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The End-Of-Life Option That All Pet Parents Should Consider

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on May 4, 2017

Helping your pet cross the Rainbow Bridge is an excruciating experience that many people cannot even bear to think about until the moment arrives. Although it hurts, planning ahead can help alleviate some of the stress and allow you to make an informed decision when your head is clear. One important option to consider is whether you would like to schedule a home euthanasia.

Some veterinarians offer house calls for their patients, but appointments can be hard to come by due to responsibilities at the clinic. Due to the increasing demand for home-based euthanasia and the fact that owners are prioritizing their pets’ health more than ever, many vets have begun to specialize in hospice and end of life care.

There are several advantages to choosing an at-home euthanasia:

-You do not have to move your sick pet from his or her comfortable spot in the home.

-It allows you to avoid that stressful car ride to the office which is particularly beneficial for pets with car sickness or anxiety.

-The heartbreaking drive home can also be dangerous for owners in distress.

-You do not have to navigate the loud, boisterous environment of the vet’s office which can cause undue stress and mar your final memories with your beloved pet.

-You are free to grieve in private in the comfort of your own home.

-You can control every aspect of the environment from dim lights to soft music to family and friends in attendance.

Dr. Rebecca McComas is the founder of Minnesota Pets. She offers at-home euthanasia and comfort care procedures for sick and senior pets.  Her staff includes several client support specialists as well as a social worker trained in pet loss and grief counseling.

“I really think end-of-life experiences can be very positive,” McComas says. “Death is really a part of life. For me, it’s very much a privilege to do this work. I get to witness a very special and meaningful moment for the pet owner and their pet.”

There are, of course, possible drawbacks to this choice:

-At-home euthanasia tends to be more expensive. In addition to the usual fees, you must compensate the veterinarian and any staff for their time and travel.

-The setting is less controlled from a medical standpoint, meaning there could be more difficulty inserting a catheter or trouble-shooting problems.

-Most of all, you run the risk of creating a painful memory in your home – the place where you should feel the most comfort and peace when remembering your pet.

Before you make a final decision, speak to your veterinary staff. They can address your concerns and give you a personalized opinion on what is best for you and your pet. They can also explain the procedure beforehand so there are no shocks or surprises when the day arrives.

If your vet does not offer at-home euthanasia, ask for a recommendation and set up an appointment to speak with them about their services and processes.


H/T to Web MD Pets

Featured Image via Facebook/The Positive Pet Project

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