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Home Euthanasia

What is home euthanasia?

Euthanasia is the process of helping an animal die humanely.  The home euthanasia process differs from what you may have experienced before in a clinical setting.


When is euthanasia at home the best option?

Painful pets, pets with mobility issues, CATS!, and anxious pets are the most common situations that benefit from home euthanasia.  There is no uncomfortable car ride and no unfamiliar smells and sounds.  Your beloved pet can be where they are the most comfortable – a soft bed, favorite sofa, or even a special outdoor spot.  


What about my family veterinarian?

We have the utmost respect for the veterinarian who has taken care of you and your pet in order to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.  Your family veterinarian hurts, too, when they have to say goodbye to your pets - we can relieve that burden for them.


What is the process?

There is one form to sign once we arrive at your home.  The payment arrangements are typically done after this so that you can concentrate on your pet.  Next, a mixture of drugs is given to your pet as an under-the-skin (subcutaneous) injection – this serves to relax and sedate your pet so that they are more comfortable and not anxious or nervous.  This step can take between 5 and 20 minutes.  Some pets require additional medication; just like humans, every pet metabolizes drugs differently and at different rates.  After your pet is as comfortable as possible, a small area of fur is shaved from one of the legs.  The last part of euthanasia is an intravenous (IV) injection of a concentrated anesthetic that causes the brain to shut down completely and the bodily functions to cease in a short period of time.  Usually it takes only 1-2 minutes after the last injection for all heartbeats and breathing to stop.  The transition from sedation to death is as peaceful and pain free as possible.  You can hold your pet and have them in their favorite spot the entire time.


Is there any pain?

The home process is designed to be as pain free and peaceful as possible - that being said, the sedation is still an injection with a needle (the smallest needle is used and the sedation is given as slowly as possible to reduce any discomfort).  Just like people, dogs and cats respond in different ways to having a “shot”.  Some pets do not react in any discernible way to the sedation injection. Some pets flinch a little bit. Some pets react a little more dramatically than they have done in the past at your family veterinarian because they are not used to having anything like that happen at home. Rest assured, if there is any discomfort, it is short lived (up to 10 seconds) and then they forgive us.  Distraction with a forbidden food (bacon, cheese, tuna, ice cream, etc) or scratching their ears and head can work wonders to minimize them noticing the injection. The euthanasia process at a veterinary clinic also involves an injection or an IV catheter placement.  If you are unsure which may be better for your pet, please consult your family veterinarian for advice.  They know your pet well as they have been with them for a long time.


What happens after my pet has passed away?

After we have confirmed that death has occurred, we will step out of your home and give you private time with your pet.  If we are handling aftercare for you, we will cover then take your pet to our vehicle and transport them to the crematorium or cemetery.  If you have a very large pet (Mastiff, for example), we can arrange for the crematorium to meet us at your home and assist with transport.  If you think you may need this assistance, please let us know as this has to be arranged beforehand and there is a small additional fee.  If private cremation is chosen, we will return your pet’s cremains and urn to you when they are ready.


Do I get a paw print?

With each home euthanasia we provide a clay paw print and fur clipping which is included in our pricing. If you prefer not to receive one or both of these, please let us know. The clay paw print can be painted or glazed to your preference once you receive it.  We do offer ink paw prints and ink nose prints at an additional fee of $10 per print.


Do you provide cremation services?

We do offer cremation services for your loved one.  Please visit our cremation page for more information.

Cost Of Euthanasia & Hospice Services

  • $575 (dogs), $525 (cats) - We offer a home visit with one of our veterinarians, relaxing sedation, euthanasia, private cremation, paw print, hair clipping, and return of cremains to your home.  Urns are chosen separately.  Please see our Keepsakes & Urns page for options.  Travel fee may apply.

  • $425 - For pet parents not wishing to have cremains returned, we offer a home visit, relaxing sedation, euthanasia, communal cremation, hair clipping, and paw print.  The cremains are placed in a memorial garden at the crematorium.  Travel fee may apply.

  • $325 -  For pet parents wishing to make their own aftercare arrangements, we offer a home visit, relaxing sedation, euthanasia, hair clipping, and paw print.  This does not include cremation.  You are responsible for aftercare.  Travel fee may apply.

  • $275 - For pet parents who have not yet made the decision we offer a consult visit.  This would include an exam and discussion of quality of life.  Travel fee may apply.

  • Depending on your location within our service area, there may be an additional travel fee of up to $150.  We do not travel outside our service area.

  • Due to the extensive geographic nature of our service area, certain areas may have restricted appointment times available.   Most appointments are scheduled between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.  

  • Cancellation/rescheduling of an appointment within 24 hours of the appointment time will incur a $50-275 cancellation fee.

  • Large or giant breed dogs may incur a large dog fee of $50-100.

  • Euthanasia of pets with aggression or behavior issues will incur an additional fee and are on a case by case basis.  

Cost of Transport & Cremation Services (for pets that have passed away at home)

  • $300 - Pickup at your home, private cremation, paw print, hair clipping, and return of cremains to your home.  Urns are chosen separately.  Please see our Keepsakes & Urns page for options.

  • $175 - Pickup at your home, communal cremation, paw print, hair clipping.  The cremains are placed in a memorial garden at the crematorium.

  • $100 - Pickup at your home, transport to Toothacres Crematory And Cemetery for burial.  You will need to arrange burial services directly with the Toothacres staff.

  • Depending on your location within our service area, there may be an additional travel fee of up to $150.  We do not travel outside our service area.

  • We accept cash, credit cards, or Scratchpay.  Click here for information to apply for Scratchpay.  Payment is due time of service.  An invoice can be paid prior to the appointment or when the veterinarian arrives.

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