Frequently Asked Questions
As a mobile vet practice focused exclusively on geriatric and end-of-life care for pets in Toronto and the GTA, we are considered an essential service and remain open and operational during the current lockdown. This means we are still able to provide in-home euthanasia services and we also offer palliative & hospice care consultations via telemedicine. Rest assured that we have strong COVID-19 protocols in place to protect our clients and our veterinarians, so you (and any members of your household) can be with your beloved pet the entire time for in-home euthanasia appointments.
Palliative & Hospice Care Consultations
If you are looking for guidance about caring for your geriatric pet, how best to navigate a terminal diagnosis or you’re unsure whether euthanasia is the right choice for your pet at this time, we can provide a 1-2 hour palliative & hospice care consultation via telemedicine from Monday to Friday during regular business hours. During this appointment, one of our veterinarians will review your pet’s medical history, assess their quality of life and develop a personalized plan to help you and your pet manage through this difficult time.
Our in-home euthanasia service includes a 1 hour house call, sedation, euthanasia and a complimentary fur clipping (if you wish). If requested, our veterinarian will take your pet’s body with her after the euthanasia appointment and we will arrange aftercare services on your behalf with Gateway Pet Memorial. If you have opted for private cremation (i.e. your pet’s cremated remains (ashes) returned to you in a standard urn of your choice), the urn will be returned to your regular vet clinic or can be delivered to your home for an additional fee. For communal cremation, no ashes will be returned to you.
Note, we can accommodate evening (6pm or later) and weekend appointments, as well as those beyond the city of Toronto, for an additional fee. In order to provide you with an accurate cost estimate, we will need to know the approximate weight of your pet, your aftercare preference, your postal code and the preferred day/time for the appointment.
Booking An Appointment
We have 7 veterinarians in our practice who are available by appointment, 7 days a week. We also have a dedicated support team of compassionate hospice care coordinators available to answer your calls and respond to emails Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, and weekends/holidays from 9am to 12pm. You can also complete an online appointment request. We recommend contacting us to schedule your appointment 1-2 days in advance, if possible, but we do offer same-day appointments and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you and your pet on short notice.
If your pet requires emergency care, please contact your local veterinary emergency clinic as we are unfortunately unable to provide 24 hour service.
We hope this has provided you with most of the information you need at this time, but please call us at 416-817-3572 if you would like further information or if we can help in any way. We also encourage you to review the other FAQs on this page.
We understand booking an in home euthanasia appointment may be difficult to book in advance. The more notice we receive, the more likely we will be able to accommodate you for the day and time you prefer. We have 7 veterinarians in our practice and we usually have availability 7 days/week. However, we are not an emergency service so we do recommend booking your appointment at least a day in advance in order to guarantee that one of our vets will be available to help you. If your pet’s health has suddenly deteriorated and you need to book an appointment immediately, we will do our best to help. Please contact us at (416) 817-3572 to talk with one of our hospice team members.
We understand that this is a very difficult decision and that sometimes this can happen. If we receive less than 4 hours notice, there is a $50 cancellation fee. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we can offer our services to another family in need of our help. We appreciate your understanding.
We are not an emergency service and do not have 24 hour availability. We know your calls are important and we are diligent about returning calls and emails in order to help you get the care you need.
Caring for your pets at the end of their life has been the main focus of our practice since 2012 so we have a great deal of experience in this area. Your pet may experience some minor discomfort, similar to a vaccine injection, while receiving the sedative. As the sedative begins to work, your pet will become sleepy and then become completely sedated.
Yes, the first step of the euthanasia process involves the administration of a strong combination of sedatives and pain relievers.
Our in-home euthanasia appointment is typically one hour in duration. This may be longer than an in-clinic appointment, as we don't want you to feel rushed. In addition, it allows time for you to update the veterinarian on your pet's health and for her to be there as a resource for you regarding the loss of your pet. You will sign a consent form that allows the vet to go ahead with the euthanasia and outlines your plan for aftercare.
The first step in the euthanasia process is to sedate your pet. This is done by an injection administered in their rear muscle area. As this sedative takes effect, your pet will become drowsy and then fully sedated. This relaxation into deep sleep allows your pet (and you) to feel calm and stress free.
Once the vet knows that your pet is fully sedated, she will administer the euthanasia drug. After your beloved pet has passed, the vet will then offer to make you a clay paw print, and do a fur clipping, at no additional fee, if you would like them. These are lovely memorial items for families to have as keepsakes. Being able to pass in the comfort and privacy of your home, surrounded by the people (and pets) they love and that love them, is an invaluable gift for your pet and for you.
We are pleased to provide aftercare services through Gateway Pet Memorial (www.gatewaypetmemorial.com). After the memorial items have been made, the veterinarian will place your pet in a cozy blanket into a basket or on a stretcher, and transport him/her to her car (with your help if using the stretcher). She will then take your pet back to her home, where a representative from Gateway will pick up your pet’s body. Burial at their pet cemetery, group cremation or private cremation with return of ONLY your pet’s ashes are all aftercare options.
It’s been our experience that other pets in the house need the opportunity to say goodbye. As long as the other pet is not disruptive to the process, there is no problem with them being there. In some cases, a family will bring them in after their pet has passed, to say goodbye.
You as parents know best, but if we are asked for our opinion, we recommend that they be present. Due to the nature of our practice, all of our vets have a lot of experience in helping children understand the process, depending on their age and level of comprehension. We feel the actual process of euthanasia is often more peaceful than what is imagined in a child’s mind. Seeing their pet calm, not in pain, and having a peaceful passing may be less stressful and upsetting than imagining what will happen.
There are many reasons why people choose in-home euthanasia. They include:
i. not wanting their pet’s final moments to be in a clinical setting
ii. difficulty moving their large, mobility impaired pet
iii. more intimate at home
iv. avoiding the stress of the clinic
We want your pet to be as comfortable as possible so please continue all pain medication right up to the appointment.
We know that families want to make their pets’ final day as good as it can be, so regular meals and treats are fine as well.
We have been using Gateway Pet Memorial for many years and have a great deal of trust in them. We have used Gateway for the aftercare of our own beloved pets. Additionally, we have all toured their facilities and seen first hand the dignity and respect with which your pets are treated.
In-home euthanasia costs slightly more than going to your regular clinic because we are coming to you. Our fees depend on the size of your pet as well as the type of aftercare that you are choosing. There may be an additional charge if you are outside of our regular service area or need an evening or weekend appointment. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (416) 817-3572 and we can give you a quote.