In-Home Euthanasia

We are here for you during this difficult decision.

Compassionate in-home euthanasia

This will be the most difficult decision you will make in your pet’s life, but we can help. Oftentimes, the emotions, stress, and anxiety can be overwhelming for a family. Many of us hope our pets will pass away peacefully on their own, but this is generally not how it happens. We at Calgary Family Vet can provide a calm and gentle passing when the time is best.

Why choose in-home euthanasia?

Choosing in-home euthanasia allows your pet to spend their final moments in the comfort of their home surrounded by their family.

  • Pets are more comfortable in their own setting
  • Less overall stress and anxiety for you and your pet
  • Your pet can relax surrounded by their favourite blankets, toys, and familiar smells
  • Your pet can spend their final moments in your arms, in their bed, or in a favourite spot, be it inside or out.

In-home euthanasia is also more comfortable for you, the owner.

  • No stressful car ride to the vet, no distractions of a busy hospital
  • You can relax in the privacy and comfort of your home – when you are more relaxed, your pet will be more relaxed.
  • In-home euthanasia allows as many family members and other pets to attend
  • No huddling around in a small room at the vet’s office
  • You can set your own atmosphere at home with candles, pictures, music, poem readings, etc.

In-home euthanasia is personal and private.

  • You will never feel rushed or crowded
  • You will have time and space to grieve for your beloved pet
  • You don’t have to worry about transporting your pet for body care
  • If you choose to have your pet cremated, we can handle or assist in transportation arrangements to the crematorium

FAQs

How will I know it's time to euthanize my pet?

This is the most common question we get and also the most difficult to answer as there are many factors that influence this decision.

In summary, when your pet is suffering or struggling, euthanasia is a gift.

We may never find the “right” time to let our pets go, but we can consider when the “best” time would be.

We don’t want to wait too late and put our pets through unnecessary suffering.

Please contact us to discuss your pet’s quality of life and determine whether euthanasia is the right decision for your pet.

What should I expect with in-home euthanasia?

As this is already a difficult time for you and your family, knowing what to expect when we visit your home can help ease the stress and anxiety.

  • The veterinarian will arrive without a technician so as not to crowd the space.
  • Your pet will first receive an injection in the muscle or under the skin that will offer pain control and heavy sedation – this will take around 10 – 15 minutes before your pet is sedated.
  • Once you and your pet are ready, the veterinarian will administer the euthanasia medication, which is an overdose of an anesthetic that will slow then stop the heart.
  • Depending on your pet’s size and condition, this medication will be delivered either by a vein in the leg or by a vein in the abdomen​.
  • Your pet will pass away peacefully within minutes
  • The veterinarian will confirm that the heart has stopped, and you can take as much time with your pet as you need.
  • We will make a paw print and take a keepsake lock of fur for you.
  • If you choose aquamation or cremation, the veterinarian will gently prepare your pet’s body for transport.
  • ​Since the veterinarian will not have a technician to help, assistance will be required to move any pets over 30 pounds​.
  • Special arrangements can be made for large or giant breed dogs if assistance is unavailable.
How long will the appointment last?

The entire appointment can last anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes.

Should other pets be there?

Pets grieve, too – in their own way. In-home euthanasia allows as many other pets and housemates to be a part of this process. They will “know” their friend has passed on, and this is a time for them to say goodbye as well.

Should my children be there?

This is best decided as a family.

Children express grief differently than adults, and their response to grief can vary based on their age and level of understanding of death and loss.

Be open and honest with your children about your pet’s illness and death and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible.

If children do not wish to be present for euthanasia, perhaps they could read a poem or share pictures or stories of their pet beforehand.

They may wish to view the pet’s body afterward for closure and a final goodbye.

Involve your children in memorializing your pet – this can include anything from making a shadow box to holding a celebration of life service.