Pet Euthanasia: What to Expect

Things to Consider Before I Arrive

A primary consideration will be what friends and family members you might want to be present, including children and other pets.  This is a personal decision and some people will choose not to be present.  You may wish to have a tribute or memorial ceremony before I arrive.  And when considering a place, choose a quiet spot where your pet will be comfortable and peaceful.  If you have decided to take care of the body, you will need to contact your municipality to ask about any burial restrictions.

Not every animal’s death is the same.  Most times the animal gently slips into death much like falling asleep.  In some cases, the eyes may remain open, there may be a final reflexive gasp of breath, there may be a muscle twitch and sometimes the release of bodily fluids.

What Happens After I Arrive:

The first thing I will ask is that you sign a form stating that you authorize the procedure  and complete payment arrangements that have not been made in advance.

I ask that your pet be laying on something that you’re comfortable sending with him.  Additionally, it’s best to have a protective layer of plastic underneath this to protect the flooring.  When you’re ready, I will give an injection of sedation under the skin or in muscle which will cause relaxation and relieve any anxiety.  This is a quick and easy injection.  Animals often don’t notice, but it produces profound sedation like a deep sleep or semi-consciousness.  Most people prefer to continue to stroke and talk to their pet for some time while the animal is sedated.  After everyone has said their final goodbyes, I will give the final injection of an anesthetic agent which will stop the heart. This is generally a very peaceful passing and your pet will feel no pain.

After confirming that the heart has stopped, you will again have time with your pet.  If you have decided that I will take your pet with me, I will gently place him in my inconspicuous vehicle and transport him to the pet crematorium.  If you want your pet’s cremains, or ashes, back, I will deliver them to you.

I’ve been through this with my own pets and I understand it is a profoundly emotional time.  Losing a loved one is one of life’s most devastating experiences.  There are many ways people express emotion, but in my own experience, with grief and sadness, come tears.  I expect to see tears, and will probably shed a few with you.  I hope you don’t feel self-conscious or embarrassed, and I recommend that you have support systems in place should you feel overwhelmed.  If you feel you need help with the grieving process after, please contact me.  There are several options I can suggest.