Deciding to euthanize a pet is an agonizing process. You will likely experience a wide range of complicated emotions as the time comes. It is important that you are prepared for this event and deal with the feelings as they come. There is great fear in not knowing what will occur on this day. You can set an appointment to discuss this with one of our veterinarians so that you feel more comfortable with your decision when the time comes. McLean Animal Hospital veterinarians are very familiar with the experience and can talk to you about the process and if the time is right for this decision.

Decide whether you would like to be there during the euthanasia. Some people wish to be with their pet and officially say goodbye during the final moments. Others feel that the experience would be too much to handle. Whether you choose to be with your pet or not, be re-assured that you have given them a lifetime of love. Either decision you make is appropriate.

Arrange time to spend with your pet directly before the procedure. If you choose to be in the room, you can still have some private time with your pet beforehand. It is sometimes helpful to say goodbye in this final setting.

Talk to your family about euthanasia. Everyone should share their thoughts and feelings on the process and ultimately decide if they would like to be present or not. It can be a traumatic experience, so fully consider the outcomes prior to deciding.

You are not alone. Many others are experiencing similar grief. We would be glad to refer you or any family members to pet loss groups in our area. You are welcome to call our staff at (703) 356-5000 to discuss your concerns.