Saying goodbye to your beloved pet is painful. Making the decision to have a pet euthanized, or "put to sleep", can be very difficult. We all hope our pets will live long, healthy lives; but unfortunately some will develop incurable diseases like cancer, become painful to the point of suffering by diseases like arthritis, or begin to have organ dysfunction from old age. If your animal companion reaches the point where they have lost all quality of life, the choice to euthanize can be humane, kind, loving, and unselfish. We are here to help your pet pass on in comfort and with dignity.
How to Know When It's Time
You know your pet best, and only you can really know when it is time. Our veterinarians can help offer counseling and advice about your pet's medical condition and quality of life, help keep your pet as comfortable as possible, and guide you through the decision and process of euthanasia.
For more information about the euthanasia process, and a Quality of Life Scale (HHHHHMM Scale) that can help you asses your pet's well-being, you may find this handout helpful.
The next decision to make is what to do with your loved one's remains. Cremation is the most common choice, as home burial is often difficult or impossible. We have worked with Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park in Napa, California, for decades. They provide transport of your pet's remains to Napa where they offer group cremation, with ashes scattered in their Pet Memorial Park. They also provide private cremation, with ashes returned to you in a cedar memorial box, or can arrange for a burial plot in their Pet Memorial Park.
Dealing With Your Grief
If you find you are having a difficult time, there are many resources available to help with grief associated with pet loss. For young children, the following books can be helpful:
I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst
And for adults, you can contact a local Pet Loss Support Group where you can share your experiences with other loving pet owners dealing with grief.
Pet Loss Support Groups
Dublin Hope/Hospice Pet Loss Support Group meets the second and fourth Monday of each month 7- 8:30 pm at Hope Hospice, 6377 Clark Ave. Dublin. Please call Michelle Shimamura at (925) 683-8463 for a short intake and reservation. The group meetings are free, but donations are always appreciated.
Castro Valley/Hayward Pet Loss Support Group meets the second Wednesday of every month from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., at no charge. Contact Rev. Nancy Schluntz at (510) 969-6122 or email Nancy@schluntz.com for a short intake, location, and to reserve a space.
ARF/Hospice of the East Bay Pet Loss Support meets the second Tuesday of every month, 5:30-7:00 pm, Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. Free drop-in group. Facilitator: Vicki Smith (925) 887-5678 ext 1075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.