What to Expect During a Pet Euthanasia Appointment

When you’ve made the painful decision to say goodbye to your pet, it’s an understandably emotional time. Many people find they feel a bit more at peace about the decision when they know what to expect during the process. If you’re hoping to better prepare yourself for your upcoming pet euthanasia appointment, this post will serve as a guide as you navigate this tough day. 

Before the Pet Euthanasia Appointment

Before the appointment, there are a few decisions you’ll need to make. Perhaps most importantly, think about whether you want to be there in your pet’s final moments. For some pet parents, the idea of watching their pet pass is too difficult, so they opt not to stay. Other pet parents find that staying in the room is a way to offer one last moment of comfort for their pet. 
Remember that neither option is right or wrong; you have to do what makes the most sense for you. When possible, we recommend paying for the procedure before the appointment so you can leave immediately after saying goodbye to your pet. 
Another decision you’ll need to make is where the euthanasia will take place. Since many pets are stressed when visiting the vet, one option is to schedule in-home euthanasia. This allows your pet to peacefully pass away in their favorite space. 
You can also opt to have the euthanasia process take place at your local Pet Passages location. While we don’t offer euthanasia services, we partner with traveling vets in the area who can use our facility for the procedure. Our locations offer a calm environment so you and your pet are surrounded by a sense of peace during the appointment. 

During the Appointment

After you’ve made these important decisions, the actual appointment is often the most emotional part of the process, as it’s when you’ll say goodbye to your beloved pet. Your vet will do everything possible to make the experience a peaceful one for you and your pet and most vets will explain the process to you so you know what to expect in the moment. 
They’ll start by injecting a sedative, so your pet is completely relaxed and sleepy before the euthanasia. Some pets lose consciousness after receiving the sedative, so you may choose to say your goodbyes before the vet administers it. 
After giving your pet the sedative, the vet will then inject the euthanasia drugs. While it can sound like a scary step, the reality is that the medicine travels quickly and your pet will experience no pain or suffering during the process. Once administered, their breathing will slow and their heart will stop, usually within 30 seconds of receiving the drugs. The process is a calm, peaceful, and humane one. 

After the Appointment

After administering the euthanasia drugs, the vet will listen to your pet’s heart to confirm they have passed. They’ll then step out of the room to give you some time alone with your pet. Your vet knows that this is an emotional time and they’ll ensure you have privacy as you process your initial grief. 
Keep in mind that, in some cases, your pet’s body may release fluids or gases, as their muscles relax. This is a natural occurrence and doesn’t mean that your pet is still alive or experiencing any pain. 

Processing Your Grief

While the pet euthanasia appointment itself is difficult, the days and weeks following your pet’s passing can also be hard to navigate. We offer bereavement support resources as well as memorial keepsake items to help you through this difficult time and honor your pet’s memory going forward.