Deciding to euthanize your pet

Making the decision to help end the life of your companion animal can be one of the most difficult and painful ones you will ever make in your life. We have developed this guide to help you with this.

Once you realize the time for your pet’s euthanasia is near, it is helpful to do as much planning and preparing ahead of time as possible. The purpose of this list is to make you aware of the many choices you have about your pet’s death. Please discuss any decisions you are uncertain about with your veterinarian.

When preparing for your pet’s euthanasia, it is helpful to:

  • Ask your veterinarian to describe the methods and details of the procedure.
  • Decide whether or not to be present during your pet’s euthanasia.
  • Decide who else (if anyone) you would like to have present during this time. If you wish to be alone during the procedure, you may still want to ask a friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment so you will have support before and afterward.
  • Plan the logistical details.
    • When should it take place?
    • Where should it take place?
    • How will you care for your pet’s body?
    • What will you transport/bury your pet’s body in if you take it with you?
  • Consider a post-mortem examination. Post-mortems can potentially answer the questions you may have regarding your pet’s illness or injury.
  • Think about how you want to say goodbye and/or memorialize your pet.

Information from Argus Institute at Colorado State University.