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How will I know it's time to euthanize my pet?

This is the most common question we get and also the most difficult to answer as there are many factors that influence this decision.

In summary, when your pet is suffering or struggling, euthanasia is a gift.

We may never find the “right” time to let our pets go, but we can consider when the “best” time would be.

We don’t want to wait too late and put our pets through unnecessary suffering.

Use the tools here to assess your pet’s quality of life and pain level.

What should I expect with in-home euthanasia?

As this is already a difficult time for you and your family, knowing what to expect when we visit your home can help ease the stress and anxiety

  • The veterinarian will arrive without a technician so as not to crowd the space
  • Your pet will first receive an injection in the muscle or under the skin that will offer pain control and heavy sedation – this will take around 10-15 minutes before your pet is sedated
  • Once you and your pet are ready, the veterinarian will administer the euthanasia medication which is an overdose of an anesthetic that will slow then stop the heart
  • Depending on your pet’s size and condition, this medication will be delivered either by a vein in the leg or by a vein in the abdomen​
  • Your pet will pass away peacefully within minutes
  • The veterinarian will confirm that the heart has stopped and you can take as much time with your pet as you need
  • We will make a paw print and take a keepsake lock of fur for you
  • If you choose aquamation or cremation, the veterinarian will gently prepare your pet’s body for transport
  • ​Since the veterinarian will not have a technician to help, assistance will be required to move any pets over 30 pounds​
  • Special arrangements can be made for large or giant breed dogs if assistance is unavailable
How long will the appointment last?

The entire appointment can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Should other pets be there?

Pets grieve too – in their own way. In-home euthanasia allows as many other pets and housemates to be a part of this process. They will “know” their friend has passed on and this is a time for them to say goodbye as well.

Should my children be there?

This is best decided as a family.

Children express grief differently than adults and their response to grief can vary based on their age and level of understanding of death and loss.

Be open and honest with your children about your pet’s illness and death and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible.

If children do not wish to be present for the euthanasia, perhaps they could read a poem or share pictures or stories of their pet beforehand.

They may wish to view the pet’s body afterward for closure and a final goodbye.

Involve your children in memorializing your pet – this can include anything from making a shadow box to holding a celebration of life service.

What are the options for our pet's body after passing?

There are a few options for the aftercare of your pet’s body including burial, aquamation, and cremation.

Click here to see the details of each option listed above.

Get in touch!

Serving families in Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Windsor, Severance, Wellington, Greeley, Bellvue, Livermore, and Loveland

Also serving Cheyenne, Wyoming

Service Area

CO: Windsor, Severance, Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Wellington
WY: Cheyenne

Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sun: Emergency only

Have a question?

Send us a message!

Request your appointment online.

It is an honor for us to join you in your home and to be part of this special moment for you and your pet.