For many owners, the experience of losing a pet is heart-breaking and, for some, overwhelming. Losing a pet is losing a friend and, in many cases, a ‘family member’ too. Emotions run high and owners need to have support at this crucial time, which may include making the hard decision to bring a pet’s life to an end.
Over 80% of pets in the UK are euthanased when they die*. At this time, owners need to know that their veterinary practice will look after their beloved pet in the kindest way possible, as well be sensitive to their needs, as the pets’ carers. They need to know they will be supported with compassion and professionalism.
Hawthorne Lodge Vets has gone the extra mile when it comes to caring for pets at the end of their life and put their team through specialist training, so clients get the best experience possible. The practice has gained platinum accreditation, among the first in the country to do so.
The training, run by pet loss specialists Compassion Understood, helped the team get to grips with a highly emotional topic, by offering practical advice on protocols and veterinary procedures to make a pet’s end of life as smooth and trouble-free as possible, as well as learning more about the different stages of grief, and understanding how owners feel at the time – including guilt, shock and despair.
David Bemrose, Clinical Director of Hawthorne Lodge Vets, explains why he wanted the team to take the training and become accredited;
“I feel it is very important for owners to be supported through their journey. Having previously experienced the loss of some of my own pets I appreciate how much of a void they can leave.”
The team at Hawthorne Lodge Vets also directs clients to the Compassion Understood website, which provides clear and reliable information about a pet’s end of life and helps owners with the decision-making process, as well as offering advice on the grieving process and coping afterwards.
Owners wishing to discuss a pet’s end-of-life care can phone the experienced reception team at the practice and they will offer support and advice, no matter the age or species of the pet.
* O’Neill DG, Church DB, Mc-Greevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC (2013) Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. Vet J 198: 638–4