Having a pet is one of life's most rewarding experiences, but sadly saying goodbye is an unavoidable part of this. We understand how difficult this decision is, and it's our priority to support you throughout this time with dignity and care.
When is the right time?
Your vet will help you reach this decision based on your pet and the circumstances. There are many factors to consider, including your pet's quality of life, individual circumstances, pain and how their condition might progress. We'll help you consider all aspects of your pet's daily routine and how their habits and activities are changing. Together, we'll plan the best way forward for you and your pet.
Timing your euthanasia appointment
We have appointments available during our quieter times, or we can arrange a time that best suits you. Your appointment is longer than a usual consultation to allow you to spend as much time with your pet as you need.
What happens during my pet's appointment?
If you wish to stay with your pet while we put them to sleep, we'll explain what happens to help prepare you. If you prefer to say goodbye beforehand, we'll arrange for you to spend some time with your pet. If at any point you change your mind, just let us know. We understand that it's sometimes difficult to predict how you'll feel. We may give your pet a sedative that will be injected into your pet's muscle, and you can hold them while they become sleepy. This usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes. We place a cannula into the vein in your pet's leg, which is sometimes carried out while you wait in another room. If you wish, and where possible, we can help you comfortably hold your pet. When you are ready, the vet will inject a strong anaesthetic drug directly into your pet's bloodstream. Your pet will fall asleep, and once they are fully unconscious, their heart will stop beating. The vet will listen to your pet's heart and check their reflexes to confirm they have passed away. Some pets pass urine or faeces after they die; this is a normal reaction. Your pet's eyes will stay open, and as air leaves their lungs, they may appear to take a few breaths.
You can spend as much time with your pet afterwards as you need. We can stay with you, or you can have time alone if you prefer. If your pet is being cremated, they will stay with us. If your pet is going home with you, we will wrap your pet in their blanket or place them in their carrier and help you when you are ready to leave the practice. If your insurance policy covers euthanasia, we can help you complete your claim paperwork after your appointment.