Seeing your pet undergo euthanasia can cause a range of emotions. This may make it difficult to make decisions. There are ways you can prepare in order to lessen the pain of this hard time. In this article, we’ll talk about how to prepare for pet euthanasia at home.
How to Prepare for Pet Euthanasia at Home
To prepare for pet euthanasia at home, pick a comfortable spot where the procedure will take place, understand the euthanasia process, find emotional support, and come up with a way to remember your pet.
Here at Paws Into Grace, we will take care of the procedure and cremation afterwards, so you won’t have anything to worry about. However, there are some ways you can prepare yourself and your pet for this moment.
Find the Best Spot
The first thing you need to prepare for in-home pet euthanasia is to choose a comfortable spot for the procedure. It should be somewhere that’s comfortable for your dog.
It can be your dog’s favorite couch in the living room, a spot in the kitchen where your dog always lays, or maybe it’s on the porch, where your cat likes to play with the kids. No matter how small or big the area is, it’s essential that you create a comfortable and familiar environment for your pet.
Create a Comfortable Euthanasia Set-Up
Once you find the right spot, you may bring some items to make your dog comfortable:
- Blanket or pet bed: Place your pet’s favorite pet bed or blanket in the spot where the procedure will take place. Paws into Grace will take care of any pads that may be needed during the procedure.
- Toys: Prepare toys that bring comfort to your pet. It can be your cat’s favorite stuffed toy or your dog’s squeaky chew toy.
- Music: Some families choose to play music, while others do not, it’s entirely up to you.
- Food: The day before the procedure, make your pet their favorite food and let them indulge a bit if they are able to eat and drink easily.
Some families choose to invite others to the euthanasia appointment, some celebrate their pet’s long life by toasting a drink or celebrating with a special food.
Understand What to Expect During Euthanasia
Uncertainty can cause anxiety in people. If you’re unfamiliar with euthanasia, it’s best to understand the process before the appointment. Knowledge can ease your mind about what to expect.
Our staff will explain the steps and what will happen to your dog so that you won’t feel confused or anxious.
- First, our veterinarian will arrive, greet you and your pet, and review paperwork.
- Typically, the process starts by administering a sedative plus a pain medication to allow your pet to relax into a deep sedation which takes about 10-15 minutes.
- Then, our Veterinarian will inform you of the final procedure. You will be by your pet’s side the whole time.
- A temporary IV catheter is placed and the last medication is given.
- The staff will monitor your pet as its body begins to slow.
Express Your Feelings
As someone who made the call to euthanize, you may have an overwhelming feelings of grief and guilt. You may feel burdened by ending your pet’s life, even if it’s the right thing to do. These are some ways to process your feelings.
- How people respond to grief varies. Some prefer to keep it to themselves, while others find it helpful to have company. It’s best to talk with another animal lover who understands your situation or a friend or family member who has also recently lost their pet or had an experience with euthanasia.
- Replace your guilt with grace, and know that you gave your pet the most comfortable and natural ending possible.
- Don’t apologize for crying. It’s also acceptable to laugh or smile as you reminisce about your wonderful time together.
The grieving process can last for days or years, and there’s no need to rush it. Our grief support team can help during all stages of grieving.
Settle Final Arrangements Before the Procedure
Settle your cremation and aftercare requests before the euthanasia appointment. After the procedure, it’s possible that you’ll have heightened emotions or won’t be able to deal with logistical matters. Even though you can set further arrangements after, we believe it’s best to make decisions before the euthanasia appointment.
- Photography: Some choose to capture the intimate moments between them and their pet. Take close-up shots of the fur, paws, or nose to remember them. You can also consider having a final portrait together.
- Cremation: You can choose individual cremation where your pet’s ashes will be placed in an urn and returned to you. Another option that some opt for is communal pet cremation.
- Memorial service: You can hold a formal memorial service where friends and family can visit your pet one last time.
- Burial: If you do not choose to do cremation after the euthanasia appointment, you will be responsible for the burial of your pet.
- Memorial items: We can create clay paw prints, nose prints, provide fur clippings, paperweights, swirl globes, and bead necklaces using your pet’s ashes and turn them into your personal memorial items.
What Should I Do the Night Before My Euthanasia Appointment?
The night before your euthanasia appointment, it’s best to stay by your pet’s side or do a cherished activity together. Give your pet a fun final day when you can, depending on their health.
Who Should Be Present During My Pet’s Euthanasia?
In most situations, pet parents choose to be present during the euthanasia appointment in their home. Younger children are always welcome to be present. Paws into Grace Blog has a great article about children and euthanasia. Some families give older children and teens the option to be present. You may also consider bringing in other companion pets if they won’t disturb the procedure.
To prepare for your pet’s in-home euthanasia, be sure to set up your home in a way that will be comfortable and familiar for your dog or cat. It’s also helpful to finalize decisions on cremation and burial before the procedure. In this way, you can focus solely on staying beside your pet during their final moments.