Humane Euthanasia Services
A time comes when we have to let our furry family members rest in peace. While some dogs and cats die of old age in the comfort of their home, many others become seriously ill or injured or experience a significantly diminished quality of life as they grow old.
Knowing When It Is Time
Clients often ask us how they will know when it’s time to say goodbye to their beloved pet. We can help guide you through this difficult decision. In some cases, we may have to tell you definitively that it is time to euthanize your pet, but in other cases, you may ultimately need to make the decision based on your observances of your pet’s behavior and attitude.
Once you have made this very difficult decision, you will also need to decide how and where you and your family will say their final goodbye.
- If you have children, make sure that you explain the decision to them and prepare them for the loss of the pet in advance.
- It is a very individual decision whether you and your family want to be present during the euthanasia procedure. There is no right or wrong answer, just a personal decision. For some families, the emotion may be too overwhelming. For others, it is a comfort to be with their pet during the final moments. It may be inappropriate for young children to witness the procedure, since they are not yet able to understand death and may also not understand that they it’s a quiet and solemn moment.
- Many families ask if it is appropriate to allow their other pets to attend. Although this may seem like a natural course of action to us, it is not for our pets. They do not understand what is happening and often become anxious by being in the veterinary hospital or having strangers in their home. We recommend not bringing other pets to a euthanasia procedure. You will want to devote your full attention to your ailing pet as you say goodbye.
- We also work with associate veterinarians who will come to your house, which allows both your pet and your family to say goodbye in the comfort of your own home.
Our hospital offers you with a keepsake clay paw print hand-made by our technicians as a memento of your beloved furry family member. There is no charge for this special keepsake.
What To Expect
- We will escort you to a comfortable, warm, quiet room to help you and your family feel more at ease.
- You will let us know if you wish to be present for the euthanasia procedure.
- We will also finalize some paperwork outlining your decisions for your pet’s aftercare.
- Your doctor will explain the entire procedure before we begin.
- You are encouraged to spend as much time as you need to say your final goodbye.
- It is policy at Pine Creek Veterinary Hospital that pets undergoing the euthanasia procedure have an intravenous catheter placed. Your nurse will escort your pet to our treatment room where we have all our supplies to place the catheter, after which time your pet is returned directly to you.
- You may spend as much time with your pet as you need. We provide a telephone in the room to call the nurse’s station to inform the doctor when you and your pet are ready.
- Some may prefer not to present and remember their beloved pet “as they are.” Others may want to hold their pet in their lap, sit beside them on the floor rug or have them lay next to them on the sofa. We encourage you to do what is comfortable for you and your pet. Regardless of the location, we make sure that your pet has a comfortable blanket or bed to lie on as well as a wetting pad under the blanket.
- Once the final injection is given, your pet will become completely unconscious within a few seconds, and your pet will pass away shortly after the final injection. Your doctor will use a stethoscope to confirm that your pet’s heart has stopped.
- Rarely, a pet may experience some minimal muscle movement or intermittent breaths a few seconds after they have passed. Your pet may also release his bladder or bowels. These events are normal and should not be cause for alarm.
- After we have confirmed that your pet has passed, we will provide you time alone with your pet if you wish.
We want to make this process as stress-free as possible. We take care of all after-care, cremation services for you. Our body care options include:
- Cremation as the most common choice and you can choose whether or not you would like to have your pet’s ashes returned to you. Our staff will help you through the various options available.
- We work directly with a local crematorium that comes to our clinic to ensure your pet arrives at the crematorium in accordance with your wishes. They offer a wide choice of urns and personalized memorials that you can chose from when you bring your pet in for the procedure. Click here to visit their site.
- Burial is another option. You may want to bury your pet in your own yard, but before doing so, be sure to check your local ordinances as there are restrictions in place. There are also many pet cemeteries throughout the United States. To locate a pet cemetery near you, check with the International Association of Pet Cemeteries.