Saying goodbye to a pet, best friend, and most loyal supporter can be heart wrenching. As such, you'll always remember your dog's last day. You may want to carefully plan out the final time you spend together so that when you look back on it, you'll remember it fondly as a day filled with love for your beloved companion.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Ideas for Your Dog’s Last Day on Earth at Home
- Ideas for Your Dog’s Last Day on Earth for Outside of the Home
- Other Tips for Giving Your Dog the Best Last Day Ever
There are many ways to spend a memorable day with your dog so that they feel loved and appreciated as their life comes to an end. With a little planning and preparation, you can turn an otherwise solemn day into one that’ll fill your heart with love and joy with unforgettable memories.
The following are some ways for you to make this day the most memorable one possible.
Ideas for Your Dog’s Last Day on Earth at Home
Spending a final day at home makes sense if your dog's health has deteriorated to the point that their movement’s restricted, they are in pain or have low energy. Your dog can pick up on your sadness and grief, so instead of focusing on how you'll feel once your dog is gone, try spending the best possible last day together.
Here are some tips on how you can make your dog's last day at home as comfortable and memorable as can be.
1. Have a going-away party
Host a going away party with your dog as the guest of honor. Invite friends and family to come over or have them participate through an online meeting. Everyone can join in on the celebration by sharing their favorite stories of your dog.
Ask a few to bring special treats for your pet to eat and some toys to play with. You can limit the number of guests and the time you spend celebrating depending on how your dog feels that day.
2. Make your dog comfortable
For a dog that's suffering and is in pain, one of the best things you can do for them is to leave them be in the comfort of their bed or yours. Consider adding extra layers of padding to make their space even more cozy and comfortable.
You may want to designate a special blanket just for them to use on their final days. Save it so you can have it later to wrap yourself in it whenever you need to feel them close after they're gone.
Consider keeping all of your dog's toys, bedding, leashes, and food bowls carefully stored away for a few months until you start coming out of your grief. Avoid the impulse to get rid of everything soon after they're gone.
3. Prepare a favorite meal
Your dog's last day should be one where all rules go out the window. Let them indulge in every favorite greasy food without worrying about wrecking their diet.
Be careful not to let them overindulge as it may make them sick to their stomach. You'll want to avoid having your dog throw up with any medication the vet plans on administering. Take care to ask ahead about any special dietary restrictions you should know about and follow.
4. Spend time cuddling
What better way to spend your dog's last day than having an hour's long cuddle party? As long as your pet feels up to it, spend the day cuddling and sharing in their warmth and scent.
Take it all in so that you'll have a memory of that particular time you spent together. You may want to add in some belly rubs, and toe tickles just for the fun of it if your dog enjoys being petted and rubbed.
Ideas for Your Dog’s Last Day on Earth for Outside of the Home
Planning for a fun-filled last outing with your dog is a way to help you cope with the pain and guilt of deciding to euthanize your dog. Try to push aside your sadness and anguish on this special day so that the two of you can enjoy it without having a grief cloud hanging over you.
Here are some fun ways to spend your dog's last day together.
5. Visit favorite places
Most dogs recognize the sounds, smells, and routes of their favorite places. Plan for a day of fun by going to all of your dog's unique hangouts for one last visit.
If your dog cannot walk on their own anymore, borrow a pull wagon to bring them from one fun spot to the next. Spend quality time with them at all of their special places around town with plenty of treats in between.
6. Have a photoshoot
Creating a photo tribute of all the fun and exciting things you and your dog did on their last day will help comfort you in your time of grief. Take plenty of heartwarming photos of their final adventures and consider putting an album together with captions from your dog's point of view.
You can even convert your photos into a video that's set to music commemorating their last day of life.
7. Pamper your pet
If your dog can move around relatively pain-free, plan for a day of pampering at a local doggy spa where they can get groomed, their nails trimmed, and maybe even get a therapeutic massage.
Most doggy day spas have piped-in music to calm and soothe your dog's senses and relieve them of any stress or anxiety they may be experiencing. Getting pampered is a very special way for them to make their exit from this Earth, looking and feeling their best.
8. Have pawprints made
One particular way for you and your pet to spend your last day together is getting paw or nose prints made. You can later turn these imprints into a unique piece of jewelry or artwork to cherish for a lifetime.
You can visit a craft store together to gather the supplies and spend the day at the park doing arts and crafts with your canine friend. You'll not only be creating a lasting memory of your last outing together, but you'll also have a memento of the details of a part of their DNA.
Other Tips for Giving Your Dog the Best Last Day Ever
You can celebrate your dog's last day in many ways that'll help ease the anxiety of what's to come. Dogs are sensitive and intuitive creatures. They likely sense that there's something different about the shift in your mood and in the way you're letting them get away with way too much fun.
Take this opportunity to explain to your dog what's going on and why things have to be the way they are. It'll help alleviate some of your pain and guilt.
9. Have a long talk
Grieving a pet after you put them down is a natural and normal reaction to pet loss. Your dog trusts you with every decision you have to make, regardless of how painful it might be.
Use their last day to talk to them about why you had to decide to put them down. Let them know how guilty it makes you feel and how much it hurts. Having this open and honest dialogue with your dog will help you release some of the stress you feel over having to euthanize.
10. Have a memorial service
Planning a funeral for your dog or having a memorial service for them even before they die are ways of creating lasting memories with your pet on their last day. Consider taking your dog outside to show them where you'll lay them to rest or where you'll scatter their ashes.
During their memorial service, have a few written words prepared to read aloud for your dog to hear what they meant to you in your life. Take plenty of pictures or a video of their memorial service to help commemorate the occasion.
11. Learn to grieve
Coming to terms with the loss of a pet can be challenging to cope with. Reading books about pet loss and grief can help you deal with all stages of grief related to your dog's death. Many of these types of books are written by those who've experienced the pain and suffering associated with losing a cherished pet.
Learning about their experiences and how others have suffered through loss can help you understand your sorrow. Shared experiences are useful in finding your way through grief and in helping you make important decisions you may not have previously considered.
12. Consider a home euthanasia
Preparing for your dog's last day isn't easy. The difficult experience of having to drive your dog to the vet to get euthanized is a very emotional one. The last thing you'd ever want for your beloved pet is for them to spend their final moments on a sterile metal table in a room filled with strangers.
Consider asking your vet to do a home visit so that your pet's last day is spent in the comfort of home surrounded by love and the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of home. Lastly, stay in the room with them until the end as they would do for you.
Celebrating Your Dog’s Last Day
Most pet owners will profoundly feel their dog's loss. Surround yourself with the loving support of those who'll understand your grief as you celebrate your dog's final day.
Being there and comforting them until the end is one of the last significant acts of kindness you can do for them. Your dog was a loving and loyal companion worthy of the best celebration of life you can give them.