Planning for euthanasia of a pet.

Planning for the euthanasia of a pet.

When you know that the time is approaching when you are going to need to arrange for your pet to be put to sleep (and I would suggest doing this with plenty of time so you are not having to make decisions in a hurry or when things are an emergency) I would suggest you think about how you want the process to be.

Things to consider:

Where would you like the euthanasia to take place?
Is it practical to have your pet put to sleep at home or would you rather this took place at the veterinary surgery? There are vets who specialise in home euthanasia, your own vet may be willing to come to your home or you may feel that you would be more comfortable in the surgery if your pet is happy to go there. It will cost more to have a vet come out to your home so if cost is an issue you might consider going to the surgery but asking the vet to perform the euthanasia in your car for example.

Who would you like to perform the euthanasia?
This might be your usual veterinary surgeon or perhaps someone who specialises in home euthanasia. This is what we used for Gillie and I would thoroughly recommend it as an unhurried and very peaceful event. For large animals it could be your vet or a stockman depending on the type of euthanasia you elect.

What would you like to happen to your pet once they have been put to sleep?
There are various options including home burial (subject to conditions), individual cremation or group cremation. Where would you like the cremation to take place? If you would like to receive the ashes back then you would need to have an individual cremation. Whether you would like the vet to arrange the after care for you or if you would like to arrange and sort this out yourself.

Who do you want to be present for the euthanasia appointment?
It is really important that anyone present is able to remain calm until your pet has died. Animals are very astute to human emotions and will pick up on any distress around them. At such an important time, it is crucial that they are as relaxed as possible so if you, or anyone else feels that they will not be able to stay calm it would be best of they were not present.

The cost of the euthanasia and after care
Putting an animal to sleep costs money and it is important to be aware and prepared for this when the time comes. Please see the individual pages for some ideas of cost.

Do you want any keepsakes?
Paw prints, a lock of fur or a piece of a tail, photographs, jewellery from ashes. There are numerous options for keepsakes of your pet – deciding what you would like (if anything) in advance means you can be sure to ask for them to be taken or kept for you if you don’t feel you can do this yourself.

Planning ahead does not mean that you will have to make the decision any sooner. What it will do is reduce the stress around the time of the euthanasia appointment when your emotions are likely to be running high. I recommend answering all these questions, writing down the answers, maybe finding out which services and people you would like to be involved. You can then keep this all safe until you need it removing this worry when you want and need to be spending time with your pet.