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Losing A Pet

holding a dogOur pets are family, and we have the opportunity to live together, side-by-side, for many happy years. But as our pets age, we come to realize that they won’t be on this planet nearly as long as we are, and the loss of the pet can be the most difficult part of pet ownership.

Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, it’s our mission to help you move through the loss of a pet with as much support as possible. It’s never easy, and when the time comes to say goodbye, it can be painful and difficult. That’s why we’re here–to help you in any way we can.

The Reality of Losing a Pet

The truth is, as a pet’s life nears its end, many of us don’t want to say goodbye. We’ve had so much time, so many days with our beloved pet–but the time went by too fast. It’s a difficult decision to let our pets go, but it’s typically for the best because we don’t want them to suffer. Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, we understand the difficult time you’re going through, and we’re here to help. While saying goodbye is never easy, our goal is to make the process as easy as we possibly can.

The Bayside Difference

When you’re part of our Bayside family, you know that we work hard every single day to create a warm and calming atmosphere, and this is especially true when it’s time to send a pet over the rainbow bridge. We turn the lights down, and every communication and movement is carefully arranged according to your needs. We make every effort to provide you with the utmost care and support during this time. At Bayside Animal Hospital, you’re never alone. You’re family.

Difficult Feelings When Saying Goodbye to a Pet

The intense love we have for pets creates an everlasting connection that will last long after they’re gone. Pets have been by your side every day for years, and the idea of losing them can be excruciating. Feelings of guilt for considering pet euthanasia are common, as well as wondering, “what if?”

Our staff at Bayside Animal Hospital is here to support you with the option to end to your pet’s suffering and pain. Providing your beloved pet with a safe and comfortable end to a beautiful life by your side is a gift, even amongst all those feelings. We’re here to help and support you in any way we can.

Helping Children Understand the Death of a Pet

Death is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially when it comes to children and their beloved furry friends. We suggest providing plenty of time for your children to give lots of hugs and snuggles to your pet before anyone has to say goodbye. Explaining what is happening can be difficult, but approaching the situation with compassion, care, love, and honest feelings are a great place to start. We are all sad to see pets go, but receive comfort in knowing they’ll no longer be in pain. It’s essential to explain the above in a way that makes sense to a child at their age level that they’re not alone in their feelings.

Resource to help your child:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pet-death.html
https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/sites/default/files/import/assets/pdf/hospital/companionAnimals/HonoringtheBond/HelpingChildrenCopeFactSheet.pdf

Remembering Your Furry Friend

At Bayside, the loss of a pet is one of the most challenging things we experience with our families. As a way to extend condolences, we offer to take a paw print of your pet before you say goodbye, in order to create a token to remember them by. Pets are family, and there are many ways to remember them once they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Hold a ceremony or service to say goodbye
  • Donate to a local pet charity
  • Plant a tree in their memory
  • Frame a photo of your pet and display it at home
  • Create a photo collage or slideshow video
  • Create a memory box with mementos and pictures of your pet
  • Get a piece of jewelry or ornament in their memory
Children may also want to write letters to their pets and draw pictures as a way to connect and say goodbye. These are all ways to memorialize your pet and keep them in your fondest memories.

Self Care During This Difficult Time

The days following a pet’s passing are always difficult, and self-care is of the utmost importance for you and your family. Make sure to take the time to grieve and avoid getting any new pets right away. It’s important to take care of yourself and your loved ones, who may also be feeling sad. Self-care looks different for everyone, but some ways to do this include going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, talking to a friend, spending time in nature, eating a healthy meal, or creating a new routine for yourself.

Grief and Support

It’s important to let yourself move through the grief, pain, and loss of a pet and to seek support from family and friends who understand. Talk about your pet, recalling the good times you spent together, and move through the grief process with strength and love. If you need additional support, please connect with the resources below or give us a call.

Resources and Links:

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/grief_support_center/grief_support_home.htm

The Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss and Grief Support Facebook Group:
facebook.com/groups/423903057974943

Pet Loss Facebook Group:
facebook.com/groups/200295809993926/

Pet Loss Support Facebook Group:
facebook.com/groups/2348973748/

Additional articles on grief
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-attachment/201702/four-steps-take-after-experiencing-pet-loss   https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/understanding-pet-loss-and-grief 

Ideas to memorialize your pet

https://www.pet-loss.net/memorial.shtml

We Our Clients

Always very helpful and friendly! Thanks everyone! — Sherrie Ellis

Friendly staff, great service and Dr. Thornburg is excellent at what she does. A+ Rating — Maria Franklin

The Bayside staff and vets always take such good care of our dogs. We appreciate how friendly and thorough everyone is in ensuring the best care for our pets. — Scott Warner

Don't change anything. Fender loves you and that is all we need to know. — Donna & Bobby Lippner