We provide pets with an end of life journey that is as meaningful as the wonderful life they lived.
What To Expect
It is often helpful for the family’s peace of mind to know what to expect when the veterinarian comes to their home to perform end of life care. Before the appointment, we’ll request medical history and answer any questions about the euthanasia process. If you have any special requests for the appointment, please share them with us in advance so that we’re able to accommodate to the best of our ability. When we arrive at your home, a member of our team will ensure that any remaining paperwork is filled out and signed. They will walk you through the aftercare options that are available and accept payment. We structure our visit in this way to allow those present to focus on saying goodbye to their beloved companion. You can choose to complete the paperwork and payment in advance of the appointment as well.
Appointments are typically about one hour but can be longer depending on the patient and family’s needs. We believe strongly in freedom from fear and pain and that your final memories with your pet should be of them being calm and at peace. To ensure a peaceful experience, a subcutaneous injection of pain medication and sedation will be given. This injection is given with a small needle just under the skin. Once your pet has fallen into a deep and peaceful sleep, an IV catheter is placed prior to the administration of the final injections, which is an overdose of anesthetic. The veterinarian will then confirm that your pet has passed and then provide you with some time alone with your dear friend to say goodbye.
If we are transporting your pet for aftercare, Dr. Coulter will give you some time alone with your pet and return with a gurney or blanket. You are welcome to accompany your pet out to the vehicle to give them one last hug. If you have requested a private cremation for your pet they will be transported to Gateway Crematorium, who will return the ashes in an urn of your choice in about one week.
Making It Personal
Prior to your appointment, consider the setting that would put your pet and yourself or family at ease. This place might be their bed, a favourite chair, or in the backyard under a well-loved shade tree. We are comfortable where your pet is comfortable. Dr. Coulter has had final moments with her own pets on the back deck overlooking the fields and on her dog’s bed in front of a fireplace. We know this is a deeply personal choice. You can also consider music, candles, readings, and other ways to mark the experience. These steps are not necessary, but some pet families find them comforting.
Should Children Be Part Of The Process?
Children have often been around their pet for most, if not all, of their lives. They’ve likely taken an active role in caring for this family member, especially as they’ve grown weaker with age. While illness and death are difficult topics to broach, pet euthanasia can provide opportunities to teach a child rich lessons about the cycle of life. We encourage you to consider each child’s temperament and your own ability to carefully prepare them as the time approaches when deciding whether you want them present at the euthanasia.