Before & During the Home Euthanasia Visit
What animals can be cared for by home euthanasia?
Why should I choose home euthanasia?
The end of a pet’s life is a very emotional and difficult time for us pet parents and our pet. Many pets become stressed from car rides, the veterinary clinic itself, or the pain or discomfort of physical movement. Euthanasia in your home provides you and your pet with a familiar and comfortable surrounding. You can have as few or as many people with you as you wish. Your pet can also be in your lap, in their favorite bed, or in their favorite place elsewhere in or around your home. You will be able to experience your pet’s loss in the way that honors your needs in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
How do I know when it's time to consider euthanasia?
What happens when the doctor arrives?
Dr. Dawn will arrive to your home in plain clothes (no white coat) with a stethoscope and necessary items. She will greet you and your pet and if you’re willing, she welcomes stories that you may wish to share about your pet’s life. Dr. Dawn will answer any questions you have and we will complete a form that authorizes her to provide euthanasia. She will provide a sedative to your pet using a very small needle. This will help your pet to be relaxed and as comfortable as possible, feeling no pain. Some pets may snore loudly after receiving the sedative. Some may change postures and get very comfortable by stretching out or snuggling up. If it’s necessary, this injection may be repeated to ensure your pet is comfortable and relaxed. Depending on your pet’s health, this sedative can take less than 5 minutes to 20 or so minutes to help your pet achieve deep sleep, a deep level of anesthesia. If any family members do not wish to be present for euthanasia, they may wish to step away once your pet is deeply asleep. . If you’d like to hold your pet for any and all of the process and/or talk to him or her throughout the visit, please know you are welcome and encouraged to do what makes you and your pet most at ease.
When you and your pet are ready, Dr. Dawn will administer the euthanasia medication. Depending on their health, some pets pass as the euthanasia medication is administered, other pets may take more time or additional doses of the euthanasia medication. Dr. Dawn will examine your pet and will tell you when he or she has passed.
When your pet has passed, Dr. Dawn will offer to leave your home to provide you with some time to say goodbye in private to your pet. If your pet will be cared for by Dr. Dawn, she will return when you’re ready to prepare your pet for movement to her vehicle. Families are welcome to help carry their pet to the vehicle. Some find this helpful to help carry their pet on their final trip from their home. For others, they want their last memory of seeing their pet quiet in their favorite place.
If your pet is more than 50 pounds, Dr. Dawn may need your assistance in respectfully moving your pet to her car. If you are unable to assist, please let Dr. Dawn know so that she can have another member of her family come to your home to assist. She may also have a stretcher that can be brought into your home. For animals who cannot be safely transported by Dr. Dawn, the crematorium will be called to respectfully transport your pet.
Is there anything else I should know about my pet's euthanasia?
What about having children or other pets present during home euthanasia?
Other pets are welcome to remain in your home and to stay as close as they choose throughout Dr. Dawn’s visit. For families with multiple pets, this can be helpful for other pets to then understand what’s happened. If you have other pets who are aggressive to strangers, do place them in another area for Dr. Dawn’s time in your home. You may wish to later bring them into your home while you are saying your final goodbyes and Dr. Dawn is not in your home.
Before & During the Home Euthanasia Visit
What happens to my pet after euthanasia?
You may also choose to have Dr. Dawn care for your deceased pet. Both private and group cremations are available. The crematorium uses very modern methods to ensure that, if you choose private cremation, you can have every confidence that the cremains (commonly referred to as ashes) you receive will be your pet’s.
You may also wish to consider the burial of your pet in a pet cemetery. If you wish to arrange for burial, we recommend that you coordinate directly with the selected pet cemetery and inform Dr. Dawn of your choice. Some cemeteries will only permit cremains, others will bury your deceased pet. It’s important to know this information to ensure you can choose to honor your pet in the way that you choose.
Are there resources for someone grieving their pet?
After your pet passes, it may be helpful to write out an obituary that captures the fond memories and joy that your pet brought to your life. Writing about or telling stories about your best times with your pet, what foods they loved, any charming or unique traits they had–all of this can bring some comfort.
Some families place notes or drawings alongside their pet for cremation. You may find it comforting for your pet to receive his or her aftercare with a special toy, blanket, or bed.
How is payment managed?
How is my pet returned to me?
Are there other special options I can choose?
The urn that your pet will be returned in will have an engraved plaque. You may have up to 3 lines of text, 25 characters per line. Dr. Dawn will ask for your choice of words when she’s there with you. If you’ve not decided yet, that be managed later.