Should You Stay With Your Pet During Euthanasia?

After years of friendship with your pet, the time will come when you have to say goodbye. You may be at a crossroads about whether to accompany your cat or dog during their final moments. We’re giving reasons why you should stay with your pets during euthanasia, as well as some things to consider beforehand. 

Should You Stay With Your Pet During Euthanasia?

It’s best to stay with your pet during the euthanasia process as it can alleviate their stress and discomfort. This also gives you more time to spend with your cat or dog, giving you the closure that your pet is able to have peaceful last moments. Black Spaniel dog being kissed by a young girl while they're both lying on a bed

Deciding to be present during the end of a pet’s life comes with plenty of emotions. This will be a tough decision for any pet owner, so there are valid reasons why you may hesitate to be present. 

Reasons Why You Should Be With Your Pet During Euthanasia

Your pet has spent their life to being present with you, and you can show your love by ensuring your presence during the process. These are reasons why it’s crucial that you stay with your dog or cat before, during, and after euthanasia.

Get a Better Sense of Closure

Closure can mean different things to different people, and seeing your dogs and cats free from pain is a great reason to stay by their side. Find peace in choosing pet euthanasia, seeing your furry friend passed away peacefully can give you a sense of closure and relief.

Allow Your Pet See Your Face for the Last Time

When someone is aware that their time on earth is drawing close, they commonly contact or see their loved ones. They want to spend the remaining time with their loved ones and closest pals. This could be their final joyful memory.

The same goes for pets. If you’re present during euthanasia, they’ll know that someone familiar and dear to them stayed with them until the end. 

Avoid Regret

You may end up regretting being absent. Eventually, you may feel like you’ve let your pets down by not being there for them during their last moments. Black and white cat being caressed and held by a woman

Give Back to Your Pet

Your cat or dog accompanied you in your best and worst moments of life. Now is your chance to do the same for your pet. Even if it’s emotionally challenging, sacrifice a bit of your time to give back to your pet. 

Cope With Grief

A study about the correlation between attending pet euthanasia and complicated grief shows that 34% of owners decide to accompany their pets during the process. Meanwhile, about 50% opted not to attend.

When you decide to stay, you get to say a proper goodbye to your best friend. You can start the grieving process and heal from the loss. By being present, you can better cope with your emotions later on.

Reasons Why You May Not Stay During Euthanasia 

While there are important reasons why you should stay during you pet’s euthanasia, there are also well-considered reasons why you may feel like stepping away. 

  • You’re afraid of what you will see: Being present during pet’s death can be traumatizing when not done properly. However, with the help of compassionate and well-trained veterinarians, the assisted end-of-life process can be a beautiful experience too.
  • You feel self-conscious about showing emotions: Veterinarians and euthanasia staff are professionals, and we can provide you with a private and safe space to say goodbye.
  • You worry about upsetting your pet: A recent study shows that dogs have a 93% accuracy in detecting a person’s psychological stress due to breath and sweat. However, your cat or dog will be unaware of the situation. Hence, they won’t be reactive to your emotions. 

What You Can Do While Accompanying Pets for Euthanasia

Our goal is to keep you and your pet as comfortable as possible during the process. Once you’re prepared to proceed, you can do these things to accompany your cat or dog before, during, and after euthanasia.Woman cuddling a white dog while standing near a clear glass window

  • Replace guilt with grace: You may feel overwhelming guilt because you’re the one who decided to make the euthanasia appointment. Remember that you’re doing your best for your pet, given the circumstances. Recognize that letting your dog or cat go allows them to experience true peace and freedom from suffering.
  • Give your pet the last best day: Although saying goodbye to a cherished pet can be devastating, it can also be a joyful day. Give your dog or cat a good last day by preparing treats, creating a comfortable sleeping space, and surrounding them with love.
  • Choose a serene space for euthanasia: Even though it’s normal to conduct euthanasia in a clinic, you have the option to do in-home services. This way, your pet can say goodbye to its favorite place, the space where your family spends the most time. 
  • Speak loving words: While your pet won’t completely hear or understand what you’re saying, it’s encouraging to speak soothing and loving words to your pet. Expressing your feelings might be helpful for your child who is experiencing loss as well.
  • Take the time you need: Some people need extra time to grieve afterwards, while others leave silently after the procedure. Regardless of how you react, take the time you need to mourn.  

Related Questions

What Does a Dog or Cat Feel During Euthanasia?

Cats or dogs don’t feel anything while undergoing euthanasia because they are unconscious. As cited in an article published in San Diego Tribune, home euthanasia allows pets to pass in peace. Most animals pass away peacefully because the process induces death without pain.

Can I Make Special Requests for My Pet’s Euthanasia and Burial?

Depending on the service provider, you can make special requests regarding the euthanasia process, cremation, or burial. For instance, some veterinary clinics have a strict process that you have to follow. Meanwhile, in-home services give you more freedom, especially regarding time and mementos.

Conclusion

Saying goodbye to your pet is never easy, however with a skilled Veterinarian present during in home euthanasia, you can be with your pet knowing they aren’t in pain. Being there for their final moments can be beautiful and memorable.

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.
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