FAQ: Home Pet Euthanasia Procedure

Is ‘dying naturally’ a better option?

Some pet owners would rather wait for death to take place naturally than decide to euthanize. However, it can be distressing for owners to watch their pet suffer, and many terminal diseases can lead to a long end of life period full of pain and anxiety.

Can I be present during the euthanasia procedure?


Of course. You can be present during as much of the procedure as you are comfortable. When your pet is sedated, having someone they love and trust nearby can help them feel relaxed and calm. Some pet owners choose to stay with their pet for the whole procedure while others only wish to stay for the sedation part.

Should other pets be present during the euthanasia?


Family pets can be present during the procedure to say goodbye to their friend. They can also bring a sense of comfort and normalcy to the situation. A brief glance or a sniff toward the deceased pet may be enough for them to realize that their friend is gone. This experience could help bring them closure and decrease their chance of depression.

However, if you think that your other pets will require too much of your attention and could distract you from the process, it would be best to let them say goodbye after the euthanasia is complete.

Should children be present during the euthanasia?


This is a personal choice that depends on the child and their family. Parents know their children the best and are therefore the best at making this decision. It also depends on the age of the child. Children younger than five years old tend to be unsure about what is happening and are more disturbed by their parent’s emotions than by the loss of their pet.

Older children are usually more understanding and supportive. I recommend explaining the procedure to them and then asking them if they would like to be present for euthanasia of their pet. If they do not want to partake in the process, do not force them. I also recommend having someone available who can be with your child in case they decide to leave the room before the procedure is finished.

If you feel that you can prepare your children for the euthanasia process by telling them what to expect and acknowledging their preferences, then giving them the opportunity to say goodbye to their friend can be very valuable.

How does the euthanasia drug work?


The first injection is a combination of sedatives that anesthetizes your pet and eliminates any pain. The final injection acts as an anesthesia overdose that stops all heart and brain functions. The rest of the body shuts down in stages. First, you will see your pet’s breathing stop, followed by their heart. Your pet will not feel any discomfort.

How long does the euthanasia procedure take?


The whole appointment usually takes between 40-60 minutes. The sedative typically takes effect in 5-15 minutes. After your pet is deeply sedated, the final injection is administered. From that point, the euthanasia usually takes 30-60 seconds, but it can take up to 10 minutes depending on your pet’s metabolism.

Can you help me with aftercare of my pet after the procedure?


Yes. Dr. Rosen will coordinate your pet’s aftercare in partnership with Gateway Pet Memorial. Pet owners must choose the type of cremation that they would like. They can choose between a regular/communal cremation (no ashes returned), or a private cremation (your pet is cremated alone in a private chamber, and their ashes are returned to your regular clinic in a complimentary scattering tube or silk pouch). For pets that are privately cremated, decorative urns, keepsakes, and glazed paw prints are available at an additional cost.

Regardless of whether you decide to have a communal/regular or private cremation, Dr. Rosen will offer to make you a paw print using quick-dry plasticine free of charge. She will transport your pet to her car and will arrange the aftercare service through Gateway Pet Memorial.

In two weeks time or sooner, you will receive an email notification from Gateway that your pets ashes and aftercare products have arrived at your regular veterinary clinic.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Dr. Goldie Rosen, DVM

Dr. Goldie Rosen, DVM

Dr. Goldie Rosen is a veterinarian and founder of Halton Veterinary House Call Services, providing compassionate pet euthanasia for dogs and cats at homes in Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Waterdown. To book an appointment, please call 905-876-7766.

About Me

Dr. Goldie Rosen, DVM is a veterinarian and founder of Halton Veterinary House Call Services, providing pet euthanasia for dogs and cats at homes in Acton, Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Waterdown.

Recent Posts

Follow Us


Available By Appointment Only
Monday – Saturday: 9AM – 6PM


Dr. Goldie Rosen, B.Sc, DVM


Please book an appointment in advance.



Stoney Creek