Frequently Asked Questions


Many questions come up as we think about our pets, and ourselves, at the end of their lives.  It is a time of love and reflection but can be filled with many other emotions as well.  Here are a few questions and answers that may help at this time, but please feel free to contact us if you have any that are not answered here.   

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How do I know if the time is right for euthanasia?

We understand that this is a difficult question and we are here to help.  Because every animal and situation is so different, we recommend that you give us a call or send us an email or message and we can discuss this with you. Consultations with review of medical history and exams are also available.   

How do I know if my pet is in pain?

This can be a difficult question as well. A  resource that we use is the pet quality life scale to help us determine if a pet is experiencing pain.  We invite you to visit our "Quality of Life" page to learn more about identifying your pet’s level of pain.

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How will my other pets respond to the loss?

Your other pet(s) may very likely have a time of “mourning” when they lose their friend. Depending on how close the pets were, there may be a time of adjustment.  A number of things you may notice can include clinging to you more, a decrease in appetite and lethargy, looking for their friend, wandering aimlessly and restlessness or depression.  

These behaviors will gradually decrease and resolve over time. It is interesting to note that dogs often grieve for the loss of a cat, and a cat may grieve after losing their dog friend. We do have homeopathic remedies that we can recommend if you would like additional support for your grieving pet.  

How do I cope with the loss of my beloved pet, companion, and friend?

Any of us who consider our pet a friend, companion, or family member, absolutely knows the intense pain and grief that accompanies the loss of our pet. We have resources on coping with that grief, and with the difficult times we face upon the passing of a cherished companion.  Please reach out to us.  

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Should my child be present for euthanasia of our pet?

You know your child best, but we do recommend that they be given the opportunity to say goodbye and to grieve. Death is a part of our lives and should be shared with children as well. That being said, if a child does not want to be present for euthanasia of a pet, that is ok too.  Our veterinarian will take the time and do their best to explain the process to your children at an age-appropriate level and answer their questions about the loss of their family pet.

Should my other pets be present for euthanasia of their companion?

We do believe it is nice if housemate pets can be peacefully present for euthanasia of their companion. The process is very calm and quiet. Dogs and cats will know that their friend has passed. Perhaps the most important aspect is that they have time afterwards to say goodbye so that they are not looking for a “lost” companion. Families with a young pup who may be a distraction or an anxious dog who may be distressed by the presence of a guest in the house might choose not to have that pet present for euthanasia, but it is suggested that they be allowed to come in to visit the deceased pet before transport to the veterinarian’s vehicle. 

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Will my pet feel anxiety or pain during euthanasia?

Dr. Carrie will provide your pet with gentle yet profound sedation prior to the euthanasia injection. This means that your dear companion will be in a deep, peaceful, pain-free, and unresponsive sleep prior to administration of the euthanasia injection. The fact that your pet is with you, in their home puts most animals at ease so they are not feeling anxious.  

My pet has passed away on his/her own. Can you help me with after care of the body?

Yes, we can come to help you by transporting your deceased pet for communal, individual, or private cremation at Midwest Cremation Services.  Contact us and we can arrange to visit.  

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Where will you take my pet after he/she has passed?

When your pet has passed and you have had time to say goodbye, we will transport their body to Midwest Cremation Services. They are the only cremation service we use and we have a long and wonderful relationship with them. Beyond that trust, there is communication through identification that stays with your pet as well as identification and instruction forms to ensure that your wishes are followed exactly, whether you request that your animal’s ashes are returned to you or not.

You may also choose to make your own arrangements for aftercare such as burial, transport for burial at another location, or transport to a cremation service of your choice.

How can I be sure that the ashes returned to me belong to my pet?

We are confident that the ashes you receive are those of your pet. In addition to our long-standing trust in the crematorium, there is a metal identification tag that originates with Full Circle.. This tag goes with your pet to the crematorium, remains with them through the cremation process, and is with the ashes when they are returned to you. This metal tag is linked to Full Circle as well as written on instruction forms for aftercare. This tag is your assurance that the ashes you receive are those of your dear companion.