What vets want you to understand about euthanasia.

Dr Jaxon Anderson
Head of Veterinary Services
March 13, 2023

As a pet owner, the decision to euthanise your pet is never easy. It is a decision that should be made with careful consideration, consultation with your veterinarian, and a deep understanding of the euthanasia process. But it is also an incredibly emotional and heartbreaking decision, which isn’t easy to make.

We’ve consulted our Goodbye Good Boy veterinarians about what they want you as pet owners to understand about euthanasia before you begin the process.

Read: What happens when a dog is euthanised?

Carefully consider between at home and in-clinic euthanasia. 

Many people don’t even realise that you don’t have to take your dog to the vet clinic for euthanasia. Some pets are naturally quite scared of the vet, whether that’s from previous experiences or just generally being anxious, so for euthanasia, it might not be best to bring them to the clinic. 

While there are plenty of ways to help our pets be brave during necessary vet appointments, and it’s often required to attend the vet clinic for certain procedures, euthanasia is something that doesn’t need to happen there. 

In-home euthanasia provides your cherished companion with a peaceful passing in their most loving and familiar environment. At-home euthanasia means they can spend their last moments in a comfortable and familiar environment, surrounded by the people they love.

Read more about the difference between euthanasia at home vs in-clinic here. 

Euthanasia is rarely an easy or simple decision.

You may be struggling to choose whether or not euthanasia is the right decision. According to our resident veterinarians, this is more common than you would think.

Only in a small number of circumstances is euthanasia the immediate and obvious decision. Many families and pet owners can spend weeks or even months deliberating over whether it’s time to say goodbye, stressing over their pet’s pain levels or overall quality of life.

Read: How will I know it’s time to euthanise my pet?

This is why at Goodbye Good Boy, you can organise a Telepet Quality of Life consultation with one of our veterinarians to discuss your pet’s quality of life to come to a decision regarding euthanasia. This might be a great option if you’re not sure about taking your pet into the vet clinic right away and need some advice about the next steps.

Euthanasia literally translates to a “good death”.

Without euthanasia, it’s often not possible for our pets to have a truly good death. With euthanasia, you can either minimise or eliminate any pain or distress to your pet and ensure they are comfortable and at peace when they die. 

Our vets see many families deliberating over euthanasia and wonder if it’s worth waiting out to spend as much time with their pet as possible, and ultimately, this is an extremely personal choice. 

All veterinarians take an oath after graduating. If they see an animal suffering, they are bound to act in the animal’s best interest, which often means to put them down. You can read the oath below.

“I solemnly swear to practise veterinary science ethically and conscientiously for the benefit of animal welfare, animal and human health, users of veterinary services and the community. I will endeavour to maintain my practice of veterinary science to current professional standards and will strive to improve my skills and knowledge through continuing professional development. I acknowledge that along with the privilege of acceptance into the veterinary profession comes community and professional responsibility. I will maintain these principles throughout my professional life.”

Sometimes well-meaning pet owners hope for a “natural death”, but this is very uncommon in domesticated animals.

It’s important to remember that in the wild, elderly or fatally injured animals will separate themselves from their pack and become prey for another species. This doesn’t happen with domestic animals.

Without intervention, the animal will not experience a true “natural death” and instead may be left to experience sustained suffering, and you might try medication to help reduce the pain. Waiting too long and drawing out the end-of-life process is often distressing for pets and families alike. 

A pain free and compassionate goodbye is a gift to your pet.

Most of us would prefer the most simple and peaceful way to die, which is while we’re asleep. So take that same logic and apply it to your pet. Your pet will be given a sedative during the process, so it will be as if they’ve fallen asleep.

Some people may not want to be in the room for the process, and whilst that is a personal decision, often our vet have found that pets left alone for the process spend their last moments in distress or searching for their owners.

You are your pet’s entire world, so leaving them alone in their final moments isn’t always the best decision, and will make the situation more difficult for your pet and the veterinarian.

Veterinarians just want what’s best for your pet.

Understanding euthanasia from a veterinarian's perspective is important for pet owners who are faced with the difficult decision.

The euthanasia process is designed to be peaceful and painless, and aftercare options are available to help you through this difficult time. Remember to take care of yourself and seek support during this process, whether that’s from family, friends, your local veterinarian. Otherwise, we’re here to help.  

At Goodbye Good Boy, we provide home euthanasia services to support loving owners in providing a peaceful passing for their beloved pets.

The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options. 

To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give our team of passionate pet lovers a call on 1800 953 619.