As pet owners, we dread the day that we may have to let our pet go and hate to think about it. If you feel that you want to know more about the procedures and want to be more prepared when the awful day comes, we hope outlining the practical concerns here will help.
Is there a “right” time to have my pet put down?
Every situation with every animal is different, so we suggest that you have your pet examined by the vet or discuss it over the phone,
What happens when I bring my pet to be put to sleep?
We are obliged to ask owners to sign a euthanasia consent form. This can be a difficult thing to do but it helps to avoid any misunderstandings.
We use an injection of pentobarbitone, which is a massive overdose of anaesthetic. In most cases we give this intravenously with the assistance of a nurse. Sometimes intravenous injection is not possible, so the injection is given by another route.
How long will it take?
The intravenous injection only takes a few seconds. Other injections may take a little longer.
Can I stay with my pet while this is done?
This is a matter of personal choice and the vet will discuss it with you at the time.
Where will this all take place?
Generally we do this procedure during an appointment at the surgery. If we have warning of the intended euthanasia, we try to arrange an appointment at a quiet time e.g. towards the end of the clinic.
Sometimes we are able to make a home visit to perform euthanasia. However the timing of this is less flexible and requires forward planning. Obviously in urgent situations this may not be possible.
What happens to my pet afterwards?
There are several choices depending on personal preference.
1) You may take your pet home with you for burial.
2) Cremation at a pet cemetery.
We use Silvermere Haven Pet Cemetery and Crematorium. They collect your pet from us afterwards and owners can choose either communal or individual cremation. With communal cremation your pet will have his/her ashes scattered at the crematorium. With individual cremation, your pet will be cremated by himself/herself and the ashes will be returned to us. Be assured it will be just your pet's ashes. A variety of options (eg casket, urn) are available. The ashes are normally ready for collection from about one week after euthanasia. We will inform you by phone when they are back.
3) Burial in a pet cemetery. Silvermere Haven can arrange this – leaflets are available at reception.
All these options have different costs involved, which need to be discussed even at this most difficult time. Our experience is that it can be less painful to settle payment at the time of euthanasia, or prior to it if desired, to avoid receiving a bill in the post that can bring back sad memories.
Rest assured that we try our hardest to minimise stress at this very difficult time.
If you are really struggling with the loss of a pet you may find the following links useful: