Making the Decision
Making the decision.
Saying goodbye to a family member is an extremely difficult and personal decision. While some pets die quietly at home from old age, many other pets grow seriously ill, become painful or have extreme limitations which diminishes their quality of life. Euthanasia is a humane choice to ease a pet's suffering. Knowing the facts about euthanasia can help your family make a decision and be at peace with the process.
While the idea of saying goodbye to your pet may be devastating, watching your pet suffer is a far more terrible experience. Try to assess your pet's quality of life by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does your pet have a terminal illness?
- Can your pet's illness be alleviated with medication or surgery?
- Is treatment affordable?
- Is your pet losing his or her bodily functions? Can your pet stand up, walk up and down stairs, defecate, and urinate on his or her own?
- Does your pet still want to eat and drink water?
- Is extending your pets life in his or her best interest? Or are you extending his or her life for yourself? Many pet owners find it difficult to answer this last question and struggle to answer it.
If you are unsure on how to answer some of the above questions, talk to your veterinarian. Every pet, illness and situation is different and a veterinarian is the best qualified person to help you decipher through your options and guide you through the process. Also, talking to loved ones is a great way to help sort out emotions and see things from others perspectives.
Making an appointment.
When you and your family are ready to say goodbye, simply call your veterinarian to set up an appointment. While an appointment is not always necessary, it is preferred as it helps the veterinary team schedule an appointment during a quieter time of day to limit waiting and allow for pet owners to take their time. Many veterinary clinics also do at home euthanasia if requested.
All Valley Animal Care Center and All Valley Pet Clinic - Emerald do in home euthanasia by appointment. The appointments are usually set for early mornings, lunch times or for the end of day to allow time for the veterinarian to block off enough time in the schedule to do the euthanasia and still see other appointments during the day. If there's a special request you have (i.e. doing the euthanasia outside, in the car, etc.), most veterinarians will try their best to accommodate these special requests.
To set up an appointment for in home euthanasia, you can call the All Valley Animal Care Center at 208.888.0818 or call the All Valley Pet Clinic-Emerald at 208.322.0033.
*Should your pet pass away unexpectedly at home, All Valley Animal Care Center also offers at-home pick-up. Your pet will be picked up by one of our caring team members and transported directly to the crematorium. For more information, please call All Valley Animal Care Center at 208.888.0818.
The choice between being at the appointment or not.
Most pet owners find it comforting to stay for the procedure, however, it is not mandatory. Some pet owners find it easier to drop off their pet for euthanasia and pick up the pet's body or cremations at a later time. There is no right or wrong way to say goodbye, whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Coping with fear or anxiety about euthanizing a pet.
Most anxiety is from uncertainty about whether or not euthanasia is the best choice for their pet so it is important to carefully consider your options and find a veterinarian that will be supportive of the decision.
Grieving over a lost pet.
Grief is expressed in many different ways and each person's situation is unique. The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers support to pet owners who have recently lost a loved one. The volunteers that operate the hotline are students who have been trained in grief counseling by a licensed therapist. If you or a loved one is having a difficult time with the grieving process or simply need someone to talk to, the WSU Pet Loss Hotline is a wonderful resource. You may reach them by phone at 1.866.266.8635 or 509.335.5704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org