Do you wish to have your veterinarian peacefully euthanize your pet at home? Many pet owners choose this option for their animal companions. Your pet will suffer less stress, and you can grieve privately.
To make the experience go more smoothly, prepare in advance for a planned in-home euthanasia. Focus on the following four aspects of the in-home procedure.
1. Enjoy Last Moments With Your Pet
Take time before the vet arrives to show your love and affection for your pet. If your pet has energy, take it for a short walk in the yard. Or let the dog or cat sit in your lap while you watch TV. You'll cherish those last moments of bonding.
The day of the euthanasia, your vet wants your pet to be as calm as possible. Don't change the pet's routine in ways that are known to stress the animal. Pets pick up on subtle cues and changes in daily habits.
For example, don't shoo other animals away when preparing your home. Your pet may wonder why it can't follow the other pets or why the other pets can't be nearby for comfort. Also don't prepare the dog like you're getting the pet ready for a bath, since this can stress out the dog. Keep things routine and calm.
2. Prepare a Peaceful Transition Spot
Your vet will give you tips on how they prefer to administer the medications your pet will receive. The important thing is to situate your pet's spot where the vet and you can easily access the pet. Your veterinarian will appreciate having access to a sink with running water, fresh soap, and clean hand towels.
The room where the euthanasia will be performed should be easy to close off from adjacent rooms for privacy. And you should also set the temperature at a comfortable spot for the pet and people whenever possible. Electrical outlets for medical implements and record-keeping are a plus.
You need to alert household members to the event in your home. Ask for quiet and respect during that time. Place a "Do Not Disturb" note on the front door. It's okay to leave the sign up until euthanasia is complete and you're ready to see visitors again.
Lastly, larger pets may appreciate a cushioned spot for a last place to settle down. Sometimes, smaller pets may be able to be euthanized in your arms or wrapped in a blanket.
3. Talk to Children Openly and Honestly
Your honesty is the key to your child's adjustment to pet loss. Don't use euphemisms for the euthanasia like "going to sleep" or "being put to sleep," since this terminology can frighten a child at bedtime.
Instead, hold a family meeting and explain the upcoming euthanasia. Explain why the procedure is the humane, loving thing to do, and don't blame yourself, the vet, or any family member. Simply let kids know that the animal's body is broken and won't work any more.
Experts don't agree on whether or not kids should be present during euthanasia. Seeing their beloved pet pass peacefully can reduce a child's fear and wild imaginings over a pet's final moments. But the experience could also be traumatic and unsettling for other kids.
Allow kids to grieve before and after the event in their own ways. Let children help plan a funeral or other memorial service for their pet. Ceremonies and remembrances offer closure to adults and children and provide opportunities to share the loss.
4. Ask Plenty of Questions to Get Ready
Ask your doctor about having kids and other pets present for the pet's final moments. Your vet will offer guidance for your specific circumstances and household situation. They also have suggestions for books and other resources to help kids cope with death and dying.
Ask about all of the options for your pet when it comes to euthanasia and memorial methods. Discuss the details including cost, transportation of remains, and cremation options. Make all of the arrangements in advance so you don't have to worry about stressful details directly after the loss of your pet.
Contact Healthy Paws Veterinary Hospital & House Calls for gentle at-home euthanasia services in Belleville, Livonia, and Westland, Michigan.