Did you stay with your dog when they were put to sleep?

(87 Posts)
Daytimetellysucks Tue 15-Jan-19 11:29:13

Did you regret it?

I really hope I don’t upset anyone, but I’m having a bit of a hard time with this and just really wondered if anyone else felt the same

We very sadly had to have our dog put to sleep last week.

He had been unwell and we knew we were coming to the end of the road, but he deteriorated very quickly in the end and none of us were ready for him to go.

I stayed with him the whole time, there was never any question of me leaving him, and of course I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but I do regret it.

It was very calm and gentle and the vet was brilliant but I just can’t forget that last moment and I wish I hadn’t been there.

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Skihound Tue 15-Jan-19 11:31:43

I stayed with my previous dog - she had been by my side for 16 years and I felt it was the last thing I could do for her was to comfort her in her last minutes (even now welling up thinking about it), it was sad but it was the right thing and I am glad I did - I actually read an article a few weeks back that said owners who leave their pets the pets look for them in the last seconds and it broke my heart so was so glad I stayed

ZogTheOrangeDragon Tue 15-Jan-19 11:31:52

I’ve stayed with all of my pets. I figure it is the least I owe them to have the reassurance, cuddles, voice and smell of familiarity around them in their final moments.

KittiesInsane Tue 15-Jan-19 11:31:57

I've stayed with my very elderly cat, but I sent (adult) DS out of the room as I didn't know quite what we'd see. Is it that 'there, looking at you, then gone' moment that is haunting you, or more than that?

evilharpy Tue 15-Jan-19 11:36:38

Our lovely cat has cancer and we expect to have to make the decision in the next few weeks. My daughter is 4, loves the cat to bits and understands the situation (having been through it all already when my dad died last year) and is adamant that she wants to be there to say goodbye. My husband and I will both be there with or without my daughter. The cat is a darling little thing and has given us many years of love and cuddles, I couldn't imagine leaving her in her last moments.

Sorry for your loss, it must be very hard flowers

hendricksy Tue 15-Jan-19 11:40:40

Yes I've stayed with all my animals , in my opinion you absolutely should . I would always want to comfort them when they go . It isn't scary or brutal , it's quiet and peaceful .

tabulahrasa Tue 15-Jan-19 11:41:42

I’ve stayed with them all, there’s no way I’d leave them with just the vet’s staff... tbh I’d feel like I’d abandoned them if I did.


Daytimetellysucks Tue 15-Jan-19 11:45:23

Is it that 'there, looking at you, then gone' moment that is haunting you

Yes, I think so. That moment when all the life goes out of them and they’re gone.

He was resting his head on my lap, looked up at me and then he was gone

It also wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for him - we had spoken about the vet coming to our home when the time was right, but as it was he deteriorated very quickly, was in pain and the vet couldn’t get out to us so we had to rush him in.

DH and the kids said their goodbyes, then DH took the kids away while I stayed with him.

It was never in question whether I stayed with him, I would have never left him for a second but part of me wishes I could remember him as the dog he was, when right now all I can remember are those final moments if that makes sense

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Sooverthemill Tue 15-Jan-19 11:46:18

Yes. And although desperately sad I know it helped him to be held by us both while our dog died ( he had terminal cancer). My biggest regret of my entire life is not allowing my 9 year old to be there. Appenrentky vets day it definitely helps calm the animal to have family present.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Recently we had to have a beloved old cat pts and I think it helped him. He fell asleep really with his head in my hand just like he did on many occasions before.

Sooverthemill Tue 15-Jan-19 11:47:32

daytimetellysucks that feeling passes. Honestly. I held my mum's hand while she died too and that's no longer my overriding memory. I promise the good times come back

missbattenburg Tue 15-Jan-19 11:53:05

I've been there for two. The memory of their last moments fades a bit - it kind of loses its power after a while and you have much stronger memories of all the good times again.

I can now recall all the funny things they did while alive much more easily and evocatively than I can recall their final moments. Not least because all the good times are the stories you tell over and over again.

tabulahrasa Tue 15-Jan-19 11:53:21

“right now all I can remember are those final moments if that makes sense”

That’s only because it was last week... that goes.

I had mine PTS 2 weeks before Christmas, it, well, I’m not going to go into detail, but it didn’t go quite as well as it usually does. It was a bit traumatic tbh.

It took a good couple of weeks before I could talk or think about him at all without also thinking about those last few minutes in the vets.

But it does go - it’s only a tiny bit of time compared to all the other stuff through their life that you remember.

Girlintheframe Tue 15-Jan-19 11:54:50

I’m sorry for your loss flowers
I’ve stayed with all my animals.
Has to have our beautiful lab Pts this time last year.
We were lucky and the vet came to the house. We were all round him stroking and talking to him. I have no regrets. I felt like it was the least I could do after all the love and joy he had given us

PinkGin24 Tue 15-Jan-19 11:57:15

Would always stay with them. And would also always have the PTS at home not at the vets.

KittiesInsane Tue 15-Jan-19 12:00:42

It might have been easier for you, but it would have been worse for him, Daytime. That's your love for him, right there.

WH1SPERS Tue 15-Jan-19 12:05:27

You WILL remember him as the dog he was, it just takes some time. Your recent memories are so raw and painful. In time these will fade a bit and you will remember the happy times.

That’s what grieving is - for anyone we loved, animal or human.

As Kitties said, you did the right thing for him but harder for you. So hold onto the fact that you didn’t leave him at the end, you repaid the love and loyalty he showed you.

SylvanianFamiliesNurserySet Tue 15-Jan-19 12:09:53

As PPs have said, please give it time. I’ve been with several beloved pets as they were PTS over the years and honestly, it’s not what I think about when I think of them, and if it comes up (like in this thread) it doesn’t cause any emotional pain IYSWIM.

I could tell you 1001 (probably boring!) stories about my cats and dogs and it would only occur to me to think of those last moments if you specifically asked. Yet obviously when it had just happened I felt very differently.

I can assure you that you have absolutely done the best and most loving thing for him, and it’s ok to wish that you hadn’t been there. That feeling will fade in time and all the happy memories will be much stronger in your mind, I promise you. I’m so sorry for your loss flowers

Toddlerteaplease Tue 15-Jan-19 12:15:31

I wrapped my cat in her blanket and cuddled her. I'm so glad I did. It was a beautiful, peaceful and dignified death for her. I took her sister with her for comfort and my final memories of her are her climbing into her sister basket and sitting on top of her. It was just perfect for her and I take great comfort from that.

Toddlerteaplease Tue 15-Jan-19 12:18:56

In time the last moments will fade and you will remember your pet as they were.

thereallifesaffy Tue 15-Jan-19 12:34:26

No question, no debate, we were with our dear Dog til the end. I can't imagine not being there for him. Yes, 6 months on I still tear up at the memory. But I know it was the right thing for him.
Had I not been with him I think I'd be suffering more now.

Izzadoraduncancan Tue 15-Jan-19 12:37:58

Our vet came out to the house to put our darling girl to sleep. The vet and I sat, drank tea and hugged her. She was so very special and my best friend. Eventually the time came and she passed, head on my lap with a mouth full of marzipan - her most loved treat.

I was emotionally drained afterwards, still miss my girls but, what a beautiful death. I only hope my passing is as peaceful and surrounded by love.

Time does heal. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your family member. I

ginauk84 Tue 15-Jan-19 12:42:50

You just have to think your dog's final memories were of being with you and not being left alone with a stranger. I have been there for every one of mine, 5 years ago I lost two of my dogs and hubby lost his within weeks of each other. One of mine went peacefully, the other I have to admit was a bit traumatic for me as they struggled to get into a vein, that still haunts me a bit now. However I know that she slipped away looking at me and she didn't go through it alone.

Confusedbeetle Tue 15-Jan-19 12:43:10

You did the right thing, I saw a vet interviewed who said the saddest thing of all was putting down a dog who spent the whole time looking for the owner. You owe it to the dog to comfort them at the end, even if it hurts

Ihaventgottimeforthis Tue 15-Jan-19 12:45:28

Yes, each time.
I think I would find the uncertainty of missing their last few minutes harder to deal with, actually - wondering what it was like and if they were looking for me and only seeing strangers. Tearing up a bit thinking of it!

The good memories are always stronger. And it is strange to see how different they are, once the life essence has gone.

Daytimetellysucks Tue 15-Jan-19 13:27:40


I definitely would have felt worse if I hadn’t stayed.

I stayed with our cat a couple of years ago and I don’t remember it hitting me this hard.

It’s keeping me up a bit at night

He was such a lively dog, with a huge heart, always getting up to some sort of mischief, a complete Mummy’s boy and I really, really miss him

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