End of Life Care

Girl with dog at sunset

Making final care decisions about a loved pet is one of the most painful, difficult decisions owners are faced with.  Our goal is to help you have more quality days with your furry family member and we strive to give you as much help and information you need to make choices to accomplish this for your family. 

How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?

Dog and girl looking at landscape

Humane euthanasia is one of the kindest gifts you can give your pet.  It is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, but choosing to relieve your pet of suffering is an act of mercy and a kind way to end pain and preserve dignity.  It can be hard to know when it is time but consider the following:

  • Talk to us!  We would be happy to talk to you about your pet's condition and all treatment options.  We can help you generate a plan that suits both your pet and your family.
  • Consider quality of life-  What gives your pet joy?  When those things no longer interest your pet it may be time to say goodbye to your pet.  It can help to keep a journal of daily activity as often pets will have good days and bad days. 
  • Consider quality of life for your family-  As pets age their care can sometimes become overwhelming.  Are you able to care for your pet in the way it needs to be cared for?
  • Trust your judgement-  No one knows your pet as well as you do.  When it is time to say goodbye many times people feel they "just know". 

Prepare yourself for the process

Sometimes knowing what to expect after making the decision to euthanize your pet can bring comfort.  There are many decisions to be made that can help comfort you during this challenging time. 

  • We can discuss the process of euthanasia and the details of how it is carried out.
  • Decide if you want to be present or not-  Some owners want to be there til the very end but others prefer to remember their pet healthy.  There is no right or wrong way, only what is best for you and your family.  Sometimes it can be a comfort to have other family or friends present, other times it is better to have these last moments alone to say a final farewell to your loved one. 
  • Determine how you want to care for your pet's body-  You can chose to take your pet home afterword or have your pet cremated.  We offer private cremation where you get your pet's ashes back or group cremation where we spread their ashes in a memorial garden on our facility. 
  • Decide if you want to memorialize your pet- We can make a clay paw print of your pet as a keepsake or make a clipping of your pet's fur to save. 

Coping with grief

  • Let go of guilt- It can be normal to feel responsible for your pet's condition or to wish it turned out differently.  Take comfort in the thought that you did the best you could for your pet at the time and that any decision was made with love. 
  • Give yourself permission to grieve- be kind to yourself.  It is hard to let go of a pet that has been a part of your life for awhile.  It is a normal part of the healing process and will improve with time. 
  • Talk to others- Family and friends can be a comfort during the grieving process.  There are help groups you can join with other people going through experiences.  Realize you are only as alone as you chose to be. 

We look forward to hearing from you

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After Hours Assurance

Do you think you have an emergency but its after hours and our clinic is closed? Don't question if its a true emergency- call us first! Introducing after hours assurance- our new service that allows you to speak with one of our veterinarians after hours and on weekends about your pet's emergencies. Now you can talk with someone you trust who knows your pet and can give you home care advice and help you determine if you need to seek emergency treatment.