The decision to have your pet put to sleep is one of the most difficult ones you’ll ever have to make – hoping that your pet will die curled up in bed sadly rarely happens.
Traditionally the only option available was to take your pet to the vets to have the procedure, but in recent years in-home services have become more common as research has shown that the in-home euthanasia concept is better for pets and pet owners.
Trained and skilled professionals from trusted end-of-life care vets will provide necessary veterinary treatment in-home as well as the correct medication and palliative treatments at this time. Gentle pet euthanasia at home can be the kindest way to say goodbye to your closest animal friends as they pass peacefully in their own home, surrounded by their family.
How should an owner decide if they should put their pet down or let them die at home?
You’ll need to take some time to consider if the vet knows your pet and can provide the necessary high standards of care for both your pet and you. Cloud 9 Vets will work with dignity and respect to ensure that the end of life support is carried out by home visit vets dedicated to empathy and sympathetic attention.
When a pet is put to sleep it can be messy as leakage of urine and passing of stools is quite common. Pads will be bought to you by your vet to deal with this normal reaction. This can play with your emotions and you need to really think about whether you’ll be able to deal with memories of losing your pet in your own home.
You should also take into account the timing as if your pet suddenly starts having seizures or has difficulty breathing you’ll need immediate emergency care. You need to be assured that your in-home vets can provide this emergency service.
Decide in advance who you want to be there – your close family, friends, and sometimes other pets. You don’t all have to stay in the room at the same time. If you opt for euthanasia at your local vets then remember to take your pet’s favourite blanket and treats to make the procedure a stress-free as possible.
What are the pros and cons of euthanasia or natural death?
- Avoids another stressful and often painful trip to the surgery and saves your pet the anxiety of going to the vets
- Offers the opportunity to include the whole family and provides a more intimate setting for saying your goodbyes – taking into account the age and maturity of your children as well as their individual personalities
- Is professional and painless as a mild sedative followed by a completely painless dose of anaesthesia will be administered
- Provides an end-of-life passing in comfortable and familiar surroundings as your pet will be most at ease at home during the final moments
- Allows you to grieve privately in the comfort of your own home and say goodbye exactly how you want to
- Lets you choose burial or cremation options with the guidance of your at-home vets
- Gives you all the counselling you need with regards to the adjustment of life without your pet
- The first stage of any pet euthanasia treatment will involve the administering of a sedative.
- After this tiny pinprick your pet will be calm and not feel anything else. It really is a gentle and pain free ending and you can be present or not, just as you wish.
- Not all pets are suitable for at-home euthanasia – if your pet is already in the hospital and critically ill
- Pets with anxiety issues may hide and become extremely stressed
- Lighting and tables may be unsuitable and the procedure can be more awkward for your vet
- Vets may have trouble finding a vein in dehydrated or elderly animals
- Pets could have a seizure and there is less ability to deal with any complications that may arise
- There is likely to be less flexibility when the vet can come to your home
- The cost may be greater
- Moving a deceased pet may be difficult
- You may struggle with memories of having your pet euthanised here and your grief may worsen as there is a more tangible reminder of the experience
Following Pet Euthansia
You’ll be able to spend a few moments alone with your pet depending on the aftercare arrangements. You may like to take a tuft of fur or a whisker, your pet tag and collar as mementos. Discussing your needs beforehand will help to minimise stress on the day when your judgement may be impaired and you make a hasty decision that you later regret.
About the author
Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen is the Managing Director at Cloud 9 Vets. Cloud 9 Vets focuses exclusively on end of life care, making sure your pets are enjoying life to their full potential. Their quality of life consultations can give great comfort both to your pet and to you and your family. If your pet is at the very end of its life, they work with dignity and respect to ensure that any goodbye is done under your conditions in your own home at a convenient for you time.
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