Staying With Your Pet During Euthanasia

The decision to stay with your pet during euthanasia is a personal one. Some people feel that this is a final display of gratitude and love for their pet by comforting them in their final moments. For some people, being able to witness the peaceful passing of their pet provides comfort and closure. For others, witnessing the process, no matter how peaceful, is traumatizing. You must search deep inside to find the right answer for you.

You will want to check with your veterinarian to see what your options are if you choose to stay with your pet during the euthanasia. Most veterinary clinics now have a special area set up to look more like a living space than an exam Staying With Your Pet room so that you may spend moments with your pet before the injection is given. Some veterinarians can come to your vehicle to administer the shot, while others may be able to make an appointment with you to come into your home. If your vet is not able to meet your request, you can ask about other clinicians in the area that may be able to assist. You want to make the process as comfortable and peaceful as you can for both you and your pet.

Make sure that you ask any questions that you have ahead of time. It may help to ask your vet to walk through the process with you, step by step so that you will know what will happen and what to expect. This will help relieve a small portion of your anxiety and help you focus on what is important: saying goodbye to your friend.

The injection is usually sodium thiopental or other pentobarbital administered intravenously. The drug will stop respiration and cardiac motion within 30 seconds or less. People witnessing the injection usually describe the passing as quiet and peaceful. You can be allowed time with your pet once she has passed away to say your final goodbyes before your vet technician prepares your pet’s body for whichever means of burial or cremation you have decided on. Remember the peaceful passing as you work through your grief. The gift you have given your pet was selfless and loving.