At Home Pet Euthanasia


Information About At Home Pet Euthanasia

The following is a brief discussion about questions I am often asked:

What to expect from my visit

I may give your pet an examination and discuss the reasons that have brought all of us together for this procedure. I will never attempt to push you in a different direction unless you aren’t comfortable with your decision or don’t feel the timing is right. I want to make sure that everyone involved wants to move forward and, if so, I will proceed with a sedative to put your pet into a relaxed twilight state.

The “right” time

Many pet owners ask me if I can give them a formula for determining when it’s “time.” Having been put in this position with my wonderful cat, Smudge, I can honestly say, that you will know when the final time has arrived. There will be an intuition and knowledge in regard to your pet’s feelings that will let you feel when it’s the proper timing. I do not recommend the online check off lists in regard to quality of life (QOL) to determine the time for the procedure. Our pets are “in the moment” and do not consider their QOL. They are adapting to their physical changes (disease) moment by moment. Dogs are happy being with their guardians and cats are happy being in their environment. Try not to project your feelings on to your pets.

What does pet euthanasia involve?

The actual process involves an intravenous injection of a medication similar to an anesthetic agent that stops brain, heart and respiratory function. Often, this medication is given in one of the veins of either a front or hind leg.

As mentioned on the home page, I administer a sedative prior to the final injection. This quiets the animal and makes them comfortable in a twilight state. There may be a very small amount of discomfort associated with the sedative injection.

Does it matter who is there?

It does not matter if there are other people present. However, I would suggest not having young children present, but you will need to determine if that is appropriate. Other pets can be involved as long as they won’t get in the way or upset the pet prior to the injections. After the sedative takes effect, however, this won’t be a problem. I feel it is a good idea to have some support as there is often much emotion involved.

How long does the procedure take?

It can take as long as you like. The sedative takes approximately 15 minutes to take full effect and the final injection only takes a few moments. The entire time can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as you need it to be for your comfort level.

Does it matter if my pet wants to eat?

The important consideration, from my standpoint, is that I want you and your pet to be as normal as possible before and during the initial part of my visit. Food is a wonderful comfort inducer and can be a distraction when I give the sedative injection. So, by all means, feed your pet whatever he/she would like to nibble on.

Is it painful for my pet?

As mentioned previously, I will make every effort to keep pain out of this equation. However, the sedative injection can sting a little, but this lasts a very short time. Once the sedation takes effect (about 15 minutes) the second intravenous injection, which is, essentially, an overdose of an anesthetic agent, can be given with your pet being oblivious to its administration. This is a rapid, peaceful, painless process, and the passing often occurs before this injection is even finished.

Is there any physical preparation needed?

Try to make the time prior to my arrival as normal as possible for all involved. The anxiety of waiting can sometimes be worse than the reality of my visit, so spend as much time as you can with your pet. I would suggest having some old towels available just in case there is an accident before or after I give the sedative or final injection.

How can I memorialize my pet?

We have provided a page specifically for this purpose. You are welcome to send a photo and a poem, short story or a few words that we will post on our Pet Memorial Page for you. The photo and accompanying missive should be appropriate for all viewers, even young children. We reserve the right to edit the content with your permission.

Leave Only Paw Prints