About Home Euthanasia
If medical treatments are no longer successful in keeping your pet happy and comfortable, we can help them end their life in comfort and dignity. Our home euthanasia service allows pets the opportunity to pass in the comfort of their homes, surrounded but their loved ones in a familiar setting.
What to Expect
Here's a brief walk-through of the typical euthanasia appointment with The Good Life:
Before your appointment, give some thought to where in your home you would like the euthanasia to take place. Our veterinarians can generally accommodate the location that works best for your pet, so we can be wherever they are most comfortable – in on a favored bed or resting spot, or outside under a favorite tree (weather permitting).
We have no restrictions on medications – you may continue all medicines as usual; they will not interfere with anything the doctor is going to administer. We also have no special instructions as far as food or water are concerned; if your pet is still interested in eating, you may feed any special treats or foods they will enjoy, even after your appointment has started.
After your Good Life veterinarian arrives at your home and has met the patient and the family, she will have a brief form to fill out that gives your consent for humane euthanasia and confirms your wishes for aftercare of your pet's remains. We can take care of payment at that time as well.
The euthanasia process itself begins with an initial injection of a sedative / pain medication under the skin that takes about 5-10 minutes to take effect and will help your pet relax and feel no pain. This initial medication is followed by a second injection, which is essentially an overdose of anesthesia that helps your pet fall even deeper asleep and not wake up. This second injection generally takes only a minute or so to take effect.
The euthanasia process is a gentle and peaceful one. After your pet has passed, you may sometimes see them take a few breaths; these are only reflex breaths and a natural part of the dying process. Your pet may or may not not close their eyes all the way. You may also see a few mild muscle twitches for a short period of time.
In regards to aftercare, you have the option of taking care of your pet's body on your own (e.g. home burial), or we can arrange for cremation of your pet's remains. Kitties and small dogs are wrapped in a blanket and placed in a basket for transport, while larger dogs (over ~40#) are wrapped in a blanket and placed on a stretcher to be carried out of your home. Since our doctors generally travel alone, we do request the assistance of a family member to help carry the larger pets. If needed, we can arrange to bring a helper to aid with this task, but this will require additional time and might limit availability.
More Helpful Links
A few things to consider as you and your family prepare for home euthanasia.
A brief guide and resources for parents navigating pet loss with their children.