It is never easy to say goodbye to your best friend. We try to make the experience as peaceful and comfortable for you and your pet as possible. While it is sad, it is one of the most appreciated parts of our job. While we don’t like the thought about having to say goodbye, being prepared and understanding the process does give people comfort.
How do you know when it is time to say goodbye?
Unfortunately, some illnesses don’t give pet parents a lot of time to make a decision. Other times the process moves more slowly and people often are confused about when it is time bring their pet in. Please don’t hesitate to call or come in if you are having questions about when to put your pet to sleep. 99% of the time when people come in asking if it is time to consider euthanasia, it usually is, but it’s just hard to make that final decision. We recommend making a list of what your pet enjoys doing and put it on the refrigerator. Include things like 1. Is your pet eating and drinking? 2. Is he/she enjoying their normal activities? 3. Can your pet still make it outside to urinate/defecate? 4. Does your pet have pain that we aren’t able to control? If the answers to a majority of the questions are “no,” then you have your answer.
What is the process?
During the euthanasia process, we’ll be by your side the entire time.
- When you arrive, we will have our comfort room ready for you. If you want to use our blankets, bring your own, hold your pet in your lap – it is all up to you. There will be paperwork to be filled out. Some people choose to do this ahead of time. We can do some of it over the phone if you would like.
- Next, we place an IV catheter in your pet’s vein to give us direct access to the bloodstream. This is done in the room, or sometimes we bring your pet to our treatment area. Most older pets don’t care about this needle stick. This catheter allows us to deliver medication quickly and smoothly. If this procedure is stressful for your pet, then we can give an injection ahead of time to calm your pet down.
- The last step consists of three syringes. One has flush to check the catheter and make sure it is working. The second one is a sedative, and the last one is a medication that will cause your pet’s heart to stop. The doctor will let you know when your pet’s heart has stopped and then you are welcome to spend as much time as you would like. Occasionally a pet will do a gasp like motion a few times after they have passed away. This is a reflex but can be startling if you don’t understand or know that it could happen.
*If you have a pocket pet like a hamster or rat, then the process is different where we put them under anesthesia with gas anesthesia before administering the final medication.
What to do with your pet’s remains:
- Home Burial: This is not a standard/legal option for most people around here unless you have some land.
- Cremation with other dogs and cats: getting ashes back is a personal decision, and for some, the memories are enough and the ashes aren’t necessary. These pets are still treated well but will be cremated with other dogs and cats and their ashes spread at a garden facility in the Dallas area.
- Cremation and ashes returned to you: There are several specialty urn options available with the company we use called Fond Memories. Feel free to check out their website. Our standard ash return options include a bag that fits into a white box or a Cherry Wood box. Fond Memories also has several memorial items from necklaces and beads to garden rocks.
- Fond Memories offers a number of ways for you to say your final goodbye and remember your pet for years to come. All of their pet aftercare services are provided with dignity and respect.
For more information check out Fond Memories’ website for articles on handling the grief that comes along with losing a pet, seeing urn options and you can learn about why we choose them to take care of your pet. Your pet’s body will be respected and cared for throughout the entire journey.
You may also decide to use aquamation. A great resource for that is: Eternal Waters Aquamation (Echo – Friendly Pet Cremation)
Use this checksheet to help determine when it is time to say goodbye.
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm