Euthanizing Your Pet – What To Expect And Why You Should Be There

It is never easy when the time comes and you know you have to do the humane thing and end your beloved dog’s suffering and pain through euthanasia. It is often a solemn and challenging time for the entire family, having to say goodbye to their four-legged family member. Even though it can be hard to deal with it, it helps to know beforehand what to expect.

Euthanizing Your Pet – What To Expect And Why You Should Be There

Why Do Vets Use Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is a humane way to end the life of an animal when he is suffering and there is little to no hope of recovering from injury or illness. Sometimes as pet owners it is hard to make this decision but ultimately it is in the best interest of the animal. Your veterinarian can answer all the questions you may have and can guide you throughout the process. The decision remains yours but if your dog is suffering, in the end, it is the right thing to do.

What Happens During the Euthanasia?

In cats and dogs, the process generally involves injecting pharmaceutical agents intravenously to stop the animal’s heart. In many cases, the solution contains pentobarbital. However, some also contain phenytoin. The best way to administer the solution is intravenously. You can inject the solution into a body cavity, but it will not work as quickly.

Some vets might prefer inserting an intravenous catheter which allows easier access and makes the process quick and painless for the animal. It can also lower the risk of any complications. The veterinarian might give your dog a sedative beforehand which will make him sleepy and relaxed. After the euthanasia solution is injected, it will quickly travel through the animal’s body. He will lose consciousness and his breathing will start to slow down until it stops completely.

The dog feels no suffering or pain and it happens within seconds. The animal ultimately dies of cardiac arrest which happens within thirty seconds after the euthanasia solution has been administered.

Why Vets Urge Pet Owners to Stay With Their Pets During Euthanasia

According to this article in the UK Mirror, vets urge pet owners to remain with their pets during the process. They report that dogs were looking for their owners during their last moments. As a pet owner, it can give you peace of mind as well that you’ve remained with your beloved animal until the end. It is not an easy decision and many pet owners might find it too upsetting.

What Happens Afterwards?

Once the vet has administered the solution, he will listen to your pet’s heart and confirm the death. During this time, he will usually step out of the room and give you a few minutes alone to say goodbye.  The monetary value of pet euthanasia is nothing under R1000.

How to Deal With The Loss Of Your Pet

Everyone grieves in a different way and there are no rules that dictate what is the wrong or right way. It helps to think of the good times that you’ve spent with your pet and know that he or she is in a better place now and is no longer suffering.

Consider doing something to commemorate the life of your animal like making an ink or clay paw print and framing it with a photo of your dog. You can plant a special tree or write a tribute to deal with the loss of your pet.


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