Safe. Comfortable. Loved.
Preparing to say farewell to a loved pet is a difficult experience. In-home pet euthanasia allows an opportunity surround your pet with love.
Learn what you can expect by choosing in-home pet euthanasia.
Before My Arrival
Think about any arrangements you would like to make before-hand, such as family or friends that would like to be present, any special family or religious tributes/ceremonies you would like to have arranged. Gather photos, poems or other mementos that will be part of the tribute. Plan to have other family members and pets in the house say goodbye if they will not be present.
Many people ask whether other pets and/or children should be present.
Even the youngest child can view a pet’s body or be present during a euthanasia, as long as they are well prepared and supported by the adults in their life. It is often a child’s first experience with death, so openness, honesty and sensitivity are important.
If parents are comfortable, children should be asked if they want to be present. In my experience, many do, but many want to be part of the good byes and then choose to leave for the actual procedure.
Other pets in the household may also be present. It is not uncommon for another pet to act depressed or “lost” when their housemate is suddenly missing. It seems there is more understanding when they are able to see and smell the body of their friend.
Often, if a pet still has interest in food, there is a desire to feed them favorite things, or things they would have never be allowed to eat before. I have seen it all…steak, bowls of ice cream, a frosted cake and even chocolate.
If this is in your plans, make sure that you plan to treat shortly before, or during the appointment. A heavy meal of pot roast the night before may leave to a sleepless night of diarrhea.
Choose a quiet place where you and your pet will feel most comfortable. You may choose a favorite room, a special place in the house, or even somewhere quiet outdoors. Essentially, any place that is comfortable for you and your pet is fine.
I wanted to take a moment and extend a huge thanks to you for the absolutely amazing send off that you helped us give Luna yesterday. It was such a peaceful, beautiful experience, so much so that after you left, Jackie, Janaye and myself were just overwhelmed by how great it was. It really gave us an opportunity to feel like we could celebrate Luna, versus focusing on sadness.
I have had multiple animals sent to The Bridge over the years at Vet offices, and I’ve left feeling heartbroken, guilty, and like my pet was a clinical number, just a procedure to be handled. Luna’s send off felt completely the opposite.
I believe that it takes a special person to provide the kind of care that you do, and I just wanted to thank you again. You have helped make a situation that could have been absolutely debilitating into something beautiful. It truly was a tribute to our yellow girl.
Once I Arrive
I will have you to sign a form giving me the authorization to perform Euthanasia. We usually take care of the charges at this time as well. Payment may be made with cash or personal check, or credit card.
When you are ready, I will give your pet a sedative injection under the skin with a very small needle to help your pet relax and prevent any unnecessary stress, pain, or struggling during the final injection. Most pets don’t react to the small needle, but occasionally a pet may act like it’s uncomfortable. Your pet will gradually fall into a deep sleep. During this time, you should feel free to continue to comfort and talk to your pet.
Once your pet is in a state of deep sleep and you have said your final good-byes, I will inject an overdose of a very powerful anesthetic (a euthanasia solution) into a vein. This last injection will stop the heart and respiration, usually within a minute or two. Although your pet will be unconscious, you may continue to comfort and touch your friend throughout the entire procedure. Your pet will remain unconscious during this injection and will not feel any pain or discomfort.
Some things to be aware of…
In most cases, once the animal is sedated and even after death, the eyes usually remain open, even if someone tries to shut them. Although euthanasia solution induces rapid clinical death, more primitive areas of the brain can sometimes continue stimulating basic reflex activities. For example, the pet may breathe more rapidly, take a few very deep breaths, have muscle tremors or very rarely even have jerking-type motions. These sights can sometimes be disturbing to watch, but the pet remains unaware and does not feel any discomfort. In most cases, however, the process is quite smooth and pets die very quietly and gently.
Once I have confirmed that the heart and breathing have stopped, you may continue to spend as much time as you need with your pet. If you’ve elected to have me take care of the body, just let me know whenever you are ready. I will then take your pet’s body for cremation.
Remember, it is perfectly normal to cry, be sad, and experience all the emotions associated with losing an important family member. Everyone grieves differently, but you should be prepared to enlist the support of your family and friends during this difficult time. For many people, making a small “memorial table” with items that help you remember your pet’s happy days will help immensely, particularly for children.