There is hardly a pet owner who can easily move on after the passing of their beloved friend and companion. Whether it happened by euthanasia, due to sickness or a complicated operation, all are painful experiences. If the pet died in your clinic unexpectedly, vets are one of the best people to provide the right kind of aftercare.
Empathize and Sympathize
Even for vets who have never owned a pet or suffered from loss, their connection with animals throughout their career is enough for them to how painful the experience is. The pet owner should be given time to process the situation, and shouldn’t be pushed aside for the next patient. Avoid mentioning getting another animal as a solution, and instead, remind them of the happier times you all shared throughout their experience with your practice.
Share Compassion on Occasion
Your tight schedule may have little room for lengthy and emotional conversations, but condolences shouldn’t have to end there. Send them veterinarian postcards on occasion, possibly with pictures of their pet. Keep your message personalized and avoid template greetings because your clients will know the difference.
Just because they already lost their pet doesn’t mean you also say goodbye to them. Keep in touch, unless they’ve cut connection themselves. Say hello every now and then through chat or text messages. Be sensitive, however, to what kind of things you share as certain information may trigger an onslaught of unwanted emotions.
Vets play a great part in helping pet owners cope with loss. With the right relationship and reinforcement of positive emotions, you can be instrumental in the journey of your client to healing and acceptance.