What to do if your dog dies in Qatar

Al Safliya island

I’m going to share something with you that I really don’t want to. Nope, don’t want to talk about it at all. But I’m going to, because it’s important to me and might be important to you.

My dog, Bliss, passed away last week. We knew it was coming for about 6 months. She was at home. She was with us. It was peaceful. But devastating. She was the sunshine.

But as with many emotional events, there is an element of practicality involved. What do we do now?

We were very lucky. When Bliss first got sick in December 2012 we took her to Qatar Veterinary Centre in Al Waab. It was a Friday, so we had to call the emergency number (+974 6667 5235). We were met at the surgery by the wonderful, kind, sensitive Dr Marek who not only spent half the day testing and treating our dog but also prepared us for what was coming. He told us in plain language that soon she would die, what it would be like and the decisions we would have to make afterwards. While it was hard to hear this at the time, I will always be grateful that he did that.

 

What to do if your dog dies at home

Our dog died at home, on her bed, at about 11.45 pm. Obviously, at that time of night Qatar Veterinary Center was closed. The vet on call that night was Dr Vito, who didn’t know our history but he was very helpful. When I phoned to let him know she had died, he told us that they do not do house visits, so if we wanted to take her to the surgery, we would have to drive her there ourselves. He then gave us 2 options for what to do next:

  1. Keep her at home until the morning and drive her to the clinic when it’s open for business.
  2. Drive her to the clinic straightaway and leave her with the onsite staff (basically guys who live and work at the clinic and look after the kennels) to take care of the rest.

Option 2 was our choice, except there was a snag: the onsite staff didn’t pick up the phone when the vet called them to let them know we were coming. New plan:

  1. Dr Vito would meet us at the clinic in about 30 minutes and take care of things from there for a call-out fee of QR850.

So, we carried her with her bed, placed her in the back of the car and drove to the Al Waab clinic (can I make a bit of an unpleasant suggestions here? If you think your dog is about to pass away and they are too heavy for 1 person to carry, try to get them onto a blanket or towel or something that makes transporting them to your car easier.).

Dr Vito obviously felt horrendously guilty that we had to pay QR850 just to drop her off but hey, what can you do. Plus he was really lovely to deal with which made the whole experience easier. And since he felt so guilty, and possibly also because it was nearly 1 am, he didn’t really prompt us with what to do next. Thankfully we already knew our options, thanks to Dr Marek:

 

What to do with your pet after they have passed

  1. Some people bury their pets at home. This is in no way legal or condoned by the clinic but Dr Marek did acknowledge that it happens.
  2. Have the clinic discard them. Basically, a company comes and takes the animal away and they are effectively treated as rubbish. I won’t go into detail but I’m sure you get the idea. As far as I know there is no cost for this.
  3. Cremate them, with the option of collecting their ashes. This is the option that we chose but you should know, it is by no means a perfect solution. Firstly, several animals are cremated at once, so there is no guarantee that you get your pet’s pure ashes. They do their best to place them in a corner and carefully collect them, but there is some mixing.Secondly, it’s hugely expensive. It’s QR1,500 for the first 10 kg and then QR250 for each kilo after that. Feel free to do the maths on a 25 kg dog! It’s QR50 to have the ashes returned and takes just over a week.

What do you do with all their stuff?

Pets accumulate a lot of stuff – bowls, beds, toys, food, supplements, grooming tools, travel accessories – the list goes on. It can be hard to give up but it can’t stay in situ forever and eventually you’re going to have to think about getting rid of it.

Return it

Bliss was taking VERY expensive heart medication. At the time she died, we had about 10 tablets left which Qatar Veterinary Center generously bought back off us.

Sell it

As stated above, vet bills really add up so if you need to make a bit of money back, you can sell your dog’s stuff. If you don’t know any other dog owners to take it off your hands, try Buy It Sell It Swap It Qatar on Facebook

Donate it

Groups like QAWS, Second Chance Rescue and Dogs in Doha would be grateful for a donation of any beds, food and travel crates. Similarly, if you don’t want to drop it off to any particular group, you could advertise it on any of their Facebook pages and I’m sure some interested takers would happily come to your home to collect.

 

After that’s all taken care of, you go back to your painfully empty house and endure the silence of a pet-less life for a few hours before deciding you need to end your lease and move to an entirely new suburb ASAP in the hope of a fresh start and reduction in painful memories! Haha no, seriously.

 

You can contact Qatar Veterinary Center at +974 4016 1366, info@qatarvet.com or http://www.qatarvet.com . The after hours emergency number is +974 6667 5235.

 

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