Providing peaceful and compassionate in-home pet euthanasia

Frequently Asked Questions


How will I know it's time to euthanize my pet?

  • This is the most common question we get and also the most difficult to answer as there are many factors that influence this decision

  • In summary, when your pet is suffering or struggling, euthanasia is a gift

  • We may never find the "right" time to let our pets go, but we can consider when the "best" time would be

  • We don't want to wait too late and put our pets through unnecessary suffering

  • Use the tools here to assess your pet's quality of life and pain level


What to expect with in-home euthanasia?

As this is already a difficult time for you and your family, knowing what to expect when we visit your home can help ease the stress and anxiety

  • The veterinarian will arrive without a technician so as not to crowd the space

  • Your pet will first receive an injection in the muscle or under the skin that will offer pain control and heavy sedation - this will take around 10-15 minutes before your pet is sedated

  • Once you and your pet are ready, the veterinarian will administer the euthanasia medication which is an overdose of an anesthetic that will slow then stop the heart

    • Depending on your pet's size and condition, this medication will be delivered either by a vein in the leg or by a vein in the abdomen​

  • Your pet will pass away peacefully within minutes

  • The veterinarian will confirm that the heart has stopped and you can take as much time with your pet as you need

  • We will make a paw print and take a keepsake lock of fur for you

  • If you choose aquamation or cremation, the veterinarian will gently

      prepare your pet's body for transport

  • ​Since the veterinarian will not have a technician to help, assistance will be required to move any pets over 30 pounds​

  • Special arrangements can be made for large or giant breed dogs

             if assistance is unavailable

How long will the appointment last?

  • The entire appointment can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes​​


Should other pets be there?

  • Pets grieve too - in their own way

  • In-home euthanasia allows as many other pets and housemates to be a part of this process

  • They will "know" their friend has passed on and this is a time for them to say goodbye as well

Should my children be there? 

  • This is best decided as a family

  • Children express grief differently than adults and their response to grief can vary based on their age and level of understanding of death and loss

  • Be open and honest with your children about your pet's illness and death and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible

  • If children do not wish to be present for the euthanasia, perhaps they could read a poem or share pictures or stories of their pet beforehand

  • They may wish to view the pet's body afterward for closure and a final goodbye

  • Involve your children in memorializing your pet - this can include anything from making a shadow box to holding a celebration of life service

What are the options for our pet's body after passing?

  • There are a few options for the aftercare of your pet's body including burial, aquamation, and cremation

  • Click here to see details of each option listed above

Western Skies End-of-Life Veterinary Care

Providing peaceful and compassionate in-home pet euthanasia

Dr. Burnett


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