Person holding their dog's paw

Viewing Your Pet Before Cremation Can Help You Heal

Saying goodbye in person brings closure.

One of the first steps in healing from grief is acknowledging that the loss is real. When a furry family member dies, we may understand on a conscious, rational level that they have passed on. But it can take a while for the rest of our brain to accept that truth.

Part of you might continue looking for your pet. You may imagine the jingle of their collar or sound of their footsteps, or think you see them in the corner of your eye. You might wake up in the morning and reach a hand down to their sleeping spot, only to remember they’re gone.

This experience is a normal and very common part of the grieving process for pet owners. But it can last longer when the death is sudden, traumatic, unexpected, or when you cannot properly say goodbye. Having an opportunity to see and touch their body, to experience the physical reality of the loss, can provide closure and ultimately guide you toward healing.

Saying Goodbye at the Vet’s Office

When a pet passes away at home, you have an opportunity to tend to their body and prepare them for burial or contact the pet crematorium. You can spend a little time saying goodbye in private before taking the next step. When you bring your companion to the vet’s office for euthanasia, the experience might be a bit different.

Each vet’s office will have its own rules and policies regarding euthanasia. Some veterinarians designate a private space for a family to spend time with their pet before and after the procedure, separate from exam rooms. The vet techs may prepare your companion’s body afterward by wrapping them or placing them in a body bag. There may be a separate door to exit the clinic, so you don’t have to carry your pet’s body through the lobby.

If you have never had a euthanasia appointment with a particular vet’s office in the past, the veterinarian will likely schedule a consultation with you prior to performing euthanasia. In addition to discussing your pet’s health, this visit gives you an opportunity to ask questions and prepare for the procedure as well. Will you be allowed to hold your pet while the injection is administered? Can you arrange payment in advance? How much time will be scheduled for the appointment? How will the body be prepared for transport home or to the crematorium?

Asking these types of questions can mentally prepare you and also help you decide whether a particular vet’s office is a good fit for what you need. If the vet does not require a consultation, you can ask these questions of the receptionist who schedules your appointment over the phone.

A Private Farewell Before Cremation

At Best Friends Pet Passings and Cremations, we understand the value of a proper goodbye. That’s why we offer a private viewing period as part of our Tribute Cremation package.

Before your companion is cremated, you will have an opportunity to spend some time with their body in a quiet, private room at our crematorium. Your family can accompany you if you wish to say goodbye together. During this time, you can see and touch your companion’s body, stroke their fur, thank them for being such a good friend, and allow your brain to come to terms with the reality and finality of the loss.

Although this viewing is optional, we’ve found that it can be beneficial for some pet parents, especially those who did not have an opportunity to say a proper goodbye before due to the circumstances of the death. We believe it’s important to create space for these moments and let pet parents decide whether they need that time to help with the process of healing from grief.

If you need Albuquerque pet cremation services or are just curious about what we offer and how we can help you peacefully part with your pet, call 505.345.5615 to speak with a member of our caring staff.

Person holding their dog's paw