Road,
Pembroke Dock,
SA72 4RS


Tel: (01646) 622010

Fenton Veterinary Practice

Get in touch

If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly veterinary team.