Saying Goodbye… is Never Easy

Written by Angie Waters RVT (with help from Nicole & Robyn)

It is never easy saying goodbye to our faithful friends. Some may have been with you for many years, or are taken from us far too soon. They are the first eyes or nose you may feel waking you up for breakfast, or for the treat they get every morning. They then wait for you to come home, with nothing but excitement in their eyes. It is hard to say goodbye – we have all been through it with our own pets.  We understand the hole in your heart after you say your last goodbye.

But what if this is your first time losing a loved one? What do you do? What happens to our beloved pets? Here at North Town, our team are with you every step of the way. We try to make this very stressful situation less stressful, as much as we can. When you think it is time you can come on in. You can book by appointment or come as a walk-in. Some clients say the hardest decision they have to make is when it is time, and we certainly understand. We are open 24 hours and so our Brampton community members can come whenever you need us.

Some considerations you may want to think about before you come to the clinic are whether you would like to be with your pet when they pass. Some pet owners want to be there to say their last goodbyes, and many want to stay for a while afterwards. Others have said their goodbyes before hand and prefer not to be present though are comfortable knowing one of the North Town team members stays in the room. Some people want to be left alone with their pets, while others may need a hand to hold or someone to comfort them. We can find that balance for you.

Many people do not know what happens once their pet is gone. Some questions that we can answer are: what will the procedure entail, will they feel it, how long does it take, and how many people can come?

Euthanasia is an overdose by injection. The pet may or may not feel the fluid from the injection, though this does not mean they are in any pain. It takes anywhere from seconds to minutes for the pet to slowly go to sleep and for their heart to stop.  If family would like to stay by their side, you are welcome to have as many people with you as you’d like. It is the family’s decision.

The after care is something else we all need to consider. In Brampton, it is illegal to bury your pet on your property. We use a crematorium located in Guelph which we have used for years and they have always respected the wishes of the pet’s guardians. There are two different options that pet owners can choose from: communal or private cremation. A communal cremation means you do not get your pet’s ashes returned to you. With a private cremation, they are cremated on their own and you will receive the ashes back in an urn of your choice. The crematorium can also set up a visitation before your pet is cremated.  If you do not want the ashes returned to you, but would like a keepsake, Gateway offers paw prints. These are impressions of your beloved pet’s paw print, on a clay pendant. There is an option for either a plain clay paw print, or a coloured one with illuminated etching. Ashes and paw prints are usually returned to us within the week.

We know that saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do, but sometimes it is the kindest. Here at North Town Veterinary Hospital, we understand how hard it is and are dedicated to be there for you each step of the way. We understand that asking questions around when it is time or around the euthanasia process can be a delicate subject for you to bring up with your veterinary professional, but please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an e-mail for any further information on this topic. We are pet parents too and we are here for you.




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North Town Veterinary Hospital is committed to doing everything possible to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

As part of this commitment, effective immediately, North Town Veterinary Hospital will be instituting the following precautionary protocol to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

For the safety of yourself, our staff, and the community we are limiting the amount of clients permitted inside of our building. We have initiated a semi- open door policy to allow one person inside the hospital while your pet is here for a scheduled exam. One person is also permitted inside the hospital for surgical drop offs. Our emergency services remain closed door to clients as our building does not allow for proper social distancing while waiting for the veterinarian. Please call 905-451-2000 when you arrive for your appointment, surgical drop off or emergency service to gain further direction from one of our team members. You can also place an order for pet food through our Online Store by visiting our website.


- If possible, please call us at 905-451-2000 to let us know you are on the way so that we can be prepared to meet you upon your arrival at the hospital.

- When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle in our parking lot and call 905-451-2000, and we'll come to you.

- If you do not have a phone or your pet's emergency is immediately life-threatening, please come to the front door and ring the bell.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.