Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know when it’s time?
This is one of the hardest decisions you may ever have to make. While sometimes there is a terminal illness and it is clear your pet is suffering, more often it is not so clear cut. Often there is a slow decline over weeks to months. Frequently there are good days and bad days. Assessing some objective criteria can be helpful. Some of the signs that it may be time include:
- Loss of appetite, especially in a pet that is normally a good eater or if it is accompanied by significant weight loss.
- Difficulty walking or difficulty getting up or down, especially if there is pain or if your pet is starting to get sores from being unable to move around.
- Incontinence that is leading to your pet frequently soiling themselves, in particular if your pet is starting to get painful rashes or infections from it.
- Night-time distress that is not responding to medical treatment. Like humans, pets can experience cognitive decline as they get older that can lead to anxiety and often fear, especially at night-time. Signs of this may be nighttime crying, howling, pacing, wandering, and panting.
- Chronic frequent vomiting and diarrhea that is not responding to medical treatment and is accompanied by weight loss.
- Chronic pain that is not controlled with medications. Sometimes this can even manifest as inexplicable aggression towards loved ones.
- Any difficulty breathing that is not responding to medical treatment.
- Loss of interest in the things that used to bring joy to your pet, whether that’s playing with toys, going on walks, getting pet, seeing people or other dogs, or getting treats.
- The bad days are outnumbering the good days, or the bad days are really bad.
But even knowing these things, it can be nearly impossible to objectively make decisions during this difficult time. If you are unsure if it is the right time for your pet, contact us to schedule a complimentary phone consultation with our vet.
How does the process work?
Our aim is to make this a caring and compassionate experience for both you and your pet. We try to accommodate your wishes and understand that some people like the process to happen quickly, whilst others prefer a little more ceremony: maybe special words said or candles lit, as part of the process.
You can choose a comfortable area in your home for this to take place and have your pet in their bed, the sofa or, if weather permits, a favourite spot in the garden. Depending on the size of your pet, you may prefer them in your arms.
We use a gentle two-step process and everything will be explained to you. The sedative is given first and this will cause your pet to fall asleep in 5-10 minutes. This is a good time to say your goodbyes and when you’re ready, the euthanasia medication is given, allowing your pet to drift away peacefully. Through the entire process you can be with your pet and our vet will answer any of your questions.
My pet is scared of the vet and/or strangers in the house. How can we make sure this is fear free?
Fear of the vet is one of the main reasons people choose in-home euthanasia for their pets. One of the most important parts of what we do is ensuring that your pet is as comfortable and relaxed as possible and home is a comforting place for your pet, where all the sights and sounds are familiar and not a place they’d associate with a vet. Rest assured that the process is a gentle and relaxed one. Our very experienced home visiting vet is also an animal lover, so you will be in very capable hands.
What precautions are you taking to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID?
Everyone at Coming Home Veterinary Services is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We want to make sure that we keep you and your pets comfortable and safe. We keep close watch on the current CDC guidelines in this constantly evolving situation. If you would like to wear a mask or want our vet to wear one coming into your home, let us know at the time of booking the home visit.
How far in advance do I need to make an appointment?
We know that there is not always much advance warning when you need us and we do our best to accommodate same-day and next-day requests, however, a few days notice is better to avoid disappointment.
What are the cost of your services?
Our services are bespoke and prices will vary depending on the size of your animal, the time and day of your home visit, and your choice of aftercare. It is best to contact us to discuss your personal requirements, as everything will be tailored to your pet’s needs.
Why is this so hard?
People frequently remark that losing a pet is harder than losing a parent or spouse. There can be a lot of guilt surrounding this. However, these thoughts and feelings are normal. We often spend lots of time with our pets and can feel physically and emotionally attached to them. They bring us so much joy and pure, unconditional love. It is normal to experience intense and surprising emotions during this period of loss and it takes time to heal.
You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. There is nothing shameful about what you are experiencing. Seek support from close family and friends during this difficult time. Please see our Grief Leaflet, which also explains how a companion pet may react at the loss of their friend. Alternatively, do call us. We are trained in grief counselling and are here to lend a caring and compassionate listening ear.
Does my pet insurance cover this?
Some pet insurance companies cover euthanasia and sometimes even cremation, but not all. We recommend you contact your pet insurance company directly to find out.