We have answers for you.
We understand that this can be a stressful time for you and your family. Below are some frequently asked questions that we receive.
Should my other pets be present for the appointment?
This is a personal choice for each home to decide on ultimately, but here are some considerations to help you decide. You may want to include your other pets in the process if they are closely bonded to the pet being euthanized, are comfortable around a new visitor (the veterinarian in this case), and will be a comforting presence to you and other family members.
You may not want to include your other pets if they are likely to be protective of the pet being euthanized, do not like visitors, or will be an unwanted distraction to you during the process of euthanasia.
You may also decide to include other pet family members at certain times during the appointment. Some homes choose to allow all pets to initially greet the doctor and then have the other pets settle in a different home area. Other homes elect to have their other pets say goodbye to their friend once the euthanasia has been performed. Dr. Nicole does recommend this as it can help all pets in the home have some closure and may reduce their desire to search for the deceased pet.
Should my children be present during the euthanasia appointment? How can I help my child cope with the loss of our pet?
Generally, if a child is able to make many of their own choices on a daily basis, they should also decide if they want to be present during the euthanasia.
Many very young children (5 and under) are not able to comprehend the process of death or the finality of it and so do not benefit from being present during the appointment. Additionally, many parents will feel as though they are mourning the pet that taught them “how to be a parent” and so may be able to grieve more completely if their young children aren’t present.
Whatever you may decide, it is always best to tell children the truth. Children may be confused by euphemisms, such as “he went to sleep” or “passed away.” Kids may also ask or state, frequently and bluntly, what happened to their pet. This is normal and may be difficult to hear as an adult, but this is the way kids process a new experience.
The Ohio State University Veterinary has very useful information that can be found here:
Helping Children Cope with the Serious Illness or Death of a Companion Animal
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement has very useful information for parents looking for guidance:
What can I expect to happen during the euthanasia appointment?
Our doctor will arrive and greet all family members. We often find it best to have a short discussion with everyone who wants to be present to explain the process and answer any questions. If possible, it is best to have this discussion with your pet present, too; that way, your pet can become more comfortable with the doctor as well. We will administer a shot with a small needle to help your pet relax and take away the pain. If your pet will eat a treat, we can offer them something tasty to help distract them from the small pinch of the injection. We can also wrap small dogs and cats in a thick blanket while holding them in your arms and comforting them. We find that most pets hardly notice this injection. Your pet will become relaxed over 5 to 10 minutes, and the doctor will ensure that your beloved pet is totally relaxed by checking to see if certain reflexes are absent. We may ask that once your pet is relaxed, you place them in a special place such as on their bed or a prepared blanket. This will allow the doctor to place a small IV catheter and give the final medication. You will be able to be near your loved one as the final medication is given. If you need our help with aftercare (cremation or pet cemetery burial), the doctor will help transport your loved one to our partner facility. We will use a small soft stretcher and a soft blanket to transport your loved one to our vehicle. In certain cases, we may ask that a family member assist the doctor with lifting to the vehicle.
What if my pet does not like new visitors or might bite?
We understand that many pets are trusted family guardians and may feel anxiety when new people come into their homes. We take our time and often find that once you are comfortable with us, then your pet can relax too. Some animals may have more significant stranger danger or be more prone to biting. If this is the case, we can work with you and your family to come up with a specialized approach that will minimize the stress your pet experiences. We can utilize medications that can be given by mouth to help your pet relax. We find that allowing extra time can be helpful in these situations and offer a quality-of-life exam before the euthanasia appointment to tailor everything to your pet and unique situation. Please let our Care Team know if you have any concerns about how your pet may feel about a new visitor or receiving a small shot.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the appointment?
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, and checks.