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Euthanasia can be a stressful experience for both the pet and the family especially in the clinic setting. Pets can get very anxious during a trip to the vet’s office or have a negative association with visits there. Mobility of the animal is also a factor, such as a large dog that can no longer stand or an elderly family member that can no longer lift the pet for transport. In the clinic setting, the family has no other option but to grieve in public. At home, your family can grieve more freely and take comfort in each other. Euthanasia is a very personal experience and people approach it with different expectations. Every pet is unique, and your family can decide how their final moments should be.
Common reasons to be at home:
Determining the quality of life for your pet is a personal decision and best determined by you and your family. I will help answer any questions you may have regarding your pet’s present condition. I am available for consults over the phone or in your home. You know your beloved pet better than anyone and together, you can decide when the time is right.
I will answer any questions and discuss your situation on a phone consultation prior to my visit. You know your pet best and how to make him most comfortable. He may particularly love a spot in the yard in the sun or his favorite fluffy bed. Treats and an abundance of love and affection are a wonderful way to spend their last day. A nice piece of music or aromatherapy (like lavender) can make for a serene and relaxing environment for everyone present. Consider who you may want present including other pets, children, or extended family.
I will arrive at our scheduled time and greet your pet (or pets) and make friends with delicious “cookies” that I bring. Once they are comfortable with my presence, we will complete the paperwork (just a short consent form and assurance the pet has not bitten anyone in the past 10 days) and receive payment. When you and your family are ready, I will give a sedative injection to help the pet relax and go into a deep sleep which takes 5-15 minutes. Once your pet is in a deep sleep, I will administer the final intravenous injection which quickly stops your pet’s heart within a minute or two. You can expect your pet to possibly relieve their bladder or bowels as the body relaxes. Another thing to consider is the very thin and weakened pets often have fragile veins, just like an elderly person. This can make my job challenging. The sedative injection under the skin will help relieve any pain and anxiety but the final injection into a vein may be challenging in some cases due to their fragility. In this instance (and very rarely), there may be cause for an alternate route of the second injection. Be assured that any pain or anxiety is relieved from the sedative.
This can be especially difficult for children particularly if their friend has been with them the entirety of their lives. Learning about the cycle of life and death is a very valuable lesson that everyone will experience at some point. Only you know when it is the best time to teach that lesson to your children. Allowing them to grieve and providing them support is key. Euthanasia provides a wonderful opportunity for us to teach our children lessons of compassion, love, and strength. Encouraging them to celebrate the lovely life that their animal friend experienced can be a helpful way to deal with the sadness. Planting a garden or tree dedicated to their pet, drawing pictures, collecting your pet’s photos to create a special album, or writing a letter to the pet are all beautiful activities that children may enjoy. “Jasper’s Day” by Marjorie Blaine Parker, “Goodbye Mousie” by Robie Harris and “Saying Goodbye to Lulu” by Corinne Demas are a few of the books helpful for children coping with the loss of a pet.
My fees are based on the pet’s size, supplies needed, time, travel distance and options for after-care such as cremation. There has been a misconception that all I do is give a shot and the fee for the service shouldn’t cost any more than the drug I administer. My services are much greater than just a shot. I calm the pet and family, provide sedation to relieve pain and anxiety, euthanize with expert technique, offer a keepsake or book, prepare the body, and provide for transportation to the crematory. Clients also have unlimited time on the phone with me for consultation and help with the decision-making process. You have a myriad of emotions and have made some tough decisions during this difficult time. Let me make the experience as stress-free as possible and bring you peace of mind.