For many owners, the experience of losing a pet is heart-breaking and, for some, can be overwhelming. Losing a pet is like losing a friend or family member. Emotions run high and the last thing an owner wants to experience is a hiccup when they have to make the hard decision to bring a much-loved pet’s life to an end.
At this incredibly difficult time, pet owners need to know their veterinary practice will look after their beloved pet and handle the euthanasia (put to sleep) process sensitively and professionally.
387 Veterinary Centre has gone the extra mile when it comes to caring for pets at the end of their life. The practice has put the whole team through specialist training, so clients get the best experience possible. The practice has gained the highest level of accreditation (platinum), and is only the second practice in the country to do so.
The training, run by Compassion Understood (www.compassionunderstood.com), provided an in depth perspective on this highly emotional topic, as well as offering practical advice on protocols and veterinary procedures to make a pet’s end of life as smooth and trouble-free as possible. The course also focused on the different stages of grief, and helped the team understand the different emotional responses that owners can feel.
“The end of a pet’s life is such a difficult time for owners, and we wanted to find ways to improve the experience and be as comforting as we can,” said 387 Vets’ Clinical Director Hamish Duncan.
“The training has made us think about seeing things from an owner’s perspective. Positive changes we’ve already made to our end of life appointments include: changing our euthanasia processes to give a more gentle experience; extending the length of appointments and booking them at quieter times of the day; making staff members available to stay with owners to reassure and comfort them; giving owners more privacy so they don’t have to wait in the waiting room and can leave by a separate door.
“We appreciate that it can be very hard to come to terms with the loss of a beloved pet. With this in mind, we’re also designing special bereavement packs which will include information on who to contact for additional emotional support. And we actively direct owners to Compassion Understood’s own website for further information surrounding pets’ end of life and coping afterwards.”
“The training has also been very helpful for our own emotional wellbeing,” continued Hamish. “We now feel better equipped to offer more meaningful support.”
If you wish to discuss a pet’s end-of-life care, please ring the experienced reception team at 387 Vets in Great Wyrley for support and advice on 01922 411755.