Why In-Home Euthanasia?

It’s our mission to ensure that pet owners have options when it comes to compassionate home euthanasia.

What To Expect

We believe that the final moments of your pet’s life should be free from fear, anxiety, and pain. They should be able to pass where they feel most comfortable and safe. We also believe that in-home euthanasia allows the family to grieve more freely and to take the time that they need to say goodbye.

Many dogs and cats feel fear as soon as they enter the clinic. When our pets have reached their end of life stage, they are more often than not physically uncomfortable. Some older pets feel anxious or nauseous in the car​. Palliative care patients or senior dogs and cats may have aches and pains that can make travelling in the vehicle uncomfortable. Large breed dogs with mobility concerns or arthritis may be difficult or impossible to transport to the vet’s office. Plus, veterinary clinics can have a lot of strange noises and smells that induce fear. With all these factors, it can make an already difficult time more stressful for both pet and owner. With in-home pet euthanasia, our patients do not see us as being any different than another visitor you may have to your home.

Our Process

It is often helpful for the family’s peace of mind to know what to expect when a care provider 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 your wishes to the best of our ability.

In clinics, end of life appointments are often booked in between appointments and not allowed sufficient time for the pet to receive sedation or pain medications. This does not allow the family or family member much time to say goodbye. 

We typically reserve about one hour but can be longer depending on the patient and your 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 care provider will then confirm that your pet has passed and then offer you some time alone with your dear friend to say goodbye. We do not book appointments back to back to ensure that you and your pet have all the time you need.

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.