Euthanizing your pet at home: what to expect
Just as each of our pets is unique, every home euthanasia experience is different, but I’ve written this guide to help you know what to expect when I come to your home.
When I come to your home, my goal is to make your pet feel safe and comfortable. If I’ve never met you and your pet before, I’ll slowly and gently introduce myself to your pet, taking however long is needed for them to adjust to my presence. For many of my customers, this is a good time to review any questions and take care of paperwork in advance while your dog or cat gets used to me. If your pet’s appetite is good, I may give him or her a few treats. It’s important to me to take however much time is needed in this first phase of the process, and only once and you your pet are comfortable — never rushing — will we move on to the next steps.
Once we’ve decided on where we’d like to be with your pet for the euthanasia, whether on a favorite bed, a favorite spot in the yard, or any other place of your choice, I’ll administer two medications. Some veterinarians use a single euthanasia medication, but I administer a sedative, which includes pain and anti-anxiety medications, first to ensure the the process is as peaceful and painless as it can be. This first medication acts over the course of several minutes to help your pet feel tired and become very sedate or unconscious. If your pet has an appetite and you’d like to give them a favorite food while I’m administering the first medication, that can help distract them from the injection and give them a happy experience with you as they get tired and fall asleep. Once your pet is very sedate, I’ll administer a second medication into a vein to complete the euthanasia.
I give each of my clients as much time as they’d like to have with their dog or cat after the euthanasia — there’s never any rush to complete the process. Once you feel ready to part with your pet, if you and I have agreed in advance that I’ll handle your pet’s cremation, I’ll transport your pet away from your home. See my FAQ page for more information on pet cremation.
See these pages for more information about at-home euthanasia: