In-Home Pet Euthanasia
Considering in-home pet euthanasia is an incredibly difficult decision. However, choosing to educate yourself about this process is a sign of love and respect for your pet.
We will ask for your consent and explain the euthanasia procedure based on your comfort level. Then we will administer a sedative that causes your pet to gently fall asleep within 1-7 minutes.
Deciding to euthanize a beloved pet is never easy. Oftentimes, a pet caretaker struggles with the timing and whether the quality of life assessment is justified.
Our veterinarian will arrive at your home and discuss the euthanasia process with you. They will explain the usual breathing patterns during euthanasia and what to expect. They will also ask you if you’d like to hold your pet as they breathe their last breaths, a moment that is often considered one of the most beautiful and memorable moments in life.
Some caretakers choose to bring their other pets into the room so they can say goodbye as well. This is not always possible, depending on the personality of the other pets. The vet will give the euthanasia injection, then confirm your pet has passed away. Each family will receive a clay paw print and clip of fur as memorial keepsakes. This is not something that should be rushed.
A sedation injection is given to your pet to make them sleepy. The shot is very similar to receiving a vaccine and within 5 minutes your pet will be in a deep sleep.
The sedation allows you to spend quality time with your pet and keep them comfortable throughout the process. During this time you can give them their favorite treats such as tuna, chocolate or small pieces of steak. You can also play soft music, light candles or have family members present (physically or via Skype/facetime).
Once your pet is fully sedated the veterinarian will do a quick assessment to make sure they are sleeping deeply and no longer responding to stimulation. At this point, you can choose a special spot to say your goodbye including their bed, a grassy area in the yard or on the couch. The veterinarian will leave and return with a clay paw print or clip of fur (if requested) for memorial keepsakes.
Pet owners who choose in-home euthanasia can be with their pets in the comfort of their homes. This allows them to be surrounded by things that remind them of the happy times they shared together, and to have their friends or family join them.
The veterinarian will place a catheter in your pet’s vein and then administer two injections. The first one is a sedative that takes effect over the course of about five minutes to help your pet feel sleepy and drift away. The second injection is the euthanasia solution, an overdose of barbiturate anesthetic that shuts off the breathing portion of the brain and causes your pet to go to sleep.
Once your pet is asleep, your vet will listen to their chest to ensure that breathing and heartbeat have stopped, and they will gently pinch between the toes or touch the corner of the eyelid to confirm that the animal has passed. If you wish, you may hold your pet’s head or paw during this final moment.
Care of Remains
During the euthanasia process, the injected solution travels through the bloodstream and causes your pet to quickly become unconscious. The heart will then stop and your pet will be at peace. Typically, a peaceful death occurs within 30 seconds of intravenous administration.
It is important to discuss your options for body care and how you plan to say goodbye to your pet in advance. Your veterinarian will be happy to answer any questions you may have and can help you decide whether or not to include other family members in the procedure.
You will have time alone with your pet after the euthanasia is complete and can take as much time as you need. Once you are ready to say your final farewell, we will wrap your pet in a blanket and carry him out to your car. We will provide you with a clay paw print to remember your beloved pet, a pet loss booklet and a courtesy notification to your regular veterinarian for your records.