Euthanasia: A Peaceful Passing
The doctor and staff at Aurora Hills Animal Hospital understand the special bond that you have with your four legged friend. We realize that making the decision to help your pet to die may be the most difficult choice you will ever make. We take pride in offering the utmost in service and compassion in the euthanasia process. Every year, we counsel countless pet owners on euthanasia. Our goal is to help you through this decision and process in a caring, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. We hope that we are able to answer some of your questions here, but we encourage you to contact us with any additional concerns.
1. How do I know the right time to euthanize my pet?
This is the most frequently asked question and the most difficult question to answer. We all want our pets to have a quality life, so the best way to answer this question is to pose a question. What makes your pet happy? We usually ask you to think of 3 things that make your pet undeniably happy. This might be a favorite treat or toy, a walk, or a ride in the car. When these items stop bringing joy to your pet, his quality of life is deteriorating. If there are no feasible treatments options to restore the quality of life, it is time to enter into the discussion of euthanasia and ending your pet's suffering.
2. Can I be with my pet during the euthanasia?
We encourage every pet owner to be involved in the euthanasia process to their comfort level. We do not have any specific policies regarding the number of participants, not do we restrict the ages of those who are present. Please call us to discuss your specific needs.
3. What should I tell my children about euthanasia?
The level of information you reveal to your children regarding the process of euthanasia depends upon their ages and maturity levels. Young children may not understand the concept of death and may be frightened to see their parents so sad. Older children and teens generally understand death, but may not be able to accept that we could not make their pet better. The best approach is to be concise and honest. Young children can develop a fear of going to bed if they are told that their pet was "put to sleep." Children who are told that the pet ran away or went to live on a farm may feel abandoned. As you are considering the level of involvement for your children we encourage you to visit the Argus Institute to find discussions and books about pet loss.
4. Can I euthanize my pet at home?
Yes, with advance scheduling we can euthanize your pet at home, in a favorite park, or other special local location.
5. Would you like to memorialize your pet?
Many people choose to keep something to remember their pets. Some people keep a clipping of hair, others keep the collar and leash, and some people like to have a clay imprint of the paw. We are happy to make clay impressions of the paw and can make multiple impressions if individual family members would like their own impressions. The impressions can be taken home immediately with baking instructions, but more commonly are baked here at the hospital and picked up at a later date.
6. What options do I have for my pet's body?
We offer two cremation options for you pet through a local crematorium. With the individual option, your pet is cremated alone and the remains are returned to you within a week. With the communal option, your pet is cremated with other pets and the communal remains are spread by the crematory. Many owners take comfort in having their pet cremated with the collar and leash or a special treat or a favorite blanket. In addition to cremation, if you have checked with your local ordinances and can legally bury your pet on your property, you are free to take your pet's body with you after the euthanasia. Aurora Hills Animal Hospital will not dispose of pets in a land fill.