Frequently Asked Questions
Many pet owners who have been through this experience will say that they “just knew it was time” but it is not unusual instead to feel completely confused and unsure. Most elderly and terminally ill pets, just like human beings, have good days and bad days and as time goes on and health declines, this becomes an hour to hour proposition.
Are the good times outweighing the bad times? Think about his or her quality of life – is your dog eating, drinking, and going to the toilet normally? Is he or she able to enjoy a deep peaceful sleep, appear happy to see you and enjoy a sniff in the garden? How much discomfort is he or she enduring?
Many pet owners report a look of exhaustion, or appearing to have ‘had enough’ or the ‘light has gone out of his eyes’. A consultation with My Best Friend can help you to determine when the time is right for your pet and your family.
Yes of course. My Best Friend encourages your pet’s loved ones to share in the experience. We can visit in the evening or on the weekend when everyone is able to be present. We also encourage your children and other pets to be included.
It is most important that your pet is relaxed and in their favourite place, whether this is out in the garden in the sunshine or on your bed. It’s particularly important if your pet would be distressed by being moved.
Dr Emma will enter your home quietly and spend time letting your pet/s get to know her a little. During this time, she will talk you through the procedure and address any concerns that you have. Once everyone has met and are settled, and you give permission, Dr Emma will then give a sedating injection. When your pet is fast asleep and blissfully unaware, an intravenous catheter will be placed into a vein usually in one of the front legs. This is where the overdose of anaesthetic will be given when you are ready.
There will be a consent form for you to read and sign in order to give Dr Emma permission to euthanase your pet. This can be a very upsetting thing for you to do but it is a requirement to ensure that you understand exactly what is going on as this is not reversible procedure. If you feel too distressed to read and sign it yourself, perhaps a supportive family member could do it for you.
On average, Dr Emma will be at your house for about an hour during which time your pet will be induced into a deepening sleep in preparation for the catheter to be placed. When the final lethal injection is given intravenously, it will cause death very quickly and painlessly.
This is a very common emotion at this time. Naturally we are accustomed most of the time to preserving and extending life rather than extinguishing it, so when we find ourselves having to make this decision, it is normal to feel this way. Try to focus on the act of euthanasia being a legal, kind and compassionate act. Euthanasia literally means ‘a good death’ and we should be courageous and responsible enough to provide our pets with this as well as a good life.
My Best Friend is able to organize several different options such as burial or individual cremation on your behalf. If you are unable to decide what to do for a little while, then we can safely and respectfully store your pet’s body until you are ready to proceed. Pet owners who wish to bury their animals themselves at home should consider checking with the local authorities first.