Northwest Veterinary Hospital recognizes the loss of a pet as a deeply emotional experience. Our experienced doctors can help guide you, when the time comes, to make this transition as peaceful as possible.
Because we know it is not always possible to plan ahead, our staff will do their best to allow you to bring your pet in when it feels right to you. It is our goal to help make your pet’s passing as peaceful and pain free as possible for both your pet and your family.
Our doctors recognize that sometimes it is more comfortable to say goodbye in the comfort of your own home. Because of our commitment to compassionate end of life care, we offer at-home euthanasia appointments by appointment for our patients as well.
What to Expect:
Once you have discussed your pet’s quality of life with their veterinarian and have made the decision that saying goodbye is the best and kindest option, you will be asked to sign brief paperwork confirming your decision. The veterinarian will administer a sedative and possibly a pain reliever to relax your pet. You can then be there to provide comfort while the sedative takes effect – typically 5-10 minutes.
The euthanasia injection is given once you and your pet are ready. This injection usually takes effect within a minute or so, allowing your pet to fall off into an anesthetic sleep that they will not wake up from. The process is peaceful and pain-free. The vet will use a stethoscope to listen and ensure their heart as stopped beating, and then give you time to honor your pet and say goodbye in privacy.
After euthanasia, several options are available to care for your pet’s body. Whether at-home or at the clinic, our team can facilitate transport where a trusted service will cremate your pet. The remains are returned in a keepsake vessel to the hospital where you can pick them up when it is convenient for you and your family. If you prefer not to receive your pet’s ashes, you may opt to have your pet cremated communally. You may also elect to bury your pet but please check local ordinances first.
You may read a more in-depth article written by one of our veterinarians in our blog.
Pet Loss Support:
Washington State University offers a pet-loss support hotline at 1-(866) 266-8635 or (509) 335-5704. Their website also offers a number of great resources to help yourself or your children cope with the loss of a pet.
Seattle Animal Shelter offers a pet-loss support group once a week. More information on dates and location can be found here.
We are available to answer questions or concerns you may have about your companion’s quality of life. Schedule an appointment today to discuss the compassionate options available to your family.