Pet Euthanasia: How Do I Know When It Is Time?

No one knows the right moment to decide on euthanasia. It is a very personal and challenging decision many pet owners face. The answer is different for each person and each pet.

Euthanasia becomes an option to consider based on the quality of life and evidence of progression of a disease. However, the pet owner must find peace in the decision and be ready to say that the time has come to say goodbye. Many conflicting emotions factor into the decision, including guilt, indecision, and grief. Furthermore, financial concerns will also need to be considered. For most pet owners, the situation is overwhelming.

How can a pet owner prepare for euthanasia of their pet?

Having a good client/veterinarian relationship is critical. If your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal disease, it is time to begin the conversation about medical options, prognosis, costs, and the signs to watch for that show a decline in your pet’s quality of life. 

Many pets facing a terminal disease have good days and bad days. When the bad days begin to outnumber the good ones, the answer may become more evident. Additional clinical signs may include a pet sleeping most of the day, lack of control of bodily functions, vomiting, and inability to eat or drink.

Home euthanasia for pets is an alternative to the traditional animal hospital procedure. It allows the pet to stay at home in their comfortable surroundings, perhaps on a favourite blanket, an owner’s bed, or in a special shady spot in the backyard.

I begin with a telephone consultation to discuss your pet’s situation and explain the home pet euthanasia procedure in detail. We then discuss aftercare options. 

For aftercare, clients can choose between a regular, communal cremation (no ashes returned), or private cremation (your pet is cremated in his/her private chamber, ashes returned in a complimentary scattering tube or silk pouch). Alternatively, clients may choose to purchase an upgraded urn which includes a free engraving with your pet’s name. 

It is not uncommon to consider burying your pet. I have more information about this in the article what do I do after my pet passes away?

How much does the procedure cost?

Prices for euthanasia vary depending on the location of the procedure, the weight of the pet, and your choice of aftercare. Acceptable methods of payment include cash, E-Transfer, Visa or MasterCard.

Can you please describe what the procedure is like?

Once I arrive at your home, I will talk to your pet and offer a chewy or treat. A sedative is then given to relax your pet, and can then take 5-15 minutes to take effect. After your pet is heavily sedated, and usually unable to lift their head, I will proceed with the intravenous injection of the euthanizing agent. The medication will act as an anesthetic overdose and quickly stop the heart from beating. The process usually takes less than thirty seconds. I will then use my stethoscope to check the heart and confirm the euthanasia is complete.

You can spend a few private moments with your pet. If you would like, I can provide a paw print free of charge with quick dry plasticine, and leave decorative beads if your children wish to personalize the paw print. After you have spent some time with your pet, I will transport the pet to my car, and arrange the aftercare service through Gateway. 

Gateway has many different urns, keepsakes and paw prints. You will receive an email notification directly from them letting you know when your pet’s ashes are ready to be picked up at your regular veterinary clinic. 

Old age and terminal diseases are, unfortunately, a natural part of a pet’s life. It is never easy to face a decline in the health of a beloved pet. The loss can be equivalent to losing a family member. I understand this pain and can help you through the experience, offering as much support as is needed to you and your family.

Your pet deserves the best life possible, including a humane, compassionate and stress-free ending. Let me help you along the journey. 

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, Brampton, Burlington, Dundas, Georgetown, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Waterdown. Please call her at 905-876-7766 or contact her by email.

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 Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, Georgetown, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Waterdown.

Recent Posts

Follow Us


Mon-Fri 9AM to 6PM
Sat 9AM to 3PM


Dr. Goldie Rosen, BSc, DVM


Please book an appointment in advance.



Stoney Creek