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Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic 02890 798457
Ormeau Veterinary Clinic 028 9032 6406

Pet Bereavement

When it's time to say goodbye

When a dear companion animal dies, it can leave you feeling sad and alone, please feel free to contact us for advice and support.

All of our clinic team are qualified pet health councillors, and you can rely on them for support and advice in caring for your pet… whatever the problem.

The pets we keep are very special to us. They contribute to our lives in many different ways in the form of companionship, relaxation, protection and exercise and they may even be a link with important events in our lives.

It is a sad fact that some day we will have to say goodbye to our pets. We, at Cedar Grove, understand how difficult this can be. Whether your pet dies of natural causes or you have to make the difficult decision to have them put to sleep. We strive to make this as compassionate and as painless as possible for both you and your pet.

We know it can be difficult to decide when the time is right to have your pet put to sleep. We aim to give you the facts about your pet’s illness and the possible long-term outcomes, along with advice on the best care for your pet, but ultimately you are responsible for deciding on the right time.

You live with your pet day in, day out and because of your close bond you know all their little habits and quirks – for this reason, you are often the best judge of when your pets quality of life has deteriorated and hence when it is time to let go. If you are concerned about making this decision, please phone us or make an appointment so we can help guide and support you through this difficult time.

When the time comes for your pet to be put to sleep we will try to make an appointment at a quiet time of day or we may be able to arrange a home visit.

The vet will talk to you about the procedure, will help answer any last minute questions you have thought of and will ask you to sign a consent form. Some owners prefer to leave at this point as they may wish to remember their pet how they used to be whereas others prefer to stay with their pet. We will accommodate whatever you decide.

Euthanasia works by giving your pet an overdose of anaesthetic and they go to sleep quickly and painlessly. If you have decided to stay with your pet, please feel free to talk to, hug and stroke your pet while this is happening. Please do not feel embarrassed if you are upset or crying, we all know what it is like to lose a much loved pet and we understand what you are going through.

What happens next?

You may wish to take your pet’s body home for burial but this may not be practical in some cases. Alternatively, we can arrange either private cremation or group cremation. In both cases, your pet is handled with dignity and respect. If you choose individual cremation, your pet will be cremated on its own and its ashes will be returned to you in a casket of your choice.

For further details of this please connect to our link on Pet Cremation.


We may mourn the loss of a pet as if we have lost a human family member.

Initial feelings of shock and disbelief fade into anger and then grief. You may feel very sad and low for a while. It is reassuring to know that grieving over a pet’s death is normal, healthy and helpful and the emotions you feel can be considered a tribute to what your pet has meant to you.

It helps to share your feelings with a friend, member of the veterinary team or someone else who has had a similar experience. If you feel talking to a member of our team would help, please telephone us.

Helping children cope

Children should be told the truth about their pet and from someone they know. If possible, they should be told if their pet is terminally ill so they can ask questions and say their farewells. Be prepared to show your feelings and talk about the pet’s death. It may help to make some mark of remembrance for their pet.

When or whether to get another pet is a decision that should be made by the people directly involved, not outsiders. A new pet never replaces an old one. It is a new personality and will create its own place, never the same as a previous pet, but always giving pleasure and companionship.