Is At-Home Pet Euthanasia the Right Choice For You?
Let’s face it; no one wants their pet to struggle with the severe pain of terminal disease, old age infirmities, or injury. By the same token, most of us loathe the thought of our best friend’s life-ending on a cold steel table in some sterile veterinary exam room. But, it doesn’t have to be that way―there is an option. It’s called At-Home Pet Euthanasia.
Surprisingly, at-home pet euthanasia only became a popular choice for pet owners as recently as the mid-’90s. The practice of ending a pet’s pain in the comfort of his or her home has since gained a lot of favor among caring vets and pet owners. But, as pets age or become terminal, each pet parent still needs to ask themselves―“is at home euthanasia right for me and my pets?”
Why Do We Euthanize Our Pets in the First Place?
Some reasons maybe because they are:
- Suffering in constant, unmanageable pain
- Terminally ill or comatose
- Weak and infirm from old age
- Mortally injured (fight or accident)
- Permanently incontinent
- Permanently paralyzed
- Viciously Aggressive―a danger to other pets and people
- Uninsured—needs expensive surgery and long-term care
What Are the Benefits of At-Home Pet Euthanasia?
- It is private and familiar so the ailing pet is calm and comfortable.
- No unfamiliar sights and smells or sounds to frighten the pet
- It allows time for last hugs, pettings, and private goodbyes.
- No sense of urgency or distractions as in a clinic situation
- It is better for the pet to pass in the comfort of its own bed and surroundings.
- The pet will feel no pain and the pet parents will be less anxious.
What Are the Downsides to at-home Pet Euthanasia?
- It is expensive. Well, at least when compared to having your pet put to sleep at the vet’s clinic. Pet euthanasia by a vet at home for a medium-sized dog (20-50 lbs.) will typically cost between $300 and $800. Whereas, it will just cost between $70 and $400 if done at the vets. The actual cost will depend on various factors like the city and state where you live, vet’s travel time, pet’s body weight, local cremation or burial costs, etc.
- You may have to use a different vet. Perhaps your vet doesn’t make house calls, or he/she isn’t available when you need the service done at home.
- It’s not for everyone. There is no right or wrong way for this unwanted deed. Some folks may prefer the detachment of taking their pets to the clinic. At-home pet euthanasia also means the whole family has to be emotionally prepared to say goodbye when the vet comes. And, each person will be constantly reminded of the pet’s last moments at home.
Is There A Compromise?
Well, not exactly―there is no “neutral” place to take a beloved pet for its final moments. It’s pretty much a ‘best of two evils’ choice of at home or at the vet’s clinic. But, there are things you can do to “soften” the clinic option.
- Take your pet’s favorite toy along
- Comfort your friend with his or her blanket, bed, or pillow
- Let your pet feel, hear, see, and smell you as it slips away.
- Don’t go solo. If you’re single, ask a friend or sibling to go with you. If you have a partner, make it a family affair.
No one wants to think about the inevitability of the death of a beloved pet. Although it is an uncomfortable subject, it’s one that should be discussed openly and planned for. This is especially true as your mature pet becomes an aged senior.
There is never an easy solution when a beloved pet can no longer be by our side. And, it’s always devastating when we have to decide to end an old or injured pet’s life. Remember, there is no right or wrong place to do this. Just be sure to make it the best choice for the pet, for you, and for your family.
As discomforting as the subject of pet euthanasia is, it is inevitable that all of us pet parents will someday have to endure it. Many of us have before and we will have to do it again. We can only move on and take comfort in our fond memories knowing we were our pet’s best friend. Here at Miami Pet Concierge our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone who is going through this difficult time.
Founded by Nicole Brown Packin in 2007, Miami Pet Concierge offers an unmatched suite of professional and quality in-home pet care services. Designed to eliminate any stress and worry of Miami’s busy pet owners, our mission is to keep our client’s pets happy at home because we care when you can’t be there!