Losing a pet is one of the most traumatic experiences in one's life. Many pet owners confidentially tell me that losing their pet is just as hard if not harder than when they lost their mom, their dad or another significant friend or family member. You probably spend more time with your pet than you do with anybody else. He is there to greet you when you come back from work every day. No matter what kind of day you had, no matter if you are happy, sad, stressed,... your pet will love you unconditionally just the same. So when it comes to having to say goodbye to your best friend you may want to do a bit of research to ensure that you will not regret your choices regarding his last moments of his life.
First, you want to make sure that the timing is right. That you don't wait too long and selfishly keep him for longer than is fair to him. That you don't do it too early either. The information in the section "Is it time?" will help you tremendously. We have home tests, information about Pain, Quality of Life information... And if you are still unsure how to assess this, we offer Hospice Visits and In Home Quality of Life assessments.
When you research a euthanasia service, here are some questions/concerns you should address:
- What is their availability?
- Do they provide enough information about the procedure, the kind of drugs they use, their sedation protocol, euthanasia techniques, timing of euthanasia, etc...
Our website is the most complete Pet End of Life Care website in the world. Every question a pet parent could possibly have is answered on our website.
- Call them. Do they answer your questions? Are they compassionate and courteous? Do you get the feeling that they are there to help you? Do they answer the phone immediately or return your call promptly?
Our staff is there to answer your questions. We will listen to your concerns and we are there to hear your pet's story and to help you in this difficult time. If we are unable to answer the phone when you call, we will return your call promptly.
- If it is a veterinary office, where do they do the euthanasia? Do they provide you with privacy, calm and quiet?
- What kind of person is your pet comfortable with? Man? Woman? Is he scared of any particular type of person? If he has had many uncomfortable procedures done with your regular veterinarian, it may be wise to chose a different facility so that your pet is not scared in his last moments. What kind of protocol do they have for pets who are particularly scared or fractious? Do they have a way to make it peaceful and non-stressful for those scardy babies?
We have a gentle and stress-free protocol for those fur babies who are scared of strangers. Our doctors are exhude an air of calm, warmth and peace to make this experience as peaceful as possible.
- Do they allow you to be with your pet the entire time?
You can be with your pet the entire time. You can also hold your pet any way you wish as long as it will not cause your baby pain or discomfort.
- If you do not feel able to be with your pet during the euthanasia, how will they treat your pet in your absence? Can you trust that they will be gentle and loving with your baby in his or her last moments?
Whether you are able to be present for the euthanasia itself, your pet will be loved and comforted the entire time by the doctor attending your little one.
- What kind of experience do they have helping families through this difficult time?
We have helped over 7000 families over the last decade.
- Look at their reviews. Did others have a good experience with them? Do they demonstrate the caring and compassion you and your family will so desperately need at such a difficult time?
See our reviews on YELP and the hundreds of testimonials on our website.
- Get information on cost. Request a quote. Is the value of service worth the cost?
We will gladly give you a quote depending on your aftercare preferences, etc...
- Do they allow other family members to be present?
At times, we have helped families who had over 20 friends and family members present.
- Do they allow other family pets to be present?
We not only allow other family pets to be present but encourage it. It is important for them. See our article "Should other pets be present?"
- How do they feel about allowing children to be present?
Children are welcome to be present when saying goodbye to their pet. For help in preparing your child, see: "Should children be present?"
- Will they allow you to choose where and how you want the procedure to be conducted?
Your pet can be where ever he or she is most comfortable. Be it on your lap, in the middle of the kitchen, under his favorite tree, at the beach, at a park, on his bed, or wherever he is laying down when we arrive.
- How do they proceed with the aftercare (body care)? Do they put your pet's remains in a trash bag? How trustworthy is the cremation facility they use? Call the crematory yourself and see if their staff is courteous, kind, compassionate. Chances are that they will treat your pet's remains in a similar way as they will treat you over the phone. Will they allow you to view the cremation if you wish to? Ensure that pets remains are always cremated and not sent to a rendering plant.
With our service, you can be assured that your pet's remains will be treated with dignity. The entire process is done as if you were standing right over our shoulder. You can find full information regarding your pet's aftercare on our Aftercare section.
- How will they transport your pet? Is the vehicle clean and suitable? Is it dignified and comfortable-looking?
The doctor's vehicle is tastefully arranged to transport your pet with dignity and respect. See pictures here: Aftercare
- What about the paperwork? Will you have an opportunity to get all the paperwork filled out ahead of time so that you don't have to be bothered with those technicalities during the appointment. Is the paperwork clear? Does it provide you with options?
If you wish to get all the paperwork done ahead of time you will find the forms ready to download and print here: Forms.
- Do they offer Clay Paw Prints or other momentos?
Dr. Forslund makes beautiful Clay Paw Prints. See pictures on our Clay Paw Print page.