Yesterday my family and I experienced a significant loss. Our beloved cat, Monty, died peacefully at our home. Monty was a great cat, and one of our best friends. After a year of chronic illness, we chose to euthanize him in our house. Until recently, I didn’t know animals could be euthanized at home. However, there are veterinary practices that specialize in helping families say goodbye in the comfort of their own homes.
Pets become an integral part of a family. When my husband and I lost his mother to cancer, she died peacefully in her home. I remember how comforted my father-in-law felt seeing her pass at home. Going through that experience, helped me understand the value of dying at home rather than in a hospital or nursing home. Thanks to the wonderful veterinarian’s animals can have this same experience.
There are several benefits to picking home euthanization of a pet versus taking them to a clinic. I am going to highlight a few reasons why home euthanization the most loving choice for pets.
When an animal is near the end of life, their bodies work hard to keep them alive. Many will hold on for weeks or months despite their lack of nutrients and pain. Watching an animal decline is stressful for others in the family including other pets.
Transporting an ill animal to a clinic is stressful for the family and the animal. Most pets experience anxiety when they go to the vet. By picking a home euthanization, pets can remain in the home. Instead of having stress and fear of being in a clinic, they take their final breaths surrounded by all of their loved ones. The experience is calm and peaceful for the family and the animal.
Allows Other Animals to Say Goodbye
If you have other animals in your home, home euthanasia will enable them to say goodbye. Yesterday, as Monty received the medicine to put him to sleep, our other cats stayed by his side. For years, the cats lived together and were the best of friends. After Monty took his final breath, both cats approached his corpse and gave him licks goodbye. Seeing his body allowed them to process his departure.
Pets develop connections to each other. When you take a pet to a clinic to die, other animals don’t witness their death. They only understand the animal left and didn’t come back. Allowing the pet to die at home minimizes other animals confusion and will enable them to grieve properly.
Grieving is done at Home
Twelve years ago I put my cat Chloe down at a veterinary clinic. Watching her struggle with fear in those last moments broke my heart. I sobbed uncontrollably as she took her final breaths in my arms. After she died, I had to walk through a clinic to get to my car. Other pet owners watched me cry and break down. My private moment and grief were lost in the publicness of the situation.
Yesterday, my husband and I grieved in our home. As Monty took his final breaths, we sat with him on his favorite bed. I didn’t have to worry about anyone watching me cry. My husband and I could be present in the situation without fear of others. Together we held each other, cried, and said goodbye. After he passed, Monty was wrapped in a blanket and taken away.
Is Home Euthanization Right for All Families?While home euthanization made sense for our family, it will not be an option for all families. Euthanizing at home is more expensive than going to a clinic. Some animals will be too critically ill to be at home for their death. The option only works for animals that are near their end of life and not being treated at an animal hospital.
For animals that aren’t being treated in the hospital, the option can make a sad experience more bearable for all parties involved.
For more information on how to locate a veterinarian that practice in-home euthanasia, please visit In-Home Pet Euthanasia.
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