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When your heart (and maybe some trusted members of your holistic health care team) says it is time to help your companion leave their physical body and return to their spirit world, you have multiple options.

Everyone secretly hopes for a pet’s peaceful passing, hoping to find her lying in her favorite spot in the morning. The impact of a pet’s death is significantly increased when, as responsible and loving caretakers, we decide to have the pet euthanized.

As the time approaches, do a life review where every family and friend speaks to the animal, reviewing the good and even the challenging times of their lives together. Let them know you think the time has come to help them pass and hope that is ok with them. Many times I have seen animals transition before the scheduled appointment, after this life review.

Sometimes there will be a day of almost miraculous recovery where your companion seems totally healed, which may make your decision more difficult. It is fine to change your mind, to see if this is the beginning of a reversal. Often it is just a last minute infusion of energy (maybe to complete a needed role) before passing.

Euthanasia is done in several ways. The drugs used are schedule drugs so it must be done by a licensed veterinarian (or at a shelter).  Some begin with an injection under the skin of a tranquilizer. The death is done by an intravenous injection of a concentrated dose of a powerful drug (many clinics put in a small catheter to prevent any of the fluid leaking out to cause pain.  The animal may feel slight discomfort when the needle tip passes through the skin (if very sensitive or no tranquilizer), but this is no greater than for any other injection. The euthanasia solution takes only seconds to induce a total loss of consciousness. This is soon followed by respiratory depression and cardiac arrest – death.

This can be done by:

  • In home services – holistic and not holistic (but usually very compassionate)
  • Veterinary clinics with special spaces for euthanasia
  • Veterinary clinics who create temporary spaces that are sacred
  • Veterinary clinics

As with people, there are options for the disposal of the physical body.

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