As many friends of The Ralph Site know all too well, saying goodbye to our companions is impossibly hard; perhaps hardest of all when we are called on to make the active choice to end the life of a dear friend. Of course, taking the decision to euthanise a beloved pet is only ever made with compassion and love, ‘the kindest thing’, but that does not make the weight of the decision (and its consequences) any easier to bear.
Many carers find that this incredibly difficult time is made more bearable when it takes place in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of home, reducing stress both for the pet and his/her carer. Fortunately such home visits are now being offered by more and more practices, with many mobile euthanasia services also being established across the UK.
We have listed some of these for your convenience here.
Please be aware that the list is not exhaustive; if you have personal experience of another service and would like to make a recommendation, please do let us know and we will add the details to our growing records. You may also find that your vet is happy to recommend a local at-home euthanasia service, so it’s always worth asking the team at your practice for their thoughts and advice.
As with every aspect of caring for pets, the decision you make should be right for you and your companion – don’t be swayed by other people telling you what’s ‘right’. In our experience, there are a number of considerations to bear in mind if you are thinking about saying goodbye to your pet at home when the time comes:
- Your pet will be surrounded by familiar family members and personal belongings
- Appointments can be scheduled outside normal working hours
- There’s no need to transport your pet to the practice
- Your grief will be private
- Arrangements to cremate your pet can begin immediately, with no need for you to transport his/her body
- The visiting vet may not be known to your pet
- Lingering associations with the room in which euthanasia takes place
- Additional costs of home visits
- If events take an unforeseen turn, limited medical and clinical resources are available outside the practice setting
- It is not uncommon for pets to pass urine or stools during the euthanasia, and it therefore can be a little messy (from a practical perspective, vets will often bring absorbent pads to place under your pet, but the emotional impact of watching this happen at home is important to consider)
Ultimately the decision as to where and when your pet is euthanised is always yours, and if taken in time and with love, it will always be the right one, whatever you decide.
Until next time, best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.
One of ours was put to sleep in our living room , in front of the fire…the vet said it was a good way for her to go, and we wrapped her up in a blanket and said our goodbyes …we also let our younger dog go to her and sniff, which helped the younger dog deal with her death. All of the dogs we have had have been PTS at home.View Comment
Thanks for sharing that Ruth. Sounds as lovely as such an occasion can be. Some people struggle with home euthanasia but I’m sure it is less stressful for the furry ones. Shailen.View Comment
Due to the Covid pandemic this was impossible for Mollymog (I had discussed this as an option with the vet previously). Mollymog was PTS at the vets and (again due to restrictions) I wasn’t allowed in. Not what I would have chosen but I knew and trusted my vets so knew Mollymog was still cared for but it makes it hard when people make comments about not being there at the end – for some of us there was no choice.View Comment