For many pet owners, a time may come where they have to decide whether their loyal friend is suffering too much and has little-to-no quality of life.

Euthanasia, be it at home or at the vet, is an option to consider towards the end of your pet’s life. If your pet is terminally unwell, your vet may speak to you about the possibility of ending their suffering.

There are a number of reasons why euthanasia is discussed, including terminal illnesses, debilitating conditions or not recovering from an accident. Keep reading to find out what is pet euthanasia, how to know when it's time to say goodbye and who to speak to when the time comes.

What is euthanasia?

Literally meaning “gentle death”, euthanasia is a two-step process that ends your pet’s life peacefully and painlessly. You may hear euthanasia referred to as “put to sleep” or “put down”.

If you are considering euthanasia for your pet, speak with your vet as they are best placed to advise on your pet’s quality of life and suffering.

The first stage of euthanasia is sedation, where your furry friend is “put to sleep”. In these moments, you can hold or stroke your precious pet and whisper your final goodbye.

The final stage of euthanasia is the administering of a large dose of general anaesthetic, which will end your pet’s life peacefully. Your beloved pet won’t feel any pain or suffering in the euthanasia process. However, it helps to sit with your pet throughout to comfort them as they drift away.

When it's time to say goodbye

Choosing to euthanise a pet is possibly the hardest decision a pet owner has to make. When a senior or sick pet, it can be hard to know when the right is time to say farewell. Your vet will advise when your pet is suffering too much.

Your vet will work with you and your family to ensure all viable treatment options are exhausted before considering euthanasia.

There can be a temptation to prolong your pet’s life for the sake of the family; however, you must remember that there comes a time where a sick or senior pet has a poor quality of life. Only your vet is qualified to support you in making this decision.

Euthanasia can be carried out at home or at the vet clinic, depending on what your vet offers. Both choices have their benefits. Express your wishes to your vet ahead of time to ensure your needs are met when the time comes.

For more information and tips on how to know it’s time to let go, take a look at our guide on euthanasia.

Grief factsheets

If you’re in need of some extra support in the days and weeks following your pet’s death, take a look at these handy guides written by leading figure in grief and empathy education and author of When Pets Die: It's Alright to Grieve, Doris Zagdanski.

How to know when it's time to say goodbye

When a beloved family pet becomes ill, you may be considering euthanasia.

Explaining a pet's death to children

Support the smaller members of your family after the loss of a pet. Learn the right thing to say when they're at their lowest point.

Looking after your senior pet

Ways to support your friend in their old age.

Some thoughts to comfort you

For when your pet is no longer by your side.

Man with cat touching noses

Contact us

Patch & Purr offers pet cremations for when your loved one is no longer by your side, but forever in your heart.

We strive to treat your loyal friend with the care and respect they deserve at every step of the way. Call us 24/7 on 1300 112 711 or use the contact form below to speak to a Patch & Purr team member.

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We're here to help. Call us 24/7 to speak to a Patch & Purr team member.

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