Euthanasia

The decision to say goodbye to your family member can be one of the most difficult you’ll have to make. We’re here to guide you through the process with compassion, and can perform end-of-life services at the time and place of your choosing.

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Cat & Dog Euthanasia FAQs

  • Why euthanasia?

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    Euthanasia allows us to minimize a pet’s suffering and give them a quick, painless and more dignified passing – especially if we know that there’s nothing more that can be done medically to treat an illness or improve a pet’s quality of life.

  • How do I know when it’s the right time?

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    Performing a quality of life assessment can help you to determine whether your pet is still able to enjoy their usual activities, or whether their life is affected by pain or suffering. It’s also important to discuss quality of life and end of life care with your veterinarian, so that you can make the best decision possible for both you and your pet.

  • How can I tell if my pet is in pain?

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    Pets are often notorious for hiding their pain from us, but there are signs that can indicate your pet may be in pain. This includes difficulty moving around, a tendency to lay in the same place, hesitancy to go out for walks, whining or crying, a decreased appetite, and lack of interest in their favorite things.

  • How can I make my home more comfortable for my pet when they are elderly?

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    There are many things you can do to adapt your home for a senior pet. Our doctors can advise on specific accommodations your pet may benefit from; this may include: keeping your pet on one level of the home (no stairs) and using pet ramps, raised feeding and water bowls (so they don’t need to bend down), easily accessible litter trays, orthopedic beds or ones with extra padding, removing any trip hazards and refraining from moving furniture around (for pets whose vision is diminished), keeping your home comfortably warm, adding non-slip rugs to any slippery floors, and considering a doggy door to allow your pet to go out to eliminate whenever they need.

  • Can I stay with my pet during euthanasia?

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    Yes, you are very welcome to stay with your pet during euthanasia. Some owners decide to stay with their pet throughout the entire procedure, others choose just to stay through the initial sedation, while some prefer to not stay for any of it. This is a personal decision, and you are free to choose whatever feels right for you.

  • Can you do at-home euthanasia?

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    Yes, we can provide end of life services wherever and whenever you feel most comfortable.

  • What happens during euthanasia?

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    We’ll give you and your pet some time together to say goodbye. When you’re ready, we’ll administer a sedative that is a mix of painkiller and a calming agent via a tiny needle. This will help your pet to relax and avoid any stress. Next, we will place an IV catheter, through which the euthanasia solution will be administered. When you are ready, we will administer the solution. This is a painless procedure, and your pet will pass away within a few minutes. We’ll give you some private time with your pet afterwards if you would like, and will then handle arrangements for cremation or burial, according to your wishes.

  • Is euthanasia painful for my pet?

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    No, your pet will not be in any pain. The sedatives and pain medication ensures this.

  • Do you offer cremation?

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    Yes, we can organize cremation services for you.

  • Will my other pets grieve the loss of my pet?

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    Yes, pets may grieve the loss of a pet, regardless of whether they seemed close. Owners may notice behavioral changes after the loss of one pet, including decreased appetite, craving more attention, increased barking or meowing, changes in sleeping, potty habits or other behavioral changes. There are ways you can help pets to adjust, including establishing a new routine, providing distractions such as a feeding puzzle toy, and considering calming collars or sprays.

  • Where can I get advice or counseling about the loss of my pet?

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    Coping with the loss of a pet can be incredibly difficult. Many people benefit from speaking about it with others who understand. You might consider joining a support group such as the AMCNY’s Pet Loss Support Group.

Talk to us about compassionate end of life care

Speak to our doctors and get advice to ensure your pet has the best quality of life for as long as possible.

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Woman hugging dog and catWoman hugging dog and cat
From the Learning Center It can be difficult to know when it's time to say goodbye. Performing a quality of life assessment can help to gauge your pet’s health and well-being in a more objective way.