How to Prepare for Your In-Home Euthanasia Appointment

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is an incredibly difficult experience that no pet owner wants to face or think about in advance so it’s completely natural to have many questions and/or concerns about how to prepare for an in-home euthanasia appointment. Based on our years of experience helping families to navigate this emotional process, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that we hope you will find helpful leading up to your appointment. That said, please do not hesitate to reach out to our compassionate hospice care team should you have any other questions or concerns. They can be reached by phone or text at 416-817-3572 or by email at


1. Should my other pet(s) be present? 
The question of whether other pets should be present during euthanasia does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Every situation is unique, and it is crucial to consider the specific circumstances, individual animals involved, and the preferences of the pet owner.

Careful consideration should be given to the temperaments of your other pet(s), their emotional well-being, and their ability to remain calm and composed during the euthanasia process. Our team at MMVHS has a wealth of experience in helping families to assess the suitability of their presence and can provide guidance on how to manage the process to minimize stress and ensure a peaceful environment.

In cases where it is not practical or advisable for other pets to be present, alternative options can be explored to help them cope with the loss. These include creating a dedicated space for grieving, using scents or belongings of the departed pet to provide comfort, and providing additional attention and affection during the grieving period.


2. Should my children be present?
The decision of whether to include children in the euthanasia process of a beloved pet is a deeply personal one, with no definitive right or wrong answer. When contemplating whether children should be present during a pet’s euthanasia, parents should take into account several important factors. These include the child’s age, emotional maturity, and their previous experiences with death and loss. Parents must gauge their child’s ability to cope with the process, considering their sensitivity and readiness to confront the reality of euthanasia.


While parents know what is best and ultimately need to be the ones making the decision for their children, we generally recommend that children be present for the euthanasia of their furry friend. Founder of MMVHS, Dr. Faith Banks, shares her words of wisdom in this short video:


Should Kids Be Present When the Family Pet is Euthanized? #vet #pet #hospice #hospicevet #petloss #petlove #familypet #familypets #sayinggoodbye #childrengrieftoo #toronto #petpassing #petdeath💔 #petparent #fyp #kidsandpets #petgrief #petgriefisreal

♬ original sound – Dr. Faith Banks – pet vet


3. Should I give my pet their regular medications before the appointment?
You can certainly continue to give your pet any of their regular medications before the appointment as they will not interfere with the sedative or euthanasia drugs. However, if administering the medication causes undue stress for you and/or your pet, please do not be overly concerned about ensuring they receive their regularly prescribed medication(s) on the day of the appointment.


4. Should I walk my dog before the appointment?
Ideally your pet should be given an opportunity to empty their bladder and bowels (if they are still mobile) prior to the appointment simply to minimize the likelihood of them urinating or defecating upon their passing (which is completely normal and natural).




5. How can I ensure privacy during the appointment?
One of the benefits to choosing in-home euthanasia is the ability for you and your pet to be in the comfort and privacy of your own home. In order to maintain this peaceful and calm environment, we recommend the following:
● Hang this sign on your front door if you are concerned about any interruptions or the doorbell ringing during the appointment.
● Silence or turn off your cell phone for the duration of the appointment once the veterinarian has arrived, unless of course you would like to FaceTime a family member or friend, which you are more than welcome to do.


6. Can my pet eat before or during the appointment?
Absolutely. If your pet still has an appetite, we encourage you to give them any food or treat they would like in the hour or two leading up to the appointment, in moderation of course. This may be their favourite home cooked meal or a treat they’ve been craving their whole life but were never allowed to have (think McDonald’s cheeseburger, Dairy Queen ice cream…whatever is going to make this last day special for them).



7. Where in my home should I plan for the appointment to take place?
Our doctors are generally able to accommodate doing the appointment wherever you and your pet will be most comfortable. This could be on the couch or the floor in the family room, on your bed or outside on the back deck (weather permitting of course). You are certainly welcome to hold your pet on your lap if that is most comfortable for you both. All we ask is that there is enough room for the veterinarian to perform the euthanasia. Please remember if you are saying goodbye to a large dog, we will need to place him/her on a stretcher to carry to the veterinarian’s car following the euthanasia so consideration should be given to avoiding steep staircases or tight corners whenever possible at the end of the appointment.


8. Can sedatives be given to calm my pet before the vet arrives?
If you are concerned that your pet may be anxious or fearful upon the arrival of our veterinarian, we encourage you to reach out to your regular veterinarian for an oral sedative prescription that can be given in advance of the appointment. If you do not have a regular veterinarian, we recommend setting up a 1 hour pre- euthanasia consultation with one of our veterinarians so that a vet-patient-client relationship (VCPR) can be established and we can prescribe an oral sedative in advance of the appointment.


9. Do I need to have any supplies ready?
Our veterinarians come well-equipped with all the supplies they will need to perform the euthanasia. However, we do ask that you have a towel or blanket available to place underneath your pet.


10. How can I prepare for the vet’s arrival?
While we absolutely want you to maximize the time you spend with your pet prior to the appointment, there are a few things we ask you to do, if possible, in preparation for the vet’s arrival.
● Please leave a spot in the driveway or parking area for the vet to easily access when they arrive (if applicable) and coordinate a visitor’s parking pass (if necessary).
● If your appointment is taking place in the evening/after dark, we ask that you kindly leave a light on by the front door and/or entryway to your home.
● In the winter months, please ensure that your driveway and/or walkway are cleared of snow (if applicable).

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About Midtown Mobile Veterinary Hospice Services

At Midtown Mobile Veterinary Hospice Services, we are dedicated to helping people say goodbye to their pets with dignity and respect. We bring our services to our patients’ homes where they can be cared for in a quiet, familiar environment surrounded by their loved ones.