Losing a pet during COVID-19

It is important to consider the impact losing a pet can have on our state of wellbeing. Saying goodbye to a loved family pet can be devastating at any time. However, in the current climate of social isolation, concerns for our loved ones and worries about our futures can intensify the feelings of sadness, guilt and grief.

As a veterinary practice, one of the most difficult adaptations during this pandemic has been the necessity that owners can’t be present during euthanasia. It is necessary to protect all of our clients and our staff, but never the less, we are aware of the distress this can cause during an already difficult time.  In these situations, our vets and vet nurses have ensured that your pets have had the dignified and peaceful passing that they deserve, but we fully appreciate the challenge and heartbreak of saying your last goodbyes in the carpark. We would love to be able to give you a hug, or even shake your hand, but in these times compassion has to be shared from a distance. We have been blown away by your understanding at this most stressful of times and we have worked hard to deserve the trust that you place in us during your pets last moments. 

Studies have demonstrated that pets are an incredibly positive influence on our mental health; providing companionship and stress relief, with us often shaping our daytime routine around their needs. Consequently, their loss can suddenly leave an empty hole in our lives. It is okay to feel sad, guilty or even angry. It is normal to feel grief when a pet dies. At Hawick vets we are always happy and available to talk, however if it is easier to talk to a stranger, then there are several free services available that can offer a listening ear.

The Blue Cross Pet Bereavement line is open everyday from 8.30am to 8.30pm. Call 0800 096 6606 or you can email pbssmail@bluecross.org.uk

Paws to Listen is a support line run by Cats Protection and is open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. You can contact them on 0800 024 94 94.

The Ralph Site www.theralphsite.com offers support and resources to help you or someone you know deal with the loss of a pet.

The Samaritans. You can call them on 116123.