Every pet owner faces that final day with a beloved pet slightly differently. How you will act at your pet's final moments is a completely personal experience. You must decide what is best for you and your pet. Your pet has been a huge part of your life and we understand euthanasia is not easy for anyone.
Making the Appointment
There are many options when dealing with your deceased pet. You may wish to take them home for a personal burial. You may also wish to leave your pet for disposal with the veterinarian or choose many options of cremation. Ashes can be given back to you, put in a keepsake or spread for you at another location. The veterinarian may ask if you would like a necropsy (commonly called an autopsy) performed to determine the cause of death. It is best to have these decisions made ahead of time. When you reach the clinic with your pet, your stress level will be very high. You do not want to make a decision that you will later question or wish you had done differently. Take your time making these decisions and make sure everyone involved is comfortable with the choices made.
To Be There or Not To Be There
It is your personal choice whether or not to be present when the veterinarian euthanizes your pet. Many people simply cannot bear to see the moment of their special friend's passing. Others feel they must be present to spend the last moments together. This is your personal preference. Some people choose to stay in the waiting room during the procedure and then briefly view their pet after he or she has passed away, spending a few private moments.
No one is comfortable with death, including your veterinarian and staff who face death every day. Your discomfort with the event should not govern your decision whether or not to be present with your pet at the time of its passing. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to cry. The animal hospital staff has most likely formed a strong connection with you and your pets and joins you in your pain.
In order to administer the euthanasia solution, your veterinarian must gain entry into a vein. The solution is specially made to act quickly and painlessly. This requires that your pet be calm and confident. If the veterinarian requests your permission to sedate your pet, please understand that the request is made in order to humanely and peacefully accomplish the task.
If you have an especially anxious or nervous pet, the veterinarian may be able to perform the euthanasia outside the clinic, even in your home. Please ask about these options if you feel more comfortable with this method.
The Last Moments
When the veterinarian is ready to administer the euthanasia solution an assistant will most likely help hold your pet and put a slight amount of pressure on a vein. This will be done in the most minimally invasive way and allow you as much access to your pet as possible. We will try to accommodate your wishes so that you can be near your pet.
After the solution is injected the pet will take a deep breath, and then quickly lapse into a deep sleep. The pet may continue to take a few more breaths before all movement ceases.
Many pet owners experience a very strong and lasting sense of pain and grief after the passing of a special pet. There are a number of grief support groups and counselors who specialize in pet loss counseling. Never feel ashamed or belittle yourself for having strong feelings of loss and sadness over a deceased pet. You are NOT alone in your sadness. There are numerous websites that may prove helpful and informative while you progress along the road to accepting the loss of your pet.
We understand that saying good-bye to your pet is a difficult time and we are committed to helping you take this step with privacy and an understanding of the emotion that goes with it.
We offer a number of options to suit the situation. When that time comes, know that you and your pet will be treated with utmost care and respect.
Click here to view Euthanasia and Disposal Options.