We understand that this can be a very emotional and stressful time for most families so we are here to offer our support. When you and your pet are ready we will set up a time to come to your home.
What can I do to prepare for the Appointment?
We can work with you to prepare a plan that best suits your needs. We encourage you to think about the following prior to the appointment.
- Where will the euthanasia take place?
- Who will be there?
- When is the best time?
- Do you want anything special such as candles, music, readings, etc.?
We also encourage you to spend some happy time with your pet before we arrive. Special treats are usually a hit as well as extra special snuggles and love.
Who will come to my home?
Dr. Henderson and her assistant will arrive together at your home. Except in the case of an emergency, we will greet everyone and take some time to talk before we start anything else. If we have not already met we may ask some questions to get to know you and your pet and to ensure that you are comfortable with your decisions. This is also a good time to turn your cell phone off to avoid interruptions.
Where will it take place?
We are in your home and we respect that. We are happy for you to create the space that works best for you and your family and we will work to accommodate your wishes. Some pets pass peacefully in their family’s arms, on their bed or outside. We will help to make this time comfortable and peaceful for your pet.
Who can be there?
We encourage you to consider who else you would like to be present. Maybe you would like to be alone, maybe you just want you and your partner or immediate family, or perhaps your pet has a whole group of people whom you would like to be present. This decision is totally up to you. It can be very intimate, a full blown wake or anywhere in between.
Should my other pets be there?
We feel that it is important for other pets to know about the passing. They may be present the whole time or just show up at the end. It is important to understand that other pets often seem to grieve the loss as well so monitor your other pets closely and call you veterinarian if you are at all worried about them.
Should I involve my children?
You know your children best and what they can and can not handle. Pet loss can often be the first significant loss in a child’s life and so can set the stage for other losses in the future.
Recommendations are based on individual children, their ages and their personalities. We can offer you resources for your children through this difficult time. It is important to be honest and allow them to grieve and memorialize in a healthy way.
Can I plan Something Special?
Of course you can. We encourage you to do what feels right for you. Special music, poems, readings, candles, and other things can make this time special and less frightening. Please let us know if there is anything that you need for us to help with this event.
What will you do?
Once everyone is ready, we will give your pet an injection which will cause deep sedation/anesthesia. This doesn’t take effect immediately so there is still time for love and snuggles and even a few more treats. Your pet will slowly fall asleep over the next 5-15minutes. It is not unusual for there to be some snoring involved as everything relaxes.
The next steps are individualized for your particular pet and circumstances. We will do what makes the most sense in each case. Perhaps we will give further anesthetic, if necessary, or we may place an intravenous catheter into a hind leg. Whatever we feel is best we will communicate it with you and if at any time you are uncomfortable we encourage you to let us know.
In each case we will give a final injection which ultimately results in death. By this point your pet is sound asleep and not aware of anything. We believe that like birth, death is a necessary part of life and we are here to allow for the smoothest transition possible. You may spend as much time with your pet afterwards as you need.
Will it hurt?
We do everything possible to minimize any and all discomfort. The only thing that your pet will feel is the initial poke of the sedation needle but we will distract them with love and treats and they will likely not notice this anything at all. Once the sedation has taken affect, they will no longer feel anything.
How long will it take?
The euthanasia itself is very quick, often less than a minute but we recommend that you set aside 1-2 hours for your appointment and additional time for grieving. We will take our time with everything and give you time to adjust to each step. We encourage you to speak up if anything feels to fast or too slow.
How do I memorialize my pet?
Memorialization is an important part of grieving for many people. Memorialization is something that can be started before the euthanasia appointment even takes place. Some people will have photo-shoots or portraits with their senior dog. Donations can be made in your pets name or perhaps a farewell party with your pet’s best friends. We have a long list of ideas if you are ever at a loss. Just contact us and we can help.
We can leave you with a fur clipping and we offer clay paw prints in Peartree Impressions Clay. They create beautiful lasting impressions if sent in to their facility. You are welcome to do whatever you like with the impression.