How will I know when its time?

“It is almost an impossible task to decide the right time to say goodbye to the pet that has acted as a best friend and constant companion in your life. But it is up to us to be brave for our pets at the end of their lives and it is during this time we have to work with our veterinary care team as well as within our own boundaries to make an informed decision and prevent prolonged suffering””

Dr Sandra Karlsen, Lead Veterinarian

Understanding euthanasia from a vet's perspective

Having to make the decision to euthanise can feel like a heavy burden that often comes with some degree of guilt. In those moments it’s important to remember that it is a gift to be able to say goodbye under peaceful circumstances. As veterinarians we are truly privileged to be able to help end suffering through an experience that is fear, stress and pain free. Euthanasia is not only a way to prevent ongoing suffering, but prevent suffering from occurring in the first place.

The three phases of a pet's lifecycle

Good quality life

This phase is easy to recognise - your pet is well, happy and thriving. Veterinary care is usually routine at this stage.

Quality of life is compromised

In this phase of life - your pets' quality of life has been compromised. The phase can be long or short depending on your pet's condition.

Quality of life may be compromised secondary to age related changes or from diagnosis of a specific condition. Veterinary care is usually needed regularly to ensure comfort is maintained. It is during this phase it would be appropriate to choose euthanasia.

It's important to work with your veterinary care team to help decide on the right time for you and your pet and prevent prolonged suffering. 

Act of suffering

In this phase your pet has entered a phase of sustained suffering. Your pet is now unable to do or think about anything other than the pain of their condition. We would like to make the decision to euthanise prior to entering this stage.  As veterinarians we consider euthanasia to be a loving gift that can not only stop but prevent suffering from occurring.

When determining when is the right time to euthanise, it's important to remember that there is not one right time, rather a period of time when euthanasia is an appropriate path.

If we look at life in 3 stages - you will have first phase; happy and thriving, second phase; quality of life is compromised and third phase; sustained suffering. The second phase whereby quality of life is compromised is when euthanasia would be considered an appropriate path. The length of this period will depend on the specific condition of your pet and can be short with something like heart disease or certain cancers or long (years) with well managed arthritis.

 We would like to avoid the third phase all together as this is a period of sustained suffering. It is therefore important to work within yourself and your own boundaries as well as with your veterinary care team to make sure we are doing what we can to prevent suffering and also making informed decisions on when to say goodbye.  

Assessing your pet's quality of life

During the subjective time whereby quality if life is compromised, there is no right or wrong time to euthanise. Owners who have experienced the end of life journey with a previous pet will often make the decision earlier, as they have the lived experience of leaving this too long.

Our Goodbye Good Boy quality of life calculator is designed to help you objectively asses your pets quality of life.

Assess your pet

What is the process for a euthanasia at home?

Our home euthanasia services are delivered with care and empathy at the forefront of everything we do. We move at the pace you are comfortable to ensure a peaceful passing.


Our mobile
vet arrives

Once the veterinarian arrives, the full euthanasia procedure will be explained to you based on your interest and comfort level.


We provide

Unless it's not in your pet's best interest, a sedation injection will be given to ensure they're comfortable. This way, your pet will become sleepy, and then drift off to sleep before the final euthanasia injection.


A Peaceful

Once you are ready, the euthanasia medication will be given and your veterinarian will give you space to be with your pet at this time.


Cremation &

If you have chosen a cremation package, our team may arrange to transport your pet for their aftercare service and their ashes hand delivered home depending on your chosen service.

Not sure you're ready?

Book a time to speak with one of our caring team about your journey.

Explore our Blog

When is it time to get a new pet?

The question that often troubles us after pet loss is, "When is the right time to welcome a new pet into our lives?"

Learn More
Should a child be present when a pet is euthanised?

Is it better to have your child there during your pet's passing? Our experts weigh in.

Learn More
Helping children understand the concept of death through the loss of a beloved pet.

As parents or caregivers, it's essential to help children navigate this difficult journey and help them understand the finality of death. 

Learn More
Understanding common emergencies in senior pets and how to prevent them.

Senior pets are susceptible to certain health issues and emergencies that require prompt attention and care.

Learn More
Pet euthanasia; what you need to know. 

Euthanasing your pet is a decision many pet owners will have to make towards the end of their pet’s life. It is a difficult, but often necessary decision to prevent further pain and suffering for the smallest, furriest member of your family.

Learn More
Chocolate toxicity in senior pets: a comprehensive guide.

If your senior dog accidentally ingests chocolate, here's what you should know.

Learn More
Dealing with anticipatory pet grief.

Anticipatory pet grief is the experience of mourning the impending loss of a beloved animal companion, knowing that you will soon be saying goodbye.

Learn More
What to do if your senior pet has a seizure.

As our pets age, it's natural for them to experience certain health issues, just like humans. One concerning event that may occur in senior pets is a seizure. Witnessing your senior pet having a seizure can be distressing, but it's essential to stay calm and take appropriate actions. 

Learn More