Ever since the kind local veterinarian came to her home to humanely euthanize her childhood dog over 20 years ago, Dr. White has believed deeply in at-home euthanasia as a service. It is a day that she won’t ever forget for many reasons, but one which was made a little bit easier by being able to say good-bye to her special friend in the comfort of their home with her head in her lap
-what a gift-.
What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the act of humanely ending an animal’s life. Most often animal euthanasias are achieved by administering an overdose of an anesthetic. Often a sedative is administered first to facilitate a peaceful process and reduce anxiety. Euthanasia means “good death”, the goal is for your pet to pass peacefully without pain or anxiety.
How do I know if its time?
This is a complicated question and one that is best answered by taking into consideration several factors including your pets overall comfort and quality of life. If your pet is dealing with a physical ailment, when no more options are available to prevent suffering, euthanasia is a very kind way to relieve them of the pain/discomfort they are experiencing. Your veterinary team is a wonderful resource when facing these questions, they are trained to help guide and support you through this process.
Why choose at-home euthanasia?
Many people choose at-home euthanasia because it reduces the stress and anxiety that often accompanies an in-office veterinary visit. Having your pet euthanized in the comfort of your home and surrounded by familiar, loving family members helps to make your pet’s last moments with you as calm and peaceful as possible. At-home euthanasias bypass the anxiety -and even pain- that a trip in the car can cause, stressful wait-times at a busy office, and allows for added time after the procedure to grieve with your pet and loved ones. Wherever and however this procedure is done, depends on what is right for you and your pet. Dr. White is passionate that at-home euthanasia is one of the options available to you when making end-of-life plans for your animal.
Planning and Preparations
It is advisable to consider:
Who: who will be present for your pets’ passing (family, friends, other pets). All are welcome, but no one has to stay
When: when you have decided that it is time to euthanize your pet, consider
scheduling with all members who wish to be present and with your veterinary team
(keeping in mind your pet’s welfare and what is best for them). Remember to consider
how long typical appointments take so you can plan your good-bye.
Where: this could be anywhere your veterinary team can gather (in a veterinary
hospital, at home, a secluded outdoor location, etc), you can discuss options with your\
You may choose to have special aspects a part of your pets euthanasia. Some people have chosen candles, special readings, music, ceremonial rites, paw print, clipping of fur/hair.
It is advised to think about how you would like to handle your pets remains before euthanasia, some options are: burial, cremation, composting, etc. Your veterinary team can help you consider your options and help with logistics.
To help an animal pass pain-free with peace and dignity is one of the most incredible responsibilities we have as friends to our animal companions.
If you are considering at-home euthanasia for your pet, and would like to discuss any of the above topics farther, please contact Dr. White
*Also, for more information on grief support and quality of life, please visit the resources page or
It is common to experience profound grief after the loss of a pet. It is important to be prepared for this aspect of your pets’ euthanasia and to consider researching pet loss support groups in your area or other resources to assist you in your grief.