2.) I will do everything I can to provide you time and space with your pet. Please advise if anyone in the home is COVID positive, high risk, not feeling well, quarantining, or has traveled from a hot spot. I respectfully ask that everyone wears a mask covering their mouth and nose while we are near each other. I will step back in between injections to allow you privacy.
3.) It is helpful if you can share any of your pet’s special needs (fear of needles, people, touch, anxiety, bite potential, need for a muzzle, slow response to sedatives). The more I know about your pet, the better I can tailor the procedure to provide a peaceful transition. Sometimes it’s helpful to have sedatives on board prior to my arrival. That requires pre-planning.
4.) Due to COVID protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, I am performing procedures outside. During the cold weather, this presents unique challenges, and I ask for your understanding and cooperation. If the weather is nice, we can be in the yard. Have a tarp or blanket to accommodate wet or cold ground. In bad weather, we can be on a porch, deck, or in a garage. We can also slide a pet’s bed by a door or slider where you and your pet can be inside while I stand outside performing services. Please remember that I am doing my best to continue to provide services during a pandemic while protecting my health and the health of the families I serve.
5.) My protocol is a two injection procedure. Sedation is provided via injection, and the state of unconsciousness is reached in 5-15 minutes. I may ask you to gently hold your pet’s head or offer a food bowl distraction while the sedative is administered. Your pet will be resting comfortably, possibly snoring, possibly tongue out, and probably eyes open. The more relaxed of a sleep position they are in, the deeper they sleep. Stay with your pet once the sedative is given. Speak softly and comfort your pet. I will retreat to my car to give you time to be with your pet and family. When I return, I’ll shave a spot by the rear leg and place an intravenous catheter. Your pet will not feel the placement. The second medication will stop your pets’ breathing within 1-2 minutes and heartbeat with 3-5 minutes. I will step back after administering to give you privacy to say goodbye. When I return, I will check your pets’ heart with my stethoscope.
6.) Outdoors presents unique concerns for cat owners. Medication provided by your veterinarian can be given prior to my arrival to relax the patient. If that is not an option, I can provide a liquid sedative for you to administer orally inside your home. Your cat will become profoundly sleepy within 5 minutes. Join me outside with your pet wrapped in fleece or towel for the second part of the procedure. If you are unable to administer an oral medication, then I will administer a sedative via injection. This requires you to bring your cat outside tightly wrapped in a towel or fleece. If you are uncomfortable or unable to hold your kitty, we can have him/her inside a cat carrier so I can medicate inside my car. We have options. Let’s discuss this in advance.
7.) Most dogs and many cats still have an appetite on the day they are euthanized. Be creative and prepare a large bowl of yummy treats to be offered while I administer the sedative. This can be a great distraction. It is best if the pieces are small and easy to ingest. Break the rules! It can be an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup and whip cream, cookies, chocolate, pizza, beer, cake, etc. Be prepared to stay with your pet once the sedative is administered. Have back up food nearby if your pet has a hearty appetite.
8.) If you are planning on a home burial, I will depart. Good to know zoning restrictions in your town. Legal requirements are a hole depth minimum of 3 feet (4 feet or deeper is better).
9.) I can provide aftercare arrangements (cremation) for pets up to 100 pounds. Larger pets (over 100 pounds) may require special plans with a crematorium to pick up pets directly from your home. I can lift up to 40 pounds on my own. Family members need to assist (carry to my car) with pets over 40 pounds. I provide a stretcher with handles to assist with transport to my vehicle. An old fitted sheet makes for a nice, respectful covering.
10.) It is best to address finances and payments prior to my arrival or prior to starting the procedure. Ask for a quote in advance. Fees are based on travel distance, pets’ weight, and timing of appointment (scheduled, vs. same-day request vs. after hours or emergency). Check, cash, or Venmo is preferred. Payment is expected at the time of service. Let’s get the business end handled first so we can focus on your pet.
11.) I would be grateful if cars can be moved prior to my arrival to make for easy entry and exit, especially during the cold weather months. Please shovel a path and de-ice driveway/pathway if needed. Let’s work together to make this a smooth process.
No question should go unanswered. It’s an honor to be asked to assist. Namaste.