How Does in Home Pet Euthanasia Work?

Many owners may be facing the difficult decision of euthanizing their pets due to age-related illnesses, chronic pain, or terminal diseases. As a veterinarian, I understand the profound bond between pets and their owners. Here, I will address the question, “How does in-home pet euthanasia work?”  

My experience in providing euthanasia of pets at home offers a solution for those who wish to ensure a familiar environment for their pets’ final moments. I will explore the process of euthanasia of pets at home, step by step. By the end, you will have an understanding of how it works, empowering you to make informed decisions

How Does In-Home Pet Euthanasia Work?

As a pet owner, the thought of saying goodbye to a beloved companion is one of the most difficult things to consider. Yet when the time comes, it is important to ensure that the process is as peaceful and comfortable as possible – for both the pet and the family. 

Pet owners talking to the staff about euthanasia

Euthanasia of pets at home is a growing trend that allows you to say goodbye to your pet in the comfort of your home, with them surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and smells. The process is thoughtfully designed to prioritize their well-being. You should also not worry because it’s legal to euthanize a dog at home as long as it’s done by a trained professional.

Preparing for the Procedure

Once the decision has been made to proceed with in-home euthanasia, our veterinarians will schedule a time and date for the procedure. They will also provide instructions on preparing your pet for euthanasia and the home for the procedure. This may include: 

  • Ensuring that the pet has access to a comfortable place to lie down
  • Having a towel or blanket ready to cover the pet during the procedure
  • Planning for someone to be present during the procedure to provide emotional support
  • Using your pet’s bedding and toys to create a familiar environment
  • Considering the use of soft lighting, calming music, aromatherapy, or anything else your family wishes to have near or during the procedure 

Our veterinarians will arrive at the designated time on the day of the procedure. They will bring all the necessary equipment and medication to perform the euthanasia. Before beginning the procedure, they will answer any last-minute questions the pet owner may have and ensure everyone is ready and comfortable. 

A staff ringing the door of a pet owner for in-home euthanasia

The Euthanasia Process

The euthanasia process itself is usually quick and peaceful. Upon arriving at your home, our veterinarians will interact gently with your pet. They will greet your pet first so they can make a connection before the process starts. The procedure continues as follows:

  1. We ensure the pet is comfortable and secure in an area of the home they are familiar with
  2. We will administer a sedative plus a pain medication to allow your pet to relax into a deep sedation in about 10-15 minutes. You will be right by their side. Pets are monitored closely during each stage of the process by our vets. 
  3. We will inform you of the final procedure, allowing you to decide to stay or seek comfort in another location. A temporary IV catheter is then placed and the last medication is administered.
  4. Lastly, we check the pet’s vital signs to ensure that they have passed away. 

Throughout the short euthanasia procedure, we are focused on your pet’s comfort and any signs of distress. We keep you informed about what is happening at each step. You are welcome to sit with your pet, hold them, and give reassurance.  

Aftercare of Your Pet’s Body

After your pet has been euthanized, we handle the remains respectfully and with dignity. We can arrange private cremation or other remembrance options per your wishes. Some of the decision you will have to make are:

  • Individual pet cremation vs communal pet cremation
  • Choosing the best urn for your family
  • Consider an add-on such as ink paw print or nose print
  • Make your decision on any memorial items 

How Does One Cope With Grief?

It is crucial to remember that grieving is a normal and essential process and that it is acceptable to feel depressed, sad, or overwhelmed. Support groups, therapy, and memorial ceremonies are just a few available resources. 

There are several ways to remember your pet and keep their spirit alive besides these resources. This might involve erecting a monument, planting a tree, or giving money to a group that supports animals.

A black cat before euthanasia

Related Questions

Should You Stay With Your Pet During Euthanasia?

Yes, you should stay with your pet during euthanasia. Your presence provides comfort and reassurance in their final moments. It allows you to say goodbye and be there as they pass. Staying with your pet is part of the closure process and avoids them feeling abandoned. It is a final act of love and loyalty.

What Is the Guilt of Euthanizing a Pet?

The guilt of euthanizing a pet can come from feeling like you are betraying them or taking away their life too soon. Yet when a pet suffers and has no quality of life left, euthanasia is often the kindest option. Remind yourself it is an act of love to relieve their pain, not a selfish choice. Their peaceful passing is a final gift you can give your loyal companion.

How Long Does Pet Grief Last?

There is no set time frame for grieving the loss of your beloved pet. The depth of the human-animal bond varies, so grief lasts accordingly. Give yourself grace through the mourning process. Many find that acute grief slowly transitions to remembering within months. Pet loss grief comes in waves, so be patient with your healing and you can get grief support if you’re open for it.

Conclusion

By opting for in-home euthanasia, pet owners can create a serene and familiar environment where their pets can peacefully transition, surrounded by loving surroundings. The role of our veterinarians at Paws into Grace is crucial in providing guidance, support, and expertise throughout the process, ensuring a compassionate and gentle farewell.

Testimonials

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who... read more

Renee C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him... read more

Diane C.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but... read more

Terry A.

Renee C.

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who came out to the house. She was so understanding and supportive. They were all so helpful, understanding and nice. My girl got to stay at home and say goodbye in the backyard (a hummingbird flew over and it seemed like a good sign too). So glad I didn't have to take her to a cold vet office.

Diane C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him with more medications which would make him even more miserable. I called and spoke to a very kind lady who was patient as I cried through making an appointment. We made an appointment for 1:30pm. Dr. Toni arrived. She was very kind, explained everything to us and gave us the time to be with our boy after the first shot. He wasn't relaxing enough so she gave him a second shot. We stayed with him throughout the entire process and I carried him to her car in the end. It was a very difficult decision but knowing that our boy is not in pain, gives us some peace. We are thankful to Dr. Toni for her kindness and compassion. They will arrange the cremation for us. Since we are in a pandemic, we had our masks on and said goodbye to our boy in our garden.

Terry A.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but before she attached the IV. We were relieved that we made the decision to let her go to doggy heaven at home. It was a tranquil and serene passing for her, and it very much aids us in the grieving and healing process knowing that she passed away so peacefully. Based on the grace and compassion Dr. Brown demonstrated on one of the most awful days of our lives we would not hesitate to recommend Paws Into Grace for others facing this very painful time.
San Diego Orange County Cremation Office