Cost of home pet euthanasia depends on which option you choose for body care afterwards. Extra time is the main reason why a home visit is more expensive than an appointment at a vet clinic. Our vets service extremely large areas and spend a lot of time driving very long distances back and forth. We are typically at the home for 30-60 minutes.
- $300-$450 Drive & home time, pet euthanasia.
- $400-$550 Drive & home time, pet euthanasia, group cremation, no ashes.
- $600-$800+ Drive & home time, pet euthanasia, individual cremation, ashes returned to you.
*$50 more for cremation of giant breeds. Please request a quote. All of our vets are independent contractors and fees vary based on location in the country, time of day, Holidays, and a number of other factors.
Cash or check preferred (written out to vet’s name). Credit card available most areas.
Should my children be present for my pet’s euthanasia?
Honesty is what kids deserve while discussing when to put a pet to sleep. When children know how and why their pet died, it eliminates years of asking questions. Include your children in family discussions: focus on how lucky we are to relieve our pet’s suffering through euthanasia. The entire family should be there, supporting the pet and each other. Most kids need and want to say goodbye. Even very young children can be present while their pet is being put down. The family can cry and grieve together.
How do I decide when to euthanize my pet? How do I know when it’s time? Where do I get advice?
Because our pets cannot clearly express to us their level of pain or frustration or suffering, it can often be difficult to know when it’s time help them move on. It is up to us to determine their quality of life and decide when to euthanize. Getting advice about signs of pain can be helpful: panting, falling, difficulty getting up or lying down, and eliminating in the house. Many pets suffering from significant arthritis pain continue to eat well, wag their tail, and still have that sparkle in their eyes. Their innate drive to push on prevents us from seeing that they really are suffering. Unfortunately, lack of muscle caused by old age makes arthritis pain worse. Your pet may feel like they are trapped in a constantly aching body. Sometimes, they need relief more than we may realize. Our experienced and compassionate mobile vets are good listeners and can help you assess your individual situation by phone, email, or in a personal visit. Reading the blog posts listed on the right side of this website can help as well: click here to read an article about signs of suffering. Read (and/or purchase) our 16 page Euthanasia Guidebook For Pet Owners (download immediately and print yourself) by clicking here.
How does pet euthanasia work? What can I expect? How do I prepare?
Pet euthanasia works by administering a massive overdose of highly-concentrated anesthesia specially formulated for euthanasia only. A tired, relaxing, falling asleep feeling is what your pet experiences. First, a calming sedative is given carefully under the skin with a tiny needle. Peaceful relaxation and often full unconsciousness sets in over 5-15 minutes. Next, a vein injection is given below the knee while the family is gathered near the pet’s head. As the super-concentrated anesthesia overwhelms the brain and shuts it down, the breathing quickens and stops within 30 seconds, followed by the heart slowing and stopping over 1-3 minutes. Faster breathing is the primary change to expect. You may also see that the eyes will remain open, the skin may twitch, and the diaphragm may spasm causing one to three sudden deep breaths. Pets with Addison’s Disease or elevated potassium levels may have muscle spasms. Seizures are rarely seen. Most visits last 30 minutes or as long as an hour if you need to talk things through and prepare yourself for your pet’s euthanasia. Set aside two large dry towels for urine leakage and a blanket or bed sheet used as a gentle wrap. If your pet is still eating, hand feed some extra-tasty food like lunchmeat during and after the sedative injection. There are no food restrictions before or during our visit.
How is my pet transported for cremation?
Small pets nestle in the front passenger seat and larger pets rest in the back cargo area of an SUV or minivan. Your pet’s gently wrapped body is transported directly from your home to the crematorium. Our vets have a freezer in their home garage for times when logistics prevent them from achieving transport to the crematorium directly. If you feel that having your pet’s ashes returned would be comforting, our vet can arrange return. Ashes can be delivered back to you by our vet, via shipping from crematorium, or pick up at a vet clinic or ER clinic. Deliveries are coordinated with when we are called to your area again. Please let us know if you’d like us to make a special trip in order for your reunion to be as soon as possible.
How do I know that my pet’s remains are treated respectfully and that I am really getting only my pet’s ashes back?
Many people have this concern. We interview every cremation service and are very attentive to word of mouth. Because euthanasia is our specialty, we are in the cremation facility almost every day helping with gentle handling of pets. Private cremation means your pet’s body is completely separated from others, thus their ashes alone are saved for you. For those who prefer to keep photos and memories, pets are cremated in a group and their ashes are distributed.
Written by Dr. Karen Twyning, DVM, founder of Pet Loss At Home, a respected and growing national network of compassionate veterinarians dedicated to providing private pet euthanasia in the comfort of home.