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Pet Euthanasia

6 Questions To Ask Your Vet Before Euthanasia

Saying goodbye to a pet is one of the toughest choices a pet parent will make. Here are the most important questions to ask your vet to get guidance and reassurance as you consider euthanasia.

Dr. Bethany Hsia

April 16, 2023

Saying goodbye to a pet is one of the toughest choices a pet parent will make. Here are the most important questions to ask your vet to get guidance and reassurance as you consider euthanasia.

When considering a peaceful passing for your pet it is completely normal to feel unsure of how to make this decision and what steps you can take to prepare yourself and your beloved companion. We’re here to help you feel confident speaking with your vet about euthanasia for your dog or cat.

Tough but Important Questions To Ask a Vet Before Pet Euthanasia

Talking to a vet can help clarify questions about the process itself and provide an understanding of what you can do to get ready, if anything. Although it's difficult to talk about saying goodbye to your best friend, asking your vet these questions can ensure you're making an informed decision that you can feel at peace with.

We understand how difficult it can be to navigate this period of time, which is why we've put together this list of questions you can ask your vet before deciding to schedule a pet euthanasia appointment.

1. Is It Really Time To Put My Pet Down?

Although you know your pet better than anyone, talking to your pet’s veterinarian gives you a medically-informed perspective when seeking out end-of-life services.

When pets are clearly sick or suffering without a path to wellness it’s generally easier to sit with the decision to euthanize. But what about when our pets show more subtle signs of decline? It can be helpful to use an objective tool to consider overall quality of life.

2. How Can I Prepare My Pet for the Euthanasia Process?

Typically, preparing your pet for euthanasia is more about keeping them comfortable and happy than anything else. Try sticking to your daily routine and focusing on spending quality time together.

Talking to your vet about preparation can help you formulate a plan for your pet’s final days. For example, your vet may recommend altering your pet’s current medication dosage or routine to promote physical comfort and mental well-being.

3. How Long Does the Entire Procedure Take?

Although the procedure differs for every animal based on factors like size, breed, and existing medical conditions, the euthanasia process is typically brief.

Your vet can help you better understand what goes into the process of euthanasia, how long each step might take, and how this process will be tailored to your pet.

4. Will My Pet Feel Pain When They're Put Down?

If your pet has been experiencing pain or anxiety the sedation provided prior to the euthanasia procedure brings a sense of relief. Often pets are able to relax for the first time in quite awhile.

If you're concerned about the process of euthanasia and what your dog or cat will experience, talking to your vet can shed light on what efforts are made to ensure your pet is comfortable throughout the entire procedure.

5. Should the Euthanasia Procedure Be Performed at a Veterinary Clinic or In-home?

Deciding whether you want the procedure performed at home or in a clinic will depend on various factors, including your pet’s current physical state and your personal preferences.

Speaking with your vet can help you understand possible options and meet your family’s needs. The technical aspects of the procedure itself are much the same whether in the clinic or at home. However, having the procedure performed at home can help promote a sense of calm as your pet is surrounded by familiar smells and loved ones- be they human or animal.

If having the procedure performed at home is important to you, ask your veterinarian if they offer at- home pet euthanasia or you can find a veterinarian who does so here.

6. What Are the Aftercare Options to Honor My Pet?

Like the euthanasia procedure itself, deciding which aftercare option you desire is highly personal. However, it's ideal to talk to your vet about which aftercare option you plan to utilize before euthanasia to ensure you make an informed decision and that the veterinarian is prepared to help carry out your wishes.

Types of aftercare options include:

  • Private cremation
  • Communal cremation
  • Burial (subject to local regulations)
  • Taxidermy
  • Charitable contribution

Compassionate Care for Your Beloved Pet

Although it's a challenging and emotional decision, moving forward with euthanasia when your pet tells you it's time, is one of the kindest things you can do for them.

If you've consulted with your vet and feel resolved in your decision, CodaPet's euthanasia services can support you in taking this next step together in the comfort of your home.


Dr. Bethany graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After graduation, she moved west. Dr. Bethany spent a year at a small animal exclusive practice in Washington state, where she was first introduced to in-home euthanasia.  Read More