Let’s face it– Euthanasia is a difficult word to even say. The emotions that are associated with that word make me form a lump in my throat as I type. We have all been there. Our elderly pet is starting to suffer and the question we keep asking our selves, “How do I when the time is right?” And “What do I do…Where do I go?” We don’t want to think about it until we are faced with the decision…death and dying is hard that way. But the best thing you can do is to have a plan. Talk to your vet, ask questions, and talk to your local pet crematories. The most important thing is to make a plan that best suites you, your family, and most of all your pet.
When I was going through this situation just a little over a year ago with my beloved 12 year old Lab, Aztec, I had 3 plans! Plan A- if he passed at home on his own. Plan B – Home Euthanasia. Plan B – Veterinary Euthanasia. It made me rest easier knowing I had a plan for him and my family. The reality is that when it is time, you will not be able to think straight…only react. If you have plans in place, then you can follow your steps and know you are doing right by all involved.
So next question….What is better– Home Euthanasia or Vet Hospital? It will mostly depend on the situation and how your beloved is passing. It may become an emergency situation and the best is to go to your veterinarian and get the best care for your pet. They will be able to stabilize them, get them comfortable, and advise you on what the next step should be. This happened to me. Aztec failed so quickly, he was rushed to a hospital and the decision was to euthanize him there. If the situation is that your pet is just failing but not in an emergency, then scheduling a home euthanasia can be a more comforting option.
Home euthanasias are a way to grieve in private and in the comfort of your own home. Many veterinarians are being recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association, AAHA, to offer the home euthanasia as part of their services. If they are unable to do so, then they should work with another veterinarian and outsource this service. According to a recent article in DVM Newsmagazine, written by Rachael Whitcomb, Whitcomb reports that “AAHA emphasizes that making euthanasia less stressful for clients will bond them to the (veterinary) practice and make veterinarians and staff feel better about the task too.” Whitcomb also interviewed Dr.Dani McVety, owner of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-home Euthanasia in Lutz, Fla. Whitcomb reported McVety stating, “In my opinion, ask any veterinarian, receptionist or technician where they euthanize their pet. They always do it in the home.” And McVety went on to state, “This trend is growing like you have no idea.” (DVM Newsmagazine – April 2012 – Article: The Final Bill)
And I’m seeing this trend growing here in California also. We work with Peaceful Passings – a Home Euthanasia service by Dr. Steve Jefferson and his wife Marianne. They will work with the client and their pet when the time is right. After the pet has passed and if the owner has chosen cremation services, then the cremation is handled by us, Eden Memorial Pet Care. Peaceful Passings will bring the pet to us directly and return the cremains after cremation to the owner. This is an amazing service and can make a really tough situation actually bearable– no grieving in a hospital and then having to leave and walk through a waiting room full of people, having as much time as you need to be with your pet after they have passed, and knowing that your pet is arriving immediately at a caring crematory facility without you having to handle each detail.
So talk to your veterinarian. Many hospitals do offer a Home Euthanasia Service and can talk you through how that would work. If your hospital does not, ask them who they would recommend. Also, discuss with them who they use for their aftercare services. Make sure you approve of the facility and have made a plan with the veterinarian what the services should be– private cremation or communal. If you are in the San Luis Obispo County area, here are some options:
–Peaceful Pet Passings – Dr. Donna Alonso, DVM – Home Euthanasia – Phone: 805-748-6402
-Be Right There Mobile Veterinary Services – Dr. Julie Bosserman – 805-709-6538
-Dr. Marby Hambright – Mobile Veterinary Services – 805-549-7728
-Dr. Kelly Krambs – Synergy Veterinary Services – 831-915-3150
Love and Peace- Hugs and Woofs
And for more information on the services we offer, cremation questions, and memorial products please visit Eden Memorial Pet Care.