In-Home Pet Euthanasia

“ At some point, we move from ensuring a quality of life to ensuring a quality of death. ” ~ Dr. Mary Gardner

In-home pet euthanasia

See how we’ve helped our families.

What to expect from in-home euthanasia

The word “euthanasia” literally means “good death”. As the only medical profession licensed to perform this gift, we take the utmost pride in having the technical, medical, and soft skills necessary to provide a peaceful end-of-life experience for your beloved pet.

In-home euthanasia Lap of Love

Our in-home pet euthanasia services include:

  • A discussion about your concerns, thoughts, or questions surrounding in-home euthanasia.
  • Sedation to ease discomfort; you deserve your final memory of your pet to be calm and comfortable. This injection of pain medication and sedatives will allow your pet to drift off to a peaceful sleep before the final injection is administered.
  • Sedation assessment, to ensure your pet is sleeping deeply and no longer responds to stimulation.
  • Euthanasia, the final gift.
  • Memorial keepsakes to help mend the broken heart: a clay paw print (made at home) and a lock of fur, if desired.
  • Pet Loss Booklet with your pet’s name and date of passing, which will serve as a death certificate. The booklet includes information on the way your other pets may grieve (if you have any), in addition to a few beautiful poems and stories.
  • Transportation for cremation, if selected (see the Aftercare Pricing section on your veterinarian's page for more information).
  • A courtesy notification to your family’s veterinarian of your pet’s passing for their records.

Need to talk to someone about in-home euthanasia?

Appointment information.

Once the veterinarian arrives, the full procedure will be explained to you based on your interest and comfort level. Don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way—everything will be done at a pace that you and your pet dictate.

Unless it's an extreme or urgent circumstance, a sedation injection will be given to your pet to ensure they're comfortable. This way, your pet will become sleepy, and then drift off to sleep before the final injection. This helps ensure the procedure is painless and peaceful.

Sympathy for pet loss

When appropriate, we will leave your home and allow you to grieve in private. (Aftercare options and information on how and when your pet’s ashes will be ready to come home will be discussed by the doctor in detail at the beginning of the appointment.)

Veterinarian end of life care

A Lap of Love veterinarian will arrive at your home for the in-home euthanasia appointment. We don’t wear scrubs or a white coat, we arrive with the emotions that guide us to this work, warmth and compassion.

Senior pet care

The veterinarian will talk you through the entire euthanasia process based on your interest and comfort level. Please feel free to ask any questions to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

In-home euthanasia paw print

After the final euthanasia medication is given, the veterinarian will confirm that your pet has peacefully passed on. This is, of course, the most delicate moment of our time with you. Every family receives a paw print and fur clipping for an eternal keepsake. A paw print is perhaps the most meaningful representation of your pet, the paw that was by your side for so long.

After the injection, you can spend as much time with your pet as you need. When you are ready, a paw print will be made. Additionally, your doctor will clip a lock of fur for you to keep, if you wish.

If we are handling transportation for cremation, your doctor will excuse themselves to give you alone time, then return with a small basket, flat stretcher, or soft blanket to transport your pet to the car.

Information on how and when your pet’s ashes will be ready to come home will be discussed by the doctor in detail. Additionally, information on where your local crematory spreads communal ashes or how to bury your pet properly at home is available.

Looking for in-home pet euthanasia in your area?

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Preventive Vet

Pet Euthanasia at Home: Knowing When It's Time and What to Expect

Author: Sarah Wallace, DVM

Published: April 22, 2021

Updated: August 2, 2023

Our mission is to help save dogs' and cats’ lives through our educational content. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links . We earn a commission for qualifying purchases – at no cost to you.

pet euthanasia at home

For anyone who has pushed their dog or cat down the sidewalk in a stroller, let their pet sleep in their bed (or even under the covers), stayed up late with their pet after surgery or when that pet is feeling sick, then your relationship is on the level of family.

It is understood, although not often acknowledged, that the heartbreaking part of having a pet is that their lives are so much shorter than ours. When a pet is brought into the home, they weave themselves into the fabric of your life and often will pass away before their human family counterparts. End-of-life care is a shared experience for all pet owners. Although all pets will transition away from this world in different ways, many pet owners will have to witness a decline in quality of life. They will have to make a difficult decision about choosing euthanasia for their pet. To anyone going through a decision on euthanasia or witnessing their pet struggle with waning quality of life, I send my love and comfort your way. You do not have to go through this process alone.

During this difficult time, you'll need to consider these end-of-life options for your pet:

  • Let your pet pass away naturally when it is time. Stay in close communication with your veterinarian for guidance to avoid prolonging serious pain or suffering of your pet.
  • Try to extend your pet’s life length as much as possible – this strategy often results in emergency veterinary visits (inevitably in the middle of the night) to euthanize.
  • Maximize your pet’s quality of life and then strategically choose the time of euthanasia while your pet still has dignity (for example, some dogs know that they shouldn’t potty inside but are too weak to hold it).

There are many reasons why I believe you should consider at-home or in-home pet euthanasia. This article will examine the concepts of quality of life and euthanasia, why euthanasia is performed on pets, the process of having a pet euthanized at home, and what to expect.

What is Quality of Life for Pets?

senior cat

Below are some links to quality-of-life assessment tools you can use for your senior or ill pet for guidance. The tools will help you evaluate how your pet performs in basic, daily situations and how that translates to their quality of life. These tools can be used independently or together to help you understand if your pet has quality of life and, if so, how much quality.

  • Quality of Life Scoring Tools
  • Quality of Life Calendar (print out and track your pet’s progress)

How Do You Know 'When It's Time'?

Dr. Dani McVety shares her insights in this video on how to know "when it’s time” to say goodbye to your pet:

Another quality-of-life tool is the Pet Hospice Journal . You do have to make an account, but the use of the tool is free. Once you log in, the program will help you score your pet’s quality of life based on daily life events. The information is stored and becomes a “journal” in that you can compare your pet’s scores day-to-day. This kind of program is great for identifying trends and seeing progression over time.

What is Euthanasia?

The word euthanasia literally means “good death.” The meaning of the word is exactly why we perform the procedure – to prevent further pain and suffering at the end of life. There are a variety of reasons veterinarians perform euthanasias – poor quality of life, terminal medical conditions, unrelenting pain, inability to re-home a pet because of severe behavioral/safety concerns, caregiver burnout, and the list goes on. Each pet and each situation is different, and a veterinarian will often be able to help you decide if, based on your pet’s condition, they are a candidate for euthanasia.

Euthanasia is a tool we can use to end suffering when nothing else can be done to help the pet. Although many of my clients often feel guilty about choosing euthanasia for their pet, it is considered an act of compassion, mercy, and love. Euthanasia isn’t an option available in human hospice care in many areas, despite the immense pain and suffering some humans face at the end of their life. Consider the alternative. Without euthanasia, some pets may suffer unrelenting pain, others will entirely lose track of who they are and where they are. Some pets would be unable to walk, and others would drown in their own internal body fluid during heart failure.

As a pet parent, I would rather have a little less time with my pet and have that time be good quality time together. The alternative is to have a little extra time, but my pet would be suffering needlessly. Another consideration is that without euthanasia, there’s a risk of having your pet pass away alone when you aren’t home.

Who Performs Euthanasia at Your Home?

There are several options available when you are considering in-home euthanasia. First is your family veterinarian. Sure, they have a brick-and-mortar practice, but some veterinary hospitals will send a veterinarian to your home if requested.

Another option is veterinary companies that send veterinarians specifically to provide in-home hospice and euthanasia for pets. One company has a nationwide presence, while the others have more of a state-wide or local presence. Below are a few companies with larger service areas, but you can also type “in-home euthanasia (your city, state)” into Google and see what services are available to you locally.

  • Lap of Love
  • Pet Hospice (West Coast)
  • CodaPet (Fresno, CA and Oklahoma City)

Why Perform Euthanasia at Home?

Is it better to have your dog or cat euthanized at home? I personally think so, but ask someone you know and trust who has been through the process. If you know someone who has been through euthanasia in a veterinary hospital and another euthanasia at home, that perspective is even better.

If you need more information, read through the pet hospice websites listed above or call their teams and ask questions. There are also lots of online reviews that you can read through. Every person I have talked to who has experienced an in-home euthanasia has said they will always have it performed at home in the future.

Full disclosure: I decided to join Lap of Love and provide in-home euthanasia and hospice care. I believe it’s an important service, and I want to help maintain the human-animal bond and create a peaceful and personal experience for families at this very difficult time in their lives.

Is an In-home Euthanasia Right for Your Family?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • If so, then euthanasia at a veterinary hospital may make those feelings the last feelings they have at the end of their life.
  • If your pet is indifferent to or even likes going to the vet, then you have many more options available to you.
  • If you have been present at a pet’s euthanasia in the past, what was that like for you? Do you think the experience could have been better?
  • If you have a larger dog that can no longer get into the car to get to a veterinarian, a veterinarian can come to you.
  • Do you have a barrier that keeps you from getting to a veterinary hospital with your pet – like not having a car, having a disability, having a busy schedule to work around, or not having childcare?
  • If you have other pets, returning to the veterinary clinic for their future appointments may be difficult due to the reminder of what happened there.

dog happy outside sitting in flowers

How to Make Your Pet’s Last Days Special

If your pet is getting older, it may be a good idea to create a “bucket list” for your pet. What have you always wanted your pet to experience? If there are certain places you want your pet to visit before the end of their life, then start making plans! I will caution that feeding certain fatty human foods may make your pet feel very sick, vomit, or have diarrhea – so don’t go crazy in the food department.

  • Cats may enjoy ½ a sardine with their meal
  • Some cats who have been kept inside but are interested in the outdoors may enjoy a short, supervised outdoor exploration session (using a covered playpen, like this one , is an easy way to allow them some outdoor smells and enrichment without the fear of them running off)
  • Cats don’t often need extensive stimulation for happiness. For example, make sure they can reach their favorite sunny napping spot.
  • Bring them to their favorite outdoor spot for a day in the sun
  • For dogs who like car rides, plan a series of stimulating car trips
  • Get your dog a "pupsicle," some chicken or other (low-fat) tasty treat, and spoil them a little
  • If your dog likes dog parks, take a tour of all the dog parks in your area
  • If your dog likes swimming, find a lake, stream, or ocean they can play in
  • The ideas are endless – what does your dog love? Then make a plan based on the answer.
Preventive Vet dog, Beau, who passed away in 2013, hadn’t yet been to the ocean. So, one of his bucket list experiences was to go see, hear, smell, and feel the ocean. Being a Portuguese Water Dog that had only experienced lakes and rivers, he was in awe. It was a memorable family trip and he loved his experience.

What to Expect When a Pet is Euthanized at Home

A veterinarian will come to your home at a time you decide upon. The veterinarian will talk you through the euthanasia process and their protocol. They will also tell you about how the body acts during the process. The veterinarian will get permission from you before they start the euthanasia to make sure you are ready (none of us ever are). The process is quick and painless, and your pet will transition to be at peace in the comfort of their home and in the presence of their family.

After Euthanasia

Generally, there are three options once your pet has passed away. You can bury your pet at home if your state and locality allow, or you can have your pet cremated (traditionally or through aquamation cremation). If you select a private cremation service, your pet’s ashes will be returned to you, usually in an urn. Some people may wish to keep their pet’s ashes. Others may want to scatter their pet’s ashes at their favorite outdoor spot, in a garden, or at the beach of an ocean or lake. Scattering your pet’s ashes is a way some people choose to part with their loved one’s physical body while reconnecting with their love and spirit.

Find a Special Way to Honor Your Pet’s Life

Our pets are incredibly important to us. After they pass away, creating a memorial of some kind can help you process your pet’s transition. Here are some ideas:

  • Put together a shadow box including your pet’s collar, toys, or other items
  • Create a photo album
  • Have a 3D photo crystal made of your pet
  • Have a candle-lighting ceremony
  • Plant a tree with your pet’s ashes and watch it grow
  • Use your dog or cat’s collar and their water bowl for a potted plant
  • Plan ahead and order the kit to imprint their paw on silver jewelry
  • Paint a picture or a stone and place it somewhere in your home or yard
  • Keep a Pet Remembrance Journal

Grief Resources for Pet Loss

The loss of any family member is a devastating experience. Everyone grieves a little bit differently. For some, the grief can be overwhelming. To anyone reading who is overwhelmed with grief after the passing of their pet, you are not alone. There are some helpful resources available to you: books, discussion groups, helplines, and more.

  • Best Friends Animal Society has an article full of great resources
  • Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Grief Center is a website with tips about grieving , coping, understanding when you are ready for a new pet, and more.
  • Pet Hospice has resources and telehealth consultation services
  • The Association for Animal Bereavement  
  • The Pet Loss Resource Center
  • Pet Loss Community has grief support groups for those whose pets have passed as well as anticipatory support for those who are struggling with the thought of losing their beloved pet.
  • Facebook Group Pet Hospice Community  
  • Forever Friend : A children's guide and activity book for saying goodbye to a special dog
We were moved by this article. It's a worthwhile read. " The best thing to do is integrate the loss into your life by building a new relationship with a pet who is no longer physically present...” Read: How to Grieve for a Very Good Dog

If you have any questions about in-home euthanasia or any experiences you’d like to share, please comment below.

About the author

Profile picture for Sarah Wallace

Sarah Wallace, DVM

Dr. Sarah Wallace was born and raised in New Hampshire, studied biology at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and attended Western University of Health Sciences in California for veterinary school. Dr. Wallace has worked at Just Food for Dogs and Fuzzy Pet Health, and writes and contributes to many online pet health publications.

Dr. Wallace's passions are: increasing access to veterinary care for all pets across the country, preserving the human-animal bond, and utilizing nutrition to improve a pet's medical condition and quality of life. She is Pet Nutrition Coach Certified, Fear Free Certified, and Human-Animal Bond Certified.

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Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You

By Ace Ratcliff

couple sitting with a dog  at the beach

Harper Laika Leeloo, DDS, was the best-worst dog that ever lived. She was 50 pounds of pure terror packed into a 10-pound body. She was more fluff than actual pup. She hated other dogs, except those who would let her stick her entire head inside their mouths to lick their teeth (hence the “DDS” at the end of her name). She was a fierce protector, determined to bark to death anyone or anything that she perceived as threatening me or my partner, Derek. She had a black patch of fur over her wandering right eye, pointed ears that stood up straight, and a jauntiness in her step that I can still picture when I imagine her.

She was also a genetic nightmare of inbreeding that led to a plethora of health issues. Derek is a veterinarian. One day, he pulled his stethoscope out and held it to her chest so I could listen to her heartbeat. He listened first, expecting the “lub-dub, lub-dub” of a healthy heart. I watched his eyes widen in surprise. He passed the eartips over to me and I settled in to listen, but the cadence of her heart was a whooshing “lub-swoosh, lub-swoosh.”

Derek took her in for x-rays the next day and came back with bad news. At age nine, Harper’s heart was already enlarged from ongoing heart disease, which would inevitably progress to congestive heart failure (CHF). She was seriously sick. CHF is a terminal illness. The timetable for the end varies from animal to animal, but death is a certainty. Eventually, the heart simply cannot do its job any more. Left to its own devices, the heart gives way and the animal suffocates in their own fluids. After Derek explained to me what CHF would do to our sweet beast, we both knew that euthanasia would ultimately be both the kind and the right decision to end Harper’s life.

Spoiler alert for this whole story: The dog definitely dies.

A little more than six months later, she had deteriorated a great deal. We set a date and began the surreal experience of counting down the days until our appointment. The day before, we took her on a grand tour of our hometown of Oakland—first to Starbucks for a Puppuccino (a small cup filled to the brim with whipped cream), followed by a plain beef patty at In-N-Out Burger (and some french fries too). Much to her chagrin, we bathed her. We took her to the Redwoods and snapped photos of her: on a tree stump, her long tongue lolling out, her eyes wide with joy. I stopped by the store and picked out a bouquet of my favorite roses; Derek brought home a cardboard coffin. We placed both on the dining room table, then spent our last night together loving on her and sneaking her treats.

In the morning, we didn’t drive to the veterinary office to have someone else perform the euthanasia. We sat together on the couch in our living room as we performed the euthanasia at home, our favorite band trickling quietly from the speakers and our legs touching. As Derek gave her the first injection of sedatives, I thanked her for nine wonderful years together, reminiscing about how tiny she was when I first picked her out. I held her as she drifted into a medicated lull, and I kissed her on the top of her head when he injected the overdose of anesthesia that ultimately ended her life.

dog on a tree stump

As I gently placed her body in the casket, I marveled at how silky-soft her fur was after yesterday’s bath. I carefully snipped the roses from their stems and arranged them around her. I slipped a final bone beneath her front paws, tucked into a tiny bouquet. The morning sunshine shone down on her, and the white of her fur stood in stark contrast to the turquoise towel I had used to line the casket. She looked beautiful, so I even took some memento mori photos. Then Derek and I drove to the crematory, where we stood together as the crematory operator let me place her body inside the retort and push the button to light the ignition. One hour later, we sat together in the car, holding hands. A small wooden box filled with her cremated remains sat in my lap as we drove back home.

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We parked in front of our apartment. In the quiet of the silenced car, we turned to look at each other. It was as if an actual lightbulb had suddenly blinked on, illuminating both of us. “We should help other people through this,” I declared. “We should do this for a living.”

Derek and I had helped other friends with euthanizing their pets over the last year, but the idea of turning it into a business simply hadn’t solidified as a possible reality until that very moment. We had the credentials, though. Derek studied the human-animal bond and non-verbal communication on a Fulbright scholarship in Amsterdam before graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.

I knew I wanted to work in the death care industry as a three-year-old, after my eccentric grandmother gifted me a series of books about mummification and ancient Egypt. I went on to become a mortician. Before retiring due to disability, I had six years of experience as a funeral director, crematory operator, and embalmer.

Euthanizing our own pet helped us to realize that we should combine our skill sets to help people make one of the worst days of their lives as good as it possibly could be. Earlier this year, we officially founded Harper’s Promise , an in-home pet euthanasia practice operating in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Harper deserved the best, and we did everything we could to give her that for all nine years that she was with us. We promised her a good life, and a good life includes a dignified death.

All pets should have the same.

The difficult inevitability of living with and loving a pet is the reality of their death. More often than not, euthanasia is the way our pets die. Here are a few ways the euthanasia process can be easier on them and you, when the time does eventually come.

The biggest struggle that most people have with end-of-life decision making is figuring out when is the right time to move forward with euthanasia. Because it’s not a decision that we usually have to make for any of our other loved ones, we have no frame of reference for how to lovingly figure out this first (and most important) detail.

“There are actually many ‘right’ times to choose euthanasia, not one single exact moment,” explains Derek (Dr. Calhoon to his clients; fiancé and business partner to me). “We call this the compassionate death time frame.” Depending on each pet’s unique experience, their time frame may be as brief as a few hours, but often occurs over a prolonged period of time.

“There’s going to be the first day it’s reasonable to put your pet to sleep, and the last day that it’s reasonable to keep your pet alive. Before that, no ethical veterinarian will choose to euthanize your pet,” he continues. “By the time you get to that last day, it’s very clear to everyone involved that euthanasia needs to happen.”

A quality of life checklist can be a useful tool to help determine when your pet has entered their compassionate death time frame. When Harper got sick, we made a list of five things that proved to us she was experiencing a good quality of life, including getting up to bark like a fool at the front door and scarfing down her dinner. When she was too exhausted to complete most of the things on the checklist, we knew that her body was announcing to us that her suffering was outweighing her enjoyment of life. The morning of her euthanasia, Harper was too fatigued to even eat breakfast. The very act of standing up to cross the room left her worn out.

“Death is a general trend downward,” Derek explains. “There may be ups along the way, but when the bad days start to outnumber the good ones is when euthanasia becomes an appropriate choice.”

One of the major concerns we hear when discussing timing is a worry that the pet is having a good day among the bad, which makes owners question their choice and worry that they’re acting too soon. “In many ways, deciding to euthanize on a good day is not only reasonable but loving. It means that they get to feel better in their last moments than they might have the day before,” he says.

Most people are familiar with the idea of bringing their pets to their veterinarian’s clinic for the euthanasia procedure. This usually means setting up an appointment with your vet and being in the exam room while the medications are administered, a process that takes somewhere between a few minutes to a half an hour, depending on the animal’s individual health concerns. You always have the option to spend some time alone with your pet’s body once the procedure is complete, though how long you spend may be limited by the clinic. If you’ve decided on cremation, the vet will take your pet’s body into their care; if you decide on burial, their body will be released to you. (More on that below.)

In addition to being sad, euthanizing at the vet can be awkward. Crying around other people—especially if you don’t have a close, personal relationship with your vet and their staff—can feel uncomfortable, and there are time limitations on how long a person can remain in an exam room before, during, and after the process. (A business can’t afford to lose an entire room to a grieving family for the whole day.) Finally, if your pet has anxiety about visiting the vet, they may be agitated, which is probably not the way you want them to experience their final minutes. Even those who aren’t afraid of the vet or the visit can still smell the scent pheromones left by other animals that have been there—and those smells often announce stress, anxiety, or fear.

Many veterinarians are willing to schedule in-home visits for euthanasia appointments, but increasingly, mobile veterinary clinics like ours exist specifically to help meet the need for euthanasia from the comfort of your own home. The vast majority of in-home pet euthanasia practitioners try to ensure their costs are comparable to other clinics. Most brick-and-mortar veterinary clinics will have a list of in-home practitioners that they can recommend to you. Though legal in all 50 states, this is still a growing field, so some states and rural areas may not have the same ready access to in-home options that more suburban or urban areas do.

In-home visits remove the stress that can be associated with the hospital setting. Being at home means that people retain a certain level of privacy and are not rushed by the schedule of a busy veterinary office. We’ve had the great honor to spend hours with families after the euthanasia has been completed, allowing them to spend time with their pet’s body and process their sadness at their own pace.

Obviously, I’m a proponent of the in-home process, but not to the exclusion of all veterinary clinics. In-home euthanasia practices work as an adjunct for veterinary clinics. We help them extend care to their clients’ homes by performing services that they may not have the time or staff to otherwise do. We exist in a circle of mutual appreciation of each other, understanding that each of our models offers its own set of boons and constraints and focusing on the end goal of doing whatever is best for the animal.

Whatever method you choose, the veterinarian you’re working with should be both willing and able to answer any questions you have. Derek and I make sure to have pre-appointment phone chats with families before we go to their houses and upon arriving, we explain the euthanasia process to the family before we even bring in any of our medical equipment, and allow as much time as needed for questions. Any veterinarian who makes you feel rushed—in-home or in-office—is not giving you the care you deserve. You have every right to find a different veterinarian if you don’t feel emotionally safe.

One of the most important decisions that you can make before the actual process of euthanasia is what you want done with your beloved pet’s body. Making the choice before the actual appointment means you can weigh your options before the stress of the moment (and without a staff member who is about to hand you a bill). Decision-making is always easier when done in the coolheadedness of before rather than the emotional rush of after.

The two most common options for disposition of a pet’s body are burial or cremation. Choosing burial is usually about having access to land. Those of us who rent apartments or houses may be reluctant to leave our pet’s bodies behind if we move away or may not have permission to use the land for burial at all. (It’s also hard work to bury the body deep enough to ensure predators won’t smell and scavenge the pet’s body.)

Some cities do have pet cemeteries, but it costs money to buy (and maintain) a plot of land and a grave marker.

Many other pet owners select cremation as the final disposition for their pets. Cremation—the process of using high heat to reduce a body down to ash and bone—is typically fairly inexpensive. Families have the option to have their pet cremated as part of a group or individually. Group cremations are exactly what they sound like: a group of pet’s bodies are cremated together. Typically, cremated remains are not returned to the family but may be respectfully scattered by the crematory. (The crematory we work with, Pets at Peace in San Ramon, scatters the cremated remains from group cremations in the Sierra Mountains.) Many families who do not want to possess cremated remains choose this option and then memorialize their pets by planting a tree or placing a marker somewhere, like their yard.

Some families may choose a witness cremation, where they have the opportunity to visit the crematory like I did and view portions of the cremation process. Most crematories charge a small fee for this process, but families often find a sense of closure and relief from knowing exactly what happened instead of having to try and imagine.

Individual cremations usually cost a little bit more and the cremated remains are returned to the family in an urn. Nowadays, there are an incredible number of beautiful options for personalized urns and even jewelry to hold small bits of cremated remains. Derek and I will often meet families who are perturbed by the idea of having the cremated remains of their pets in their house, preferring instead to simply hold onto their pet’s collars as a memento. Other people feel adamant that having their pets returned is an integral part of the mourning process. In fact, beside the desk where I wrote this article is a small shelf that holds Harper’s urn, collar, and a dried rose from the casket.

Some companies also offer a process called alkaline hydrolysis, or “water cremation,” for pets (and humans!) During alkaline hydrolysis, the pet’s body is placed in a pressurized vessel that is filled with water and lye, then heated. The body is essentially broken down to its chemical components over the course of four to six hours. Some bone particulate remains in a very fine, sand-like form that can be placed in an urn or buried. This process is touted as being more environmentally friendly than cremation. It’s currently legal in 16 U.S. states and some Canadian provinces.

Once you’ve figured out the nitty-gritty of the appointment details, it’s time to decide how you want to handle the euthanasia experience itself. At-home euthanasia grants families the opportunity to memorialize and hold a funeral for their pet. Although many people aren’t capable of understanding why we grieve so deeply for our pets (perhaps you’ve heard some jerk say, “He was only a dog,” or “She was only a cat. Get over it.”), the funeralization process is deeply important to our emotional health and well-being. The ritual ceremony reinforces the reality of the death, gives our family and friends space to express their feelings at the loss, and it creates a common experience for those present to offer support. It gives us a place for the spiritual aspect of our grief too. Derek and I have held hands with families as they offered prayers, or watched as they gently removed a rosary from around their dog’s neck.

There are many ways to make the euthanasia process meaningfully ceremonial. For us, the funeral involved our favorite music and preparing Harper’s body for cremation. We have met with families who drew Tarot cards before the appointment, or created beautiful altars with dried herbs and crystals, or simply made sure that they were outside in fresh grass or beneath the stars.

(Also remember to eat and drink water—crying causes dehydration and headaches, and eating means not feeling faint.)

Think about who you want to be there in the moment, before, during, and after. Some families use video or voice calls to ensure loved ones who live far away are present for the process. Derek and I served one family who invited a friend over and gave her the specific job of answering the phone and the door so that they could focus on things that they felt were more important. Here, too, you can decide on what level of inclusion you want for kids and other pets. Kids are more resilient than many people give them credit for, and sharing in the experience can often be extremely beneficial for their own grieving processes. Sometimes people feel it’s important that their other animals are present for the euthanasia, both for comfort and to help their pets avoid depression or sadness from the loss of their companions.

We decide on euthanasia for our pets because we have determined with our veterinarians that it’s the kindest, most humane decision that we can make on their behalf. The goal of euthanasia (which literally means “good death” in Greek) is to offer a painless way to end suffering. As part of this, we can make the actual appointment as comfortable as possible for our pets.

Many families make sure that their pet is lying on their bed or blankie (which you can bring to the vet’s office), or in their favorite place in the house. Often, they have their favorite toys beside them, and many families keep treats on hand during the appointment. (We’ve helped feed a McDonald’s cheeseburger to one dog, and another handsome doggo gleefully devoured an entire rotisserie chicken—bones and all!—while the sedation kicked in.)

The most important part of the in-home euthanasia process is for the pet to be in a safe, comfortable, familiar place surrounded by the people they love and who love them back. For both dogs and cats, their sense of smell is incredibly important, so being able to smell you and recognize your presence helps keep them calm. We once served a woman who had saved the very last bits of the hand lotion she had used when her dog was a puppy. It had recently been discontinued. Right before the final injection, she put it on her hands so that her dog could smell her as she kept petting him.

Sometimes people are afraid of what the euthanasia process is going to be like to watch, and so they request to leave before we begin. While we recognize that people have their own needs, we gently counsel that everyone should face their fear in order to be brave for their pets and stay with them. At minimum, you should remain present until the sedation kicks in, but we recommend that you stay for the entire process. All too often, pets whose families leave spend the process fighting the sedation and searching for them. Derek and I are lifelong pet owners and animal lovers through and through, but we are still strangers to your pet. It is always more reassuring for them to be there with you, smelling you and knowing that you’re with them to the end. We have found that when people feel safe to ask questions and feel fully informed, they do stick around—even the ones who said earlier they would rather leave.

“It’s all about thinking through the best way for it to happen so you’re not wishing you had done something different,” says Derek. Death is hard enough without regret.

As I’ve said before , death is the appointment you can’t cancel. It is an inherent part of life. The process of thinking through these things, talking about them, asking questions, and addressing them ahead of time is so important, for yourself and for your pet too. It erases the uncertainty of ignorance and grants stability to a topic that can often feel uncertain. Planning for euthanasia, though difficult, is a way of helping them live out their final moments in peace and as much comfort as possible. It is a kindness, not a cruelty. For both of you.

SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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When the time comes, one of our compassionate veterinarians will have an open and empathetic conversation with you about your pet's quality of life . Our team is honored to help you navigate your pet’s peaceful end-of-life journey.

In-Home Pet Euthanasia

Why At-Home Pet Euthanasia?

Humane euthanasia at home allows your pet to stay in their favorite location, removes the need for travel, and allows your entire family to surround your pet with love as they cross over the rainbow bridge.

Our Humane Euthanasia Process - What to Expect

Our Humane Euthanasia Process - What to Expect

Our Humane Euthanasia Process - What to Expect

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After your pet has transitioned over the rainbow bridge, we will give you some additional time and space to be with your pet. If you choose for us to help with aftercare, our team may take your pet with them at the end of your appointment, or a representative from the aftercare facility may pick up your pet. On rare occasions, if your pet is larger than 30 pounds, you may have up to 2 hours of additional time to spend with your beloved pet after the procedure, until a crematorium representative arrives for transport.

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At-Home Pet Euthanasia - Dr. Nicole Lee and her Staff were angels. This was the most compassionate service, and we hope others will use this for when it’s time for their pet to cross the rainbow bridge. We never want to say goodbye- but the grace of the in-home hospice service and end of the life care was beyond comforting. We cannot express in words how thankful we are. Highly recommend. Our doggie 16 yr + Blue Weimaraner. Rest in Play Nancy Drew.

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Not only can saying goodbye at home avoid the need to transport a fragile pet, but it also relieves them of the stress of the veterinary office environment so they can feel at ease during their final moments.

In-home pet euthanasia allows pets to experience a peaceful passing in their bed or favorite spot, surrounded by their family, with all the comforts of home around them. When it comes time to make end-of-life decisions for your pet, our in-home pet euthanasia services offer many benefits.

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Before, during, and after your appointment, we give you the support and compassion you need to say goodbye. Our in-home pet euthanasia services include:

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Should You Choose Pet Euthanasia at Home vs. the Vet Clinic?

Opting for a home setting can make your pet’s passing more peaceful. 

Kristi Valentini writes health and lifestyle articles for pets and people, often with her pup Penny by her side. A huge animal lover, she’s been known to bring home lost kittens, foster puppies and even have a baby goat sleep over – much to the dismay of her husband and delight of her children. Her work has also appeared in publications including Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Oprah Magazine and Woman’s Day.

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When cats or dogs become part of our families, the last thing we're thinking about is how their time on earth will end. Sadly though, it's something all pet parents eventually face. If you're at that point, you may be considering pet euthanasia (putting your pet to sleep). It's an option that many people choose to prevent pets from suffering in their final days. Pet euthanasia can be performed in a veterinary clinic or at home.

"The best place for a euthanasia is going to be wherever you and your pet feel comfortable," says Dani McVety, DVM , CEO and founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice , an organization that provides in-home euthanasia. "For most people and their pets that's going to be in the home, especially for cats who want as little interaction with strangers as possible. But with dogs, I've had people bring them in the car because they love going for rides or I've met them at the beach or the park."

If pet euthanasia at home is an option you'd like to explore, read on to learn more about the service and what you can expect.

Who Can Perform at-Home Animal Euthanasia?

Pet euthanasia services are regulated by state laws, which typically require a licensed veterinary or technician to do it wherever it occurs. Typically, at-home euthanasia is performed by veterinarians who specialize in end-of-life care (hospice).

How Is Pet Euthanasia Performed at Home?

At-home pet euthanasia services are designed to make the process as peaceful as possible for you and your pet. Unlike the veterinary setting, you decide what environment is best for your pet's passing—in his bed, on your lap, under a backyard tree, surrounded by favorite toys—and your furry pal never leaves your side during the procedure. You can play soothing music, control the lighting, and even feed him a last-hurrah treat, if your pet is up to it.

Typically, when the hospice veterinarian arrives you'll discuss your pet's condition and the vet may give your pet a brief physical exam. Then the vet will explain the euthanasia process to you. Two injections are given for this procedure. The first one sedates the pet so his body relaxes and he drifts to sleep over the course of three to five minutes. The second injection is the euthanasia solution that's an overdose of barbiturates, which shuts off the respiratory part of the brain and the heart stops beating.

Afterwards, the hospice vet may step out and give you a few moments of alone time with your pet. The vet may also offer to create a paw print or cut a lock of fur as a keepsake for you. Finally, the hospice vet will transport your pet's body to a crematory for cremation or to a funeral home for burial, depending on which service you choose.

How Much Does Home Pet Euthanasia Cost?

Having a veterinarian come to your home to perform pet euthanasia will be pricier than doing it in a veterinary setting. But people say the cost of at-home euthanasia is worth it for a calmer experience. Expect to pay between $200 to $300. Note that cremation costs and burial fees are separate.

When Should You Have Your Pet Euthanized at Home?

Perhaps the most difficult question to grapple with is when you should put your pet to sleep . Planning an at-home euthanasia works best when you can do it before it becomes an emergency.

If your pet has an illness that affects the brain, heart, or lungs, those are organs that'll suddenly stop functioning and create an urgent situation, McVety explains. It's important to understand that if you wait until the very last minute, you're probably going to have to make a trip to an emergency pet hospital rather than having an at-home euthanasia.

"You really have to weigh competing desires for wanting more time with your pet but also wanting them to have a peaceful passing," says McVety. "With that being said, if your pet rapidly goes downhill and you have to rush to the emergency room to stop their suffering, don't beat yourself up about it. The timing of natural death is unpredictable."

Your pet's health status, and your ability to keep him comfortable, is the best measuring stick for figuring out when to have euthanasia performed. Talk with your regular veterinarian about your pet's condition and outlook. Your vet can help you get a better feel for your cat or dog's timeline and if medications can ease their discomforts.

Once your pet is at the hospice stage, rarely do things get better though, says McVety. "You might have a better day, a better hour, or a slightly better couple of days. But altogether, your pet's health will continue to decline, which is the natural process of life. Oftentimes, once pet parents realize that, it's easier for them to make a decision."

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Euthanizing Pets at Home: Cost and What to Expect

Liz Bales, VMD

Now more than ever, pet parents think of their dogs and cats as members of the family. So it comes as no surprise that they are giving a lot of thought and attention to the handling of their pet’s end-of-life care.

In the past, the options to say goodbye to your family pet would have been to take them to your veterinarian’s office or to a shelter for euthanasia.

A new branch of veterinary medicine, pet hospice, provides concierge end-of-life services to meet this need, including palliative care and in-home euthanasia. Here’s what you need to know about these services and what they offer.

What Is Pet Hospice?

Dog and cat hospice services are modeled after hospice services for people. Animal hospice provides compassionate care and support for a pet with a chronic, life-threatening, or incurable illness.  

Hospice care veterinarians will often come to your home to examine your pet and walk you through pain management, nutrition, and hygiene protocols, among other issues, so you can help make your pet’s final time—be that days, weeks, or months—as comfortable and dignified as possible.

This concierge veterinary relationship can help provide peace of mind during the difficult end-of-life decision-making process. Your hospice care team can then help you make decisions regarding euthanasia and body care.

Hospice consultations range from $150-$250 per hour.

Euthanizing Pets at Home

In-home euthanasia has now become an option in most cities. This provides a way to say goodbye to your pet in a comfortable and private setting. Letting your pet go at home can allow your family and other pets to say their goodbyes in their own time and space.

In-home euthanasia services are usually also able to provide aftercare for your pet’s remains by transporting the body to be cremated and returning ashes to you if you choose private cremation.  

How Much Does In-Home Pet Euthanasia Typically Cost?

In-home euthanasia costs can vary, depending on the services provided. Services that your veterinarian is likely to provide include:

Traveling to your location to provide services; an additional cost for emergency services is likely

A physical examination and discussion about your pet’s condition as well as your concerns or questions about the process

Sedation for your pet to ensure the process is peaceful and comfortable

The euthanasia procedure

Transportation of the remains for cremation

Cremation services and remembrances of your choice (such as paw prints or ashes)

Combined, you can expect to spend $400-$1,500 for their services, but the cost will vary depending on your location and the aftercare services you choose.

How Does the Veterinarian Prepare for Home Euthanasia?

The veterinarian will arrive at your home at the agreed upon time and examine your pet. Based on your pet’s condition, they will choose the best medications and process to perform the euthanasia.

Once the veterinarian determines the best plan, they will talk you through it and give you the time that you need to ask any questions.

Together, you will choose the best location to perform the procedure.

What Drugs Are Used for In-Home Pet Euthanasia? How Do They Work?

Euthanasia is typically a two-step process that involves two injections to make it painless and stress-free for your pet.

The first injection is a sedative that can be administered into a muscle or intravenously, depending on the medicine. Once injected, your pet will become relaxed and will gradually fall asleep. Be aware that they may not close their eyes.

Once your pet is resting comfortably, a second injection is given into a vein to stop their heart. The second injection typically takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to work.

What Happens to Your Pet’s Body After an In-Home Euthanasia?

The vet will usually call you ahead of time to discuss the details of how your pet’s body will be handled post-euthanasia. It is best to think about this in advance.

Options in your area may vary but can include:

Home burial

Aquamation (an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation that uses alkaline hydrolysis)

Burial at a pet cemetery

Communal cremation (ashes are not returned to you)

Private cremation (ashes are returned to you)

You may elect to arrange these services on your own, but your veterinarian can arrange these for you as well.

Your veterinarian will provide peaceful and respectful transportation of your pet’s remains. It you would like to wrap your pet in a special blanket or include one of their favorite toys in their cremation, let your veterinarian know.

End-of-life decision-making can be extremely difficult. Veterinary hospice and in-home euthanasia services are good options for pet parents who want to experience these moments in the privacy of their own home.

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Related Video: When Is the Right Time to Euthanize a Pet?

Liz Bales, VMD


Dr. Liz Bales is a graduate of Middlebury College and The University of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. She focuses on unique...

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Please Note: Dr. Whala IS still taking appointments during this time to help critically ill and suffering pets pass peacefully in their home. However special measures will be taken to ensure the safety and health of everyone. Please let Dr Whala know if you have any questions, requests or concerns.

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At-Home Euthanasia

There is no right way to say goodbye to your cherished pet, but Peaceful Passing tries to make the experience as loving and gentle as possible.

Everyone has to say goodby to their cherished pet in their own way, and Peaceful Passing tries to make the experience as loving and gentle as possible

Our Euthanasia Procedure

At the beginning of the appointment, your Peaceful Passing veterinarian will spend some time with your pet to assess his/her condition. Through this assessment and a conversation with you, your veterinarian will determine the best way to proceed to honor your wishes and your pet’s needs. Please let your veterinarian know if you prefer to do the procedure in a certain area of your home, like by your pet’s favorite spot for napping, or if you want to create a certain atmosphere with candles and music.

We require you to sign a euthanasia consent form and pay for the appointment at the start of the visit.

Your veterinarian begins by sedating your pet with a small needle that is inserted just under the skin. Most animals do not even feel the sedative, although some might experience a very slight pinch. We use the sedative to keep your pet calm and comfortable. Within twenty minutes, your pet will fall into a deep and pain-free sleep.

We encourage you to sit with your pet and shower him/her with love and reassurance throughout the process, but we understand if you want to say your goodbyes before we begin the euthanasia process.

Cat in Field

As your pet falls asleep, you might notice some of the following:

  • Twitching of the legs or ears
  • The urge to urinate or defecate
  • Deep breathing or gasping

These are natural physical reactions and can take place whether death is natural or assisted and are no cause for alarm. Please ask your Peaceful Passing veterinarian if you have any questions at any point of the process.

Once your pet is comfortably and soundly asleep, your veterinarian will inject the last medication. Depending on your pet’s condition and size, the veterinarian will either inject it in the vein or the belly. This final medication causes peaceful unconsciousness that eventually leads to loss of respiration and, finally, stops the heart

You have the opportunity to spend as much time as you want with your pet once the euthanasia is complete. Please let us know if there is anything you need throughout any phase of the process. Our goal is to help your pet’s passing be as dignified, pain-free, and peaceful as possible.

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If you have chosen for Peaceful Passing to take care of the Aftercare for your pet’s remains, we will handle all the next steps so you can focus on your goodbye.

Click here to learn about some ways you can memorialize and honor your pet.

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Say Goodbye with Honor, Diginity and Respect in Your Home

why should i choose euthanasia

There is something special about a pet staying in the comfortable surroundings of their own home. Whether it’s in their special bed or favorite sunny spot, they are less stressed and much more relaxed in a familiar setting. You and your pet are able to avoid the often difficult logistics of transport and travel to a vet hospital or clinic when your furry friend is close to their end of life.

One of the doctors from our  team of veterinarians  will come to your home and gently guide your pet’s peaceful passing in a calmer and quieter setting. Our coming to you also offers a meaningful benefit to your other pets as they are able to realize their companion is passing and spend as much time as they need to say goodbye. This helps minimize any separation anxiety that can occur when one pet is taken to another location to be euthanized while the other pets are left behind.

In-home euthanasia

What Kinds of Animals Are Helped?

We are helping dogs and cats at this time.

Please  contact us   at (720) 287-2553 or at  [email protected]

Making Your Appointment for In-Home Pet Euthanasia

Once the decision for pet euthanasia has been made, we can help you by offering our expertise and compassionate support throughout the entire process. Even when making the phone call to schedule the date and time for your pet’s euthanasia, you will feel comforted by a kind and understanding team member. They will guide you through the pertinent details and gather as much information up front (as you are able) so we can minimize the amount of time needed for paperwork at your appointment. They will go over such details as:

  • What to expect when the veterinarian arrives
  • Body care options for your pet
  • Additional questions you may have

If you are interested in hearing a brief description of the process, the client relations team member can go over that with you on the phone as well. Our veterinarian who comes to the house will always review the details of the euthanasia process with you and those with you to prepare everyone for what to expect during your in-home visit.

Common Questions About Pet Euthanasia

Euthanasia due to aggressive behavior.

We are no longer offering euthanasia due to agressive behavior. If you would like recommendations for this service, please call our office at (720) 287-2553 for additional information.

Becoming Familiar with the Process of In-Home Pet Euthanasia

We will come to your home to assist you with your pet’s peaceful transition. When we arrive, we will greet you and your pet and address any initial concerns you may have. The doctor will focus on your beloved pet and discuss all aspects of the procedure and what to expect, then ask what questions, concerns, or special requests you may have. We will go through the necessary paperwork and payment with you. When everyone is prepared, we will administer an injection that will relax and sedate your pet, as well as erase any pain or discomfort they may have. We believe those last moments should be as comfortable and peaceful as possible for them. After your pet is relaxed and comfortable, we will then administer the final medication that will allow your beloved friend to pass away quietly and peacefully. We will respectfully allow you and your family (including housemate pets) to spend adequate time before and after the procedure, then we will transport your pet for cremation, according to your wishes.

Who Should I Include at the Euthanasia Time?

This question is best answered by those who know your pet most intimately. Witnessing the change from life to death is a powerful experience and often helps begin the healing process. Because euthanasia is so personal, you should allow whomever you feel is appropriate to share in this special time, but no one should be made to stay. There are many factors that can complicate grieving, so family and friends should be able to choose what is right for them. If children are present, we will explain the procedure in a way they will understand. Other pets can also be present as long as everyone is comfortable. We have never seen negative effects from other animals bearing witness to a companion’s passing.

Pets with Restraint Concerns

If your pet requires special handling with strangers present or when receiving veterinary care due to anxiety or pain, it is helpful for you to inform our staff before the scheduled appointment. This information will help our veterinarians understand the situation and accommodate your pet’s specific needs. We find that having this discussion before the appointment results in smoother appointment planning and a less stressful experience for all. Know that our mission is to provide the best experience possible for the entire family. With the majority of our veterinarians being Fear Free certified (or are in the process of their certification), they will strive to give those more anxious pets the most stress free experience possible.

What if I Have A Pet That Has Bitten or May Bite?

If your pet may bite due to behavior, anxiety, or pain, please let our client relations team know when you are speaking with them on the phone. The safety of our clients, veterinarians, and patients is of primary concern. One of our veterinarians may speak with you on the phone before an appointment is scheduled. For such cases, we have a protocol in place for communication with the pet owner and pre-medication the pet before we arrive for a euthanasia appointment. If a bite to a human as occurred and euthanasia has been determined to be the best decision for a pet, we must speak with you regarding the Colorado Dept. of Public Health’s rabies requirements.

If you are unsure of what the best next step is for your pet right now, visit our   Pathway to Care Assessment   Page.

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Helpful Articles 

Making Peaceful Goodbyes: The Benefits of In-Home Pet Euthanasia

Making Peaceful Goodbyes: The Benefits of In-Home Pet Euthanasia

Your older dog has been your buddy for a long time. Maybe since they were a pup or perhaps you were lucky enough to find your friend later in their life. You have been able to tell when they were ready for dinner or for their walk. You know when they are tired,...

Scheduling a Pet Euthanasia Appointment: The Importance of Planning Ahead

Scheduling a Pet Euthanasia Appointment: The Importance of Planning Ahead

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy, and as pet owners, we want to ensure their final moments are filled with love, compassion, and dignity. At Caring Pathways, we understand the emotional and challenging decision-making process that comes with scheduling a...

Do pets feel pain when euthanized?

Do pets feel pain when euthanized?

As a veterinarian working in end-of-life care I often hear the phrase, “I wish my pet would just pass in their sleep.” While we all hope for a quick, peaceful, painless death for our beloved dogs and cats, it is not always the case when it comes to natural death. This...

Client Testimonials

“Caring Pathways provided us with the the best option for saying goodbye to our dog. He was able to be in the yard with us right there with him. Dr. Steve was amazing and we could not have asked for a kinder and more caring vet to be there with us. We would 100% recommend Caring Pathways as an option given our experience..”

Rebecca Boitnott

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Transitions Veterinary Services | San Diego

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Say Goodbye At Home

In Home Pet Euthanasia Services - Serving Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee Wisconsin and Lake County Illinois

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Compassionate End of Life Care for Pets

The decision to put one’s beloved pet to sleep is the hardest decision a pet owner has to make.  It is often made with a great deal of anxiety, grief, and even guilt.  Unfortunately, it is a decision that eventually most responsible pet owners need to make.  The one thing that we CAN do for our pets is to make this time dignified, painless and free from anxiety.  For many, euthanasia at home is the best way to accomplish this.

I am thankful that when we had to put our dog to sleep, I was able to do it in the privacy and familiar environment of our home, where he was comfortable and free of fear. It is my desire to make this option available to all pet owners here in the Kenosha, Racine, and Lake County areas.

For more information check out our About Us page.

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In-Home Euthanasia

We all want our pet’s last moments to be comfortable, loving, and peaceful.

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At Your Own Pace

Most in-home euthanasia calls take 30 – 40 minutes. We will give you whatever time you need.

Dr Glaeser is available to answer your questions, guide you through end of life decisions, and extend sympathy and compassion to you and your pet.

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Senior Shelter Dog Returned After 1 Year And Facing Euthanasia Finds Home

A dog who was on the brink of losing her life after being returned to a shelter has been given a new lease on life.

Star, a 10-year-old female boxer and treeing Tennessee brindle mix, faced a heartbreaking return to a Texas shelter , just a year after adoption, due to a medical issue causing her to "pee blood." After being returned to the shelter, Star faced euthanasia, placed on "Code Red" status, meaning she was just days from losing her life. However, just four days after the article's publication, Star left the shelter with a new loving family.

The adopter from Ohio was touched by Star's story and instantly made plans to drive overnight to the Texas rescue—an almost 19-hour trip. "She's perfect," Star's new owner told Newsweek . "She never leaves my side, and the whole family adores her.

Star and new owner

"She was a little nervous on the ride home, but once she got inside the house, she could smell that it was home, and she did her 'happy feet' for a long time," the owner added. "It was precious!"

The joyous moment brought happiness and relief among the shelter staff, too. Nia Odgers, Fort Worth Shelter superintendent, expressed the elation felt by all witnessing Star's departure. "There definitely wasn't a dry eye in the house. But they were all tears of happiness and relief," she told Newsweek . "Seeing Star leave with her new family was a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do for the animals in our care. May your light continue to shine bright, sweet Star."

  • Face of "confused" dog tied up and dumped outside shelter in the dark
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Star is far from the only dog who faces an uncertain fate in rescue. Each year, 6.3 million pets are surrendered to U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, while around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year.

In response to the successful adoption, Chris McAllister, Fort Worth Shelter assistant director, highlighted the broader challenges faced by shelters nationwide.

McAllister emphasized the importance of considering pet adoption. "Star's amazing story helps highlight the challenges being faced by shelters and rescues across the country: We are full." he told Newsweek .

"Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that anyone looking for a new furry family member visit their local shelters, which are filled with loving animals that are there through no fault of their own. If you can't adopt or foster, then consider volunteering. It's going to take a community effort, and our animals deserve nothing less," McAllister said.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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The Arbat – a kilometer of crazy fun

All photos by Evy Hua

All photos by Evy Hua

Artists, merchants, Pushkin, dogs and bears – occasionally the Arbat (sometimes called Old or Stary Arbat to distinguish it from Novy-“New”-Arbat) becomes a circus. For first time visitors to Moscow, it is one of the top places to see. What can you really expect? Let’s take a walk.

Pick a sunny day to stroll down Arbat, since the most interesting things happen when the sun is out. You enter the Arbat from metro station Arbatskaya, at the famous Restaurant Praga. During the Soviet era, it was nearly impossible to get a reservation there.

Near the entrance of the street, the first portrait painters wait for patient subjects, who seek a more-or-less realistic image of themselves. In the near distance, you can hear rhythmic percussion, and a little further down the road, you will come across a large group of Hare Krishna followers. The easy lyrics of their songs make it easy for them to perform in every country and language.

Hare Krishna

If you get the urgent desire during your Sunday afternoon walk to get a tattoo, keep your eyes open for the various people wandering around Arbat, promoting tattoo shops with their flyers. Women in traditional Russian or Ukrainian costumes, as well as people in bear and cow costumes, walk in bored circles, advertising souvenir shops – great photo-ops for the craziness-seeking tourist.

home visit pet euthanasia

Further on, a group of students are having a pillow fight in the street, turning the Arbat into a snowstorm of fluffy feathers in the spring sun. A stray dog joins in, tearing apart the last bag of feathers with his teeth.

Every few meters there is something to observe: mimes, musicians, pets (displayed in boxes or cages to be photographed or for sale), a flea market for old books (during every visit to the Arbat, my dear boyfriend finds a collection of classics he wants to buy, but changes his mind last minute and spares us a heavy load to carry home in the metro), the famous graffiti wall dedicated to Victor Zoi, founder of the Russian band KINO, or the Vakhtangov theater and the Turandot fountain. The Pushkin house in flashy blue is not to be missed (mainly because of its distinctive and penetrating color) and is overseen by a monument of Pushkin and his wife. The monument to Bulat Okudzhava in the middle of the Arbat competes for attention with a life-size plastic cow, advertising the restaurant “Mumu.”  Strangely enough, visitors seem to find the cow much more amusing and photogenic.

home visit pet euthanasia

Exit Arbat via Smolenskaya metro station (there you can enjoy a beer in the quite nice John Bull Pub) or take a further walk, passing the foreign ministry building (one of the Seven Sisters, the Stalin Skycrapers) to Kievskaya, taking NOT the bridge where cars are crossing, but the beautiful enclosed pedestrian bridge. (This is also a nice way to cross the river in winter, as the bridge is closed and has benches inside - once there was even a photo exhibition organized there). The path on the riverbank to the bridge is elevated and gives a great view to the Kievsky Vokzal, Moscow City and the Evropeisky shopping.  At Kievskaya you can jump on one of the boats leaving for trips on Moscow river, or take the good old metro.

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