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Saying Goodbye

Is it Time?

The relationship between a pet owner and their pet is sacred, and the decision to humanely euthanize is one of the toughest calls one can ever make. This a heartbreaking proposition that none of us like to think about, understandably so, but when the time does come, you want the peace of mind that your pet will be in a comfortable, loving, and painless environment. At Northlake Animal Hospital, we have a passion for improving the quality of life of every pet all the way to the end.

What Should I Consider About Euthanasia?

If you are considering euthanasia, here are some questions you should think about:

  • Are there more good days than there are bad days?
  • Is your pet in a constant state of pain or discomfort?
  • Can your pet control their bowels and urination?
  • Is your pet able to move around on his/her own?
  • Is your pet eating or interested in food?
  • Does your pet still enjoy their favorite activities?

Who Decides if a Pet Needs to Be Euthanized?

This is a deeply personal decision that will ultimately fall on your shoulders. While our veterinarians are here to give you advice and help you make an informed decision, the final call is always yours. You may want to include family members or friends who share a close bond with your pet when deciding.

If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the decision, please let our veterinarian or veterinary team know. We are here to help you during this difficult time and help you assess your pet’s quality of life. We understand that the decision to euthanize can be excruciating, but sometimes euthanasia is the kindest, most selfless act you can offer your pet.

A Compassionate Goodbye

Euthanasia should be a peaceful experience. Our process is designed to provide the highest level of comfort to your pet in those final moments. Our team will place an IV catheter, and your pet will be sedated so they feel no pain or discomfort at any point. We will explain the entire procedure, so there are no surprises. We understand the desire for your pet to be as comfortable as possible during this process. If it makes you and your pet feel more at ease, please ask us about at-home euthanasia.

How Does Euthanasia Work?

Our doctors and compassionate team will discuss everything that goes into the process so you are well-prepared and inquire about your preferences and what you would like to do with your pet’s remains. We understand how difficult a time this is, and we do everything we can to treat you and the situation with respect and sensitivity.

Once the decision to humanely euthanize has been made, we will place an IV catheter. We will then give an anesthetic agent to allow your pet to fall asleep calmly and gently. We will then administer a second injection that will allow your pet to pass on with no pain, suffering, or discomfort. No drugs will be given without your consent or supervision. You can remain by your pet’s side for as much or as little of the process as you wish.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process, please speak with our doctor or another member of our Northlake Animal Hospital team.

How Can I Commemorate My Pet?

We believe that all pets deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, so we have chosen to partner with Rainbow Crossing Pet Memorial Services. Many owners choose to have their pet’s ashes returned to them so they can place them in a place with special meaning to them. We can also offer an assortment of specialty urns for your pet’s ashes if you wish. For those who do not wish to have their pet’s ashes returned to them, Rainbow Crossing will scatter your pet’s ashes at sea along the Florida coast.

Another way to memorialize your pet is with a donation to a local rescue or non-profit. Northlake Animal Hospital works with many respected rescue centers and we can help you decide on how to proceed with a memorial donation. You may also want to consider planting a tree in loving memory of your pet through the Arbor Day Foundation. Our team will be happy to assist you in this process.

Do You Need Support in the Grieving Process?

The unfortunate truth is that there is not much we can say or do to alleviate the pain of losing a family member. But we are here to offer you support and listen to your concerns. We know that grief is a natural part of the healing process. The loss of a pet can make us feel sad, guilty, angry, and alone. Please know that giving your companion a full and happy life at your side was the best gift your pet could have ever received and we want you to remember them with joy.

Have More Questions About Euthanasia?

For additional support, please consider contacting the ASPCA grief counseling hotline at (877) 474-3310 or the Tuft’s Vet School Pet Loss Hotline at (508) 839-7966.

Northlake Animal Hospital
1428 10th Street
Lake Park, FL 33403
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