Euthanasia means ‘a good death’. It is the final gift that we can give our pets when their quality of life deteriorates. While most of us would love for our pets to pass away naturally and peacefully in their sleep, this rarely happens and our pets often get very distressed at the end of life if left to their own devices.
While many people still take their pets to the veterinary practice for euthanasia, this can be a stressful time for them, as the surgery is often associated with negative things happening. As such, this makes their final moments more anxious than they need to be. By giving your pet a home euthanasia, you are helping them to pass as peacefully as possible and should have much better memories of their final moments. You will also not be faced with a waiting room full of people, or feel rushed out of the door once your pet has passed away.
I recommend a pre-euthanasia appointment where we can discuss what you would like to happen when the time comes and so I can explain the process. If this is done a day or two before the actual euthanasia appointment takes place, the consent form can be signed and payment taken at this appointment so that there is no distraction just before your pet passes.
I recommend sedation prior to giving the final injection. This is usually administered with a small injection in the back of the neck, lower back or side. You can distract your pet with cuddles and some favourite treats and they will probably not even notice. This injection will gradually cause them to become sleepy and calm. The final injection will usually be given into a vein (leg on a dog or ear on a rabbit), or into one of the vital organs (e.g. kidney). By the time your pet receives this injection they should be very sleepy and not notice, particularly if you are stroking and talking to them. The injection will cause them to go into a really deep sleep and then their heart will stop.
After your pet has passed away you can spend as much time as you need with them.
You can bury your pet at home if you wish and have a suitable area, or your pet can be cremated. I can assist with organising cremation, you can either transport your pet to the crematorium yourself, I can take your pet in my car, or the crematorium can come to collect your pet directly from your home. I do not have cold storage facilities as I feel that taking your pet to the crematorium as soon as possible provides more dignity for them, however I can help to arrange for your pet to be stored at your local veterinary practice if you would prefer this. I recommend the Heart of England Pet Cremation Service who are members of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria. They only do individual cremations so you can be certain that your pet’s ashes are not combined with anyone else’s.
I am available to chat through any concerns you have about the euthanasia process either before or after. Compassion Understood provide some great resources about what to expect and how to help the grieving process. The Blue Cross also have a Pet Bereavement Support Service providing a listening ear for anyone grieving the loss of a pet or wanting to know how best to support loved-ones.