How to Prepare for Euthanizing a Pet

Pet_Vet_with_dog.jpgIf you have made the decision to euthanize your pet, you want to make the process as easy on your pet as possible. If your pet is generally upset with a visit to the vet, you may want to opt for a veterinarian who performs euthanasia in the home. Other pets may be more relaxed when they’re not at home, making an office visit more appealing. If you choose to bring your pet to the veterinary hospital, schedule your appointment early or late in the day so that your veterinarian won’t feel rushed. Also consider the time of day and the day of the week because you may need time to prepare beforehand as well as afterwards in order to cope with your grief. If it is a work day, consider taking the day off. You’re making decisions in the best interest of your pet, but you also need to make decisions that address your needs.

You should also think about whether you want to stay with your pet throughout the procedure. Some people choose to stay in the waiting room until they are notified that their pet has passed. Others wait to spend a few moments to view the animal. It’s important to carefully consider how you will feel later.

Pet Euthanasia — Quick and Peaceful

The euthanasia process is meant to be quick and peaceful for your pet – which also helps you be more comfortable with your decision. To perform the procedure, an intravenous solution, containing a fast-acting sedative, is injected into the animal’s front or back leg. Within seconds, the solution slows the heart to a stop. Sometimes, the veterinarian administers an additional sedative before the euthanasia solution.

After pets die, involuntary muscle contractions may occur. They may appear to move or gasp, but this occurs after death. Pets’ eyes often remain open.

Afterward, you may wish to spend a few minutes with your pet. You may also want a lock of your pet’s hair or a nametag as a memento. There’s no need to be shy about expressing your emotions and sharing your needs. No matter how prepared you may be, feeling pain and sadness is understandable and part of the grieving process.