How To Deal With The Guilt Of Euthanizing A Pet

First off, I would like to share my condolences for your loss. I am sorry you have to be reading this article; you are not alone in this; we can all relate; saying goodbye to our Furry friend is really painful.

First off, I would like to share my condolences for your loss. I am sorry you have to be reading this article; you are not alone in this; we can all relate; saying goodbye to our Furry friend is really painful.

The guilt you’re feeling now for having to let go of your pet is normal; I passed through this same grief and despair when the vet doctor finally decided that it’s best; we let go of Hinata and say goodbye.

It was a harrowing experience; Hinata was family to us.

Repeatedly, I do wonder if my family and I made the right decision in letting Hinata go.

I can’t imagine the pain she went through, our once Chubby, intense, happy Dog who suddenly turned flaccid and lean.

The burden and guilt ever since her death, all the memories shared with her. It was a hard time for the whole family.

Well, the Vet Doctor said it’s best for the family and Hinata if we’d let her go; I guess we’ve made the right decision even though it doesn’t seem so inside.

I know you would be passing through this same guilt for having to lose your pet, it wasn’t an easy one for me, but I had to get over it.

I dealt with the guilt of euthanizing my pet by Acknowledging my grief, spending time with my thoughts, and a whole lot of other processes that helped me scale throughout those downtimes.

Note though, It wasn’t your fault; they will always be in our hearts, their memories will always be with us.

I’m sure they would want us to stop feeling this guilt and move on with life; I had to deal with my shame, you too can do it; here are some things that helped me deal with the guilt of putting down my pet.

Dealing with the Guilt of Euthanizing a Pet

A lot of what you would be feeling is part of the Grief-stricken process

The irresistible pains, the rage, and the feeling of blame are all regular but have it in mind that with time they will have to wane down.

Here below are ten practical tips that can help you cope with the Guilt of Euthanizing your pet.

1. Spend time with your thought and Acknowledge Your Grief

Spending time with your thoughts and acknowledging your grief is a vital process that would help you. 

Let yourself cry when you need it; having such feelings shows how you cared for your pet.   

You may feel like you need some time alone to think about everything that you have gone through. To gather your thoughts, to grieve, to reflect.

It’s ordinary and also necessary, don’t bottle up your feelings inside, let it out.

Hiding your feelings might lead you to a path of depression, anxiety, and even drug abuse, leading to health problems.

Do not let the grief drown you. Your pet would not want that!

Balance your life again and learn to live your life daily without your beloved animal companion.

2. You Can’t Change the Past, Accept it.

You might have the thought of doing something differently or trying a different treatment or even meeting another vet doctor.

Probably thinking that one of these may have kept your pet here with you for a more extended period. 

It’s normal to have these thoughts, it’s part of the grieving process, but you have to learn to accept the fact. 

You can’t change the past, but you cannot let the past affect the future.

Don’t let the grief weigh you down. You did it to help your furry friend…

However, remembering why you did, is essential.

It may be that the condition of your pet’s life had worsened so much that you couldn’t bear seeing them in such pain any more.

Whatever your reason was for putting your beloved furry friend down, you did the right thing; you have to accept it and move on.

3. Remember the good times, keep and share those memories

This process has helped my family and me in dealing with the guilt of losing Hinata.

It made us understand that although Hinata may be dead, she will always be alive in our memories.

One of the best memories we shared with Hinata was when we gave her the name “Hinata.”

If you’re familiar with the Popular Anime series Titled “Naruto,” You’d know where we got our pet name from.

It was a wonderful Sunday evening, barely a week after dad brought her home; she was still without a name then.

We watched our favorite anime series, and she came running to the sitting room, so happy, jumping around on everyone’s body.

It was a fun moment; my kid sister, who’s a big fan of Hinata, started calling her Hinata that evening. 

 Hinata is a strong female Konoha Ninja with the byakugan bloodline limit; she also has an undying love for the main character’ Naruto.’

As a member of the Hyuga Clan, Hinata possesses the Byakugan: a dojutsu kekkei Genkai, which grants her near 360-degree vision. 

We all loved the name, and it sure did fit her because she had such big blue eyes, which gave her a broader sense of vision.

What a beauty she was; Hinata became a significant member of the family ever since

Remembering all the great times we had with Hinata helped us to deal with our guilt. 

Try to recollect all the great memories you created with your furry companion; it will help you heal.

4. Forgive Yourself, Your Guilt Shows How Much You Cared

You need to learn to forgive yourself and move on, it won’t be easy, but you have to

You may feel guilty because you could not afford everything possible, or you think you should have been able to do something more.

That is normal; this guilt shows how much you cared.

Forgive yourself, and remember that you did what was needed to ensure your pet stops suffering from pain anymore.

So, realize that you did the best for your pet and excuse yourself from any guilt you may have because the circumstances were not exactly how you wanted it.  

5. Talk with people with similar experiences, share feelings

This helped me personally in dealing with the guilt of losing my pet. 

When I shared my feelings with people who have had similar experiences in euthanizing their pets and have passed through the grieving process

It helped me to feel less isolated and not alone.

You most likely might have a friend or relative who has put a pet down just like you.

Try reaching out to them and sharing your feelings with them; they will help you through such guilt. 

They will listen to you and give you advice on things they did that helped them deal with their guilt and overcome their grieving process. 

6.   Understanding why you had to make the Decision

Understanding that there was nothing you could have done may help you ease such feelings of guilt. 

The Vet. Doctor told us that Hinata had Leptospirosis, an “infectious disease among dogs that affects their liver and kidney,” a disease that develops very fast.

By the time we noticed the ailment, the bacteria had already meal all over her body internally; there was nothing we could do at that stage.

Try talking to your vet and do a little research on the disease that your pet had.

Understanding this may help you come to terms with what has happened. It helped me

The truth is that a vet will only put a pet down if that’s the only option left.

So, if your veterinarian concluded putting your beloved animal friend down.

The likelihood is that it was the right time. Not too early or too late, just the accurate moment. 

7. Realize that you did your best to give your pet the best life

All our beloved Animal friends ever wanted was care, love, friendship, kindness, attention, nourishment, housing, and playtime from their owners.

Realizing that you gave your all for them will help you deal with the Guilt of Euthanizing your pet.

You did your best to do everything possible for them to be happy, healthy, and comfortable.

I know I did. There were times I would cancel family outings because I couldn’t find the right person to look after Hinata.

Whatever silly thing you did to make your beloved furry friend feel loved and happy, take comfort in that. The fact that you did your best to ensure your pet had the best life is more than enough.

Always know that You’re a darling champion for that.  

8. What Matters is “How Well” And Not “How Long.”

Understand that how well you spent with your animal companion surpasses how long you spent.

 Although the genuine love for our pets might make us even wish for both if only wishes were horses…

 Know that a good short quality of life is better than a long life full of misery!

 All the quality times you spent with your pet is what matters; the memories you had with them are what will keep you going.

When you understand this fact, you’ll agree that the “How long” never really mattered, but it’s the “How well” of your pet’s life that matters the most.

Those quality moments and memories you had with your pet would always stay long with you in your heart.

We can lose our pets through accidents or a sudden sickness, but we can never lose or forget those quality moments we had with them.

9. Comprehend that We Do Not Know Why to Accept it. 

The “why” question will eat you up if you let it!

Not all Illnesses are easily detected or identified early, or perhaps there is not enough capital or resources to explore expensive treatments or run an early diagnosis.

Whatever the cause may be, you have to comprehend the fact that you don’t know why it had to end this way and accept it.

If it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be; you did your best, let go of the guilt and move on; your pet would also want that for you.

Your belated pet will surely not want you to concentrate all your energy on something you cannot change.

Forget “the why?” it won’t help; use that time to cherish those quality memories you shared instead; it will help you to heal.

10. Try to Replicate such love and share those memories with a new pet

Okay, so this advice is not for everyone, and please tread cautiously here.

Please give it a thought and consider your options.

When we lost Hinata, we received a lot of advice from friends and relatives about getting a new dog. The bottom line was that we never did

At the time, I wasn’t ready to let another dog replace Hinata’s place at home or in my heart.

Even when friends came visiting with their dogs, I felt guilty; I thought I was cheating on Hinata.

But with time and after much talk with people who had passed through similar experiences.

I discovered that it’s possible to reciprocate such love shown on your precedent pet to a new one.

Having a new pet can help you remember all the good memories you had with your belated pet.

It also allows you to recreate and re-experience such memories once again.

It also helps to overcome the guilt of regret by doing those things you wish you had done for your belated pet to your new pet.

I was told this helps, and I did decide to give it a go, although it wasn’t immediately and not in the family house where Hinata dashes and memory lives.

But it was years after I moved into my own house and started a family of my own.

We saw the need, so I finally took a new dog companion to the home, and we called her “Missandei” Hinata reborn.


I hope this article has helped you in one way or the other to deal with the guilt of having to euthanize your pet. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings as well.

Always remember that you’re not alone in this. Take care

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