When is it time to make the decision?

This is a difficult and irrevocable decision.  Asking yourself this question and taking time to think long and hard about it is a positive action.  Whatever your decision, you will want to know you considered all options and ultimately made the best choice for your pet and your family, and if given the same situation, you would make the same decision again. 

Will I Be Present for the Euthanasia?

Many pet owners feel that it's very important, maybe even obligatory, to be present for the euthansia. While being present for the euthanasia is a big decision, it remains your choice. If you feel that witnessing the euthanasia would be too painful, you don't have to do it.

How Long does the Procedure Take?

The procedure is very swift, once the injection is given the pet will drift into a deep sleep within seconds and within a few minutes, its heart will ultimately stop. Of course, the whole procedure takes longer if sedatives are given prior as it may take some time for them to take full effect.

What Should I expect?

Sometimes upon passing to better life, there may be some visible muscle twitches but this is normal. Often a last deep breath is taken. In some cases, cat or dogs may be heard vocalizing and there may be some loss of bladder function and some bowel movements. These as well, are normal occurrences the pet is not aware of.

What do I need to do beforehand to prepare?

There is very little that you need to do before our arrival. Often, having an old towel or blanket available is helpful in case your pet eliminates during the process. Otherwise, just focus on spending meaningful time with your companion.

Will my pet feel it?

The only thing your pet will feel is the poke of the needle. If your pet has had blood drawn before, it is much the same thing.  They will fall asleep and be mentally unaware when their breathing and heart stops

What Will I Do with the Remains?

Decide ahead of time what you'll do with your pet's remains. If you want to make special arrangements, such as having a funeral service and internment in a pet memorial park, you may want to begin years in advance.

For many owners, dealing with a pet's remains is a spiritual issue. Some may prefer to keep their pet close to them, in a cremation urn, or interred in a favorite location. Others may feel that physical remains are unrelated to the spirit and will be happy to leave the remains with the vet. Do what feels right to you.

Who can I talk to for support?

Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement. Nonprofit association of concerned people who are experienced and knowledgeable about pet death. Provides pet bereavement counseling and public education to those interested in counseling others. www.aplb.org

Delta Society provides information on the human/animal bond. Offers a bibliography of publications on pet loss and a list of pet-loss counselors, help lines, and support groups, at www.deltasociety.org under the health benefits section (pet loss and bereavement).

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