Euthanasia is not something we like to dwell on, but sadly it is a decision that many pet owners eventually have to face. Arranging a pain-free, peaceful death is one of the kindest acts an owner can carry out for their pet. When considering euthanasia, your decision may be helped by looking at your pet’s quality of life; are they still active and able to do their favourite things, are they in pain, is their health deteriorating?
If you are considering euthanasia of a healthy pet then consider that rehoming may be a better option. See our useful contacts section for more information on rehoming.
Most people come into the practice with a pre-booked appointment, and some people prefer to have the procedure done at home - this option is slightly more expensive and has to be planned in advance to make sure we can come out. If it is an emergency and your pet is really unwell then a house visit may not be possible.
You will need to sign a consent form before the procedure can take place. We understand this is an upsetting time, but it is necessary for us to have this legal document saying that you agree to your pet being put to sleep.
It is your decision whether you want to stay with your animal. If you decide to leave then the staff will take good care of your pet. The vet might sedate your pet to relieve them from stress. A small patch of fur is shaved off the front leg, although the injection can be given to other areas of the body as well.
Once you are ready the final injection will be given into the vein. The injection is an overdose of anaesthetic which contains pain relief and compounds to make your pet feel happy until they drift off and do not wake up. The injection is not painful, it is only the needle which might make them jump and they will quickly slip away. Once they have passed away they might pass motions and make noises as their body relaxes. Unfortunately their eyes do not close.
You may take your pet's body home for burial, but many people opt for cremation arranged by the vet. You can either request a communal cremation with other pets which means you won't get their ashes back, or an individual cremation where they get cremated on their own and you receive the ashes back. You may ask for the ashes to come back in a scatter option or sealed in a casket. The ashes can take up to two weeks to return to the practice.
We usually organise all the cremations but if you would like to take them there yourself and organise a different cremation option, then you can do this by contacting any pet crematorium yourself.