Deciding on euthanasia for your beloved pet can be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make, so it is important to ensure that you and your pet have the best possible experience while attending to the pet euthanasia procedure. By taking these points into consideration, you can ensure that both you and your pet have a positive experience, and that your pet’s last moments are filled with peace, comfort and love.
Prior to Your Pet’s At Home Euthanasia Appointment
Depending on how much advance notice you have there are a number of steps you can take to help ensure that your pet’s transition is as beautiful and peaceful an experience as possible, and to help you and your family be adequately prepared—both emotionally and logistically.
- Spend as much quality time with your pet as you can. If your pet is able to, go for a car ride and visit your favourite people and places together. Smell the familiar scents and let them feel the breeze on their face. Create treasured memories that will stay with you forever. Make it their best day ever.
- Give your pet all the treats that they love best—even the special ones that they have never had before.
- Look through photos or videos of your pet’s life or have them on hand for the days after the euthanasia so that you can keep them close.
- Make a list of any questions or concerns that you may have, including previous pet euthanasia experiences. If you wish, you can text and ask for a briefing with Dr Patrick prior to the euthanasia appointment.
- Ensure you have pre booked a Collection Appointment with a Pet Cremation Company for one hour after the beginning of the euthanasia appointment.
- Give pain relief medications as previously supplied by your Consulting Veterinarian.
- Speak to family members, including children, as to who would like to attend.
Notes for Children
- Speak with your children to see if they are able or willing to be present for the home euthanasia visit. Be honest with them about your pet’s condition and what will happen on the day.
- Dr Patrick will have them take part in the memorial part of the procedure if you choose to have them present. This may include the placing of flowers, memorial photography and an opportunity to say a few special words about their beloved pet.
- There are some excellent online (YouTube) videos of people reading books to children to explain death and the loss of a pet.
On the Day of the Appointment
- On the day of the home euthanasia, consider taking your dog to their favourite park, river or beach spot. This not only creates a positive experience for your pet, but also helps them to relax before the procedure.
- Invite friends, relatives, neighbours—or even the breeder of your pet if you have a friendship with them.
- Encourage your pet to drink water on the day of the appointment.
- If possible, have your dog go to the garden for a walk and toileting prior to the arranged visit.
- If your pet still has an appetite, have some of your pet’s favourite treats on hand. (This is the one time that it’s OK to feed your dog chocolate.)
- Before Dr. Patrick arrives, it is important to make sure that your pet has a quiet and comfortable place to rest. Prepare a space or room where you can spend some quality time with your pet before the procedure. This can be a bed, a couch, or even a blanket on the floor. Make sure that the area is free of distractions, such as loud noises or other animals. Spend some time with your pet, and allow them to say goodbye in their own way.
- Choose a suitable area in or outside your home, such as a room in your home, your garden, balcony, or any other space that is comfortable for you and your pet. It’s best to have your other pets away from this area during the euthanasia. They can come in to say goodbye after the euthanasia has been completed.
- Consider having a special blanket or toys that your pet is familiar with, as this can help provide comfort for your pet during the process. These items can be collected by the pet cremation company and either cremated with your pet or returned with their ashes.
- Make sure to have a chat with Dr. Patrick regarding your pets recent medical and or surgical history.
- Advise Dr. Patrick of any allergies or sensitivities your pet or family members may have, e.g. flower pollen allergy or sensitivity to essential oils, so that he can take the necessary precautions. (Dr Patrick may use orange oil on your pet after the euthanasia.)
- If possible, try to be there with your pet during the entire procedure. This can help provide comfort for both your pet and yourself.
- We may choose to use a coffee table to place your pet after sedation so family members can sit comfortably on a couch, or if you have a larger dog, the process can take place on their bed on the floor. You may want to place a waterproof pad on the bed under a blanket in case urine is leaked.
- Have your pet’s water bowl or a decorative bowl ready that Dr Patrick can use as a memorial vessel to hold flowers and a candle.
During the Euthanasia Procedure
We strongly recommend that you have someone with you to provide emotional support throughout the process. This person can be a friend, family member or even a professional such as a pet loss counsellor.
During the euthanasia, it is important to speak to your pet in a calming and reassuring way. Let them hear your voice and the touch of your hand, and tell them how much you love them.
Aftercare for Your Pet and Your Family
- If you choose to hold a memorial service after your pet has passed Dr Patrick can assist by providing flowers and taking photographs of your final special moments together as a keepsake. If you have a framed picture of your pet ready, Dr Patrick can use this to start the process of honouring your pet.
- After the euthanasia has been completed, it is important to be prepared for the aftercare. This includes making any necessary arrangements for a burial or cremation. The Pet Cremation company will collect your pet and transport them respectfully back to their facility. They will then make arrangements for the return of your pet’s ashes, along with any selected memorabilia such as an urn or garden plaque.
- After the euthanasia has been completed, it is important to give yourself time to grieve. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling, and give yourself time to process the experience.
- Self care is important during this difficult time. Make sure to take time for yourself and do things that make you feel better.
- If you need additional support it is important to seek professional help. This can be in the form of a pet loss counsellor or a therapist.
Nothing can totally prepare you for the loss of a beloved pet, no matter how many plans you put into place, however, by taking some time to be adequately prepared, you can ensure that both you and your pet have a positive experience throughout the euthanasia process.
It is important to remember that you and your pet are not alone, and that you have the support of Dr. Patrick and your loved ones. Visit our Resources page for more information, including pet grief counselling from a qualified veterinary professional.