When your pet’s quality of life has declined, or veterinary treatment is not likely to help their plight, and the time for euthanasia is apparent, you want it to be as calm and peaceful as possible. This may require a little bit of planning and forward thinking, but it’s always worth doing. Every scenario will be different and creating the most appropriate atmosphere will vary from pet to pet, depending on their personal preferences, health and the circumstance of those humans affected. 

However, if you are able to plan your pet’s euthanasia, rather than it being a decision made in an emergency situation, you are at an advantage. You can think with a much clearer mind compared to the mental state you would be in; should your pet be suffering in a life-threatening condition. Remember, euthanasia can be used as a treatment to end suffering. It is something we should feel confident discussing and attempt to prepare for before the decision is made.

The benefits of at home euthanasia

Being at home with your dog may be the place your pet will feel the most relaxed. This is especially the case if your pet suffers from travel sickness. Some pets dislike the veterinary practice due to associating the place with feeling ill and receiving medication unwillingly! A decision for home euthanasia will therefore eliminate these situations; helping your pet to feel more comfortable and relaxed whilst we move through the procedure.

Keep it “normal”

Creating a very ‘normal’ environment can also help your pet to relax. This means creating normal sounds, smells and giving normal food. Pets like routine, so try to keep their routine similar. Animals are able to sense your emotions, so trying to stay calm is important. Your pet is able to eat right up until being euthanased. So maybe you could treat them to their favourite meal beforehand. Pets are unaware of what is happening, and the process is generally very quick. So setting the scene beforehand and preventing your pet from becoming anxious and worried can make a huge difference.

Putting your pet’s favourite blankets around them prior to the vet arriving is a good idea as it will provide a familiar scent. If your pet is surrounded by familiar smells, they are going to feel more relaxed and less anxious about what is happening. Unfortunately, many pets will go to the toilet after they have passed away. So be sure to prepare for this. Perhaps settling on easy to clean flooring or ensure your pet is wrapped up in a blanket or towel that you don’t mind getting dirty. This is especially important if you plan on having your pet on your knee when they are euthanased. 

Think about who you want to be present

If you are able to plan their passing, be sure everyone who wants to say goodbye, has done so. You should have a think about whether or not you want to be present whilst your pet passes away. If you do want to be present, you should be able to cuddle your pet whilst they lay on the floor. Hearing your familiar, soothing voice throughout the procedure can really help them. Equally, your veterinary professional can do it in a different room to yourselves should this be your wishes. In addition, recent studies have shown that pets feel more relaxed with classical music playing. So you could put some quiet, classical music on in the background. 

Plan ahead

Before the day comes, think about what you would like to do with their body afterwards. You have the option to bury your pet at home, cremate your pet communally, or cremate your pet individually with the further option to get the ashes back should you wish. You will need to let your vet know, but do not feel rushed to make any decisions. If you opt for cremation, be sure to remove any collars or accessories that your pet is wearing as you may not be able to get them back following your pet’s cremation.  

At home euthanasia is more expensive than taking your pet to your vets and many veterinary practices are not offering them at the moment still, due to COVID-19 regulations. However, there are also companies who specialise in home euthanasia, so research what’s available in your area. These services are high in demand, so please do not feel like it is your only option, euthanasia in the veterinary practice can be very peaceful, less expensive, and there should be more availability. 

To conclude, home euthanasia can be extremely peaceful, especially for the older, uncomfortable patient. We recommend actively thinking about this and finding local companies that offer this service so you are as prepared as you can be prior to needing to make that decision.

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