As of August 3rd, 2023, we are only able to service the Halifax Regional Municipality (as far as Musquodoboit Harbour to the East). While we have tried to accommodate visits in other parts of Nova Scotia in the past, our resources are currently too limited to send veterinarians outside our core service area. We do apologize for any inconvenience, and we thank you all for your interest in our services.
Most home euthanasia visits last about an hour, but this can vary depending on your specific needs as well as your pet’s response to sedation. While the sedative drugs used will be chosen specifically for your pet’s size, health status, and temperament, the effect of those drugs can still vary greatly between animals. Some pets will be asleep within five minutes, while others may take 20-30 minutes or even require further sedation to become relaxed enough to proceed. Patience is key to making the whole process as stress-free as possible for your pet, so this process is not rushed and can be tailored to each individual animal.
The short answer is no; however, the injection of a sedative prior to the euthanasia procedure is sometimes associated with a small amount of discomfort, like a quick burn or a sting. After that initial injection, your pet will become very sleepy and will feel no pain associated with the injection of the pentobarbital solution used for the euthanasia. All they will feel is that they are drifting off to sleep.
Absolutely. If you want to hold or cuddle your pet through some or all of this process, we will find a position that’s safe and comfortable for everyone involved.
While you may have chosen to give your pet a peaceful passing at home, that does not mean that you have to be present with him or her for the whole procedure. You are welcome to step out of the room at any time if you feel that is right for you, just as long as somebody is available to comfort your pet for the initial sedative injection. If you would like Forever Loved to send along an assistant to give you the flexibility to come and go as needed, please let us know and we’d be happy to arrange that.
Pets often benefit from being present, or at least having a chance to see their friend before they pass and again afterwards to help them understand what has happened. If they are too excited by strangers in the home, though, it may be best not to have them be present for the whole procedure.
Children must be considered individually in terms of their age and emotional maturity. If they are old enough to understand, it may help to have a discussion with them about death and the process of euthanasia, then allow them to choose whether or not they’d like to be present for some or all of the procedure. Be honest with them and share your feelings so they can feel comfortable sharing theirs. Consider having a friend or relative available to be with the children if they become upset or choose not to stay.
Because pets will be heavily sedated prior to the final injection, the signs of transition to death are typically very subtle. Your pet may take a couple of quicker breaths or sigh heavily before they stop breathing altogether. Sometimes they may snore or pant, but this is simply a response to the drug and not a sign of pain or distress. Depending on where the injection is given, a pet may take between a few seconds and a half hour to pass away. Most of the time, an animal will fall asleep and his/her heart will stop within about 30 seconds, but in some cases we may want or need to choose a slower, more gradual passing. After death, urination and/or defecation are common, and sometimes some twitching can be seen. These effects will quickly subside.
You have several options:
You may transport your pet if you wish, but Forever Loved includes transportation to the crematory in all cremation options. Still, you are welcome to deliver your pet’s body to Metro Pet Crematory for cremation or to any other crematorium or cemetery with whom you have made prior arrangements. Please discuss alternate arrangements with Dr. Reiner or other Forever Loved staff before your appointment date.
We will provide Pawpals paw prints and/or fur clippings at your request, and on occasion we will help you memorialize your pet in another way if you have a specific idea. Metro Pet Crematory also has many options for upgrading standard urns and can make custom keepsakes and jewellery if you choose their private cremation services. Their current catalog can be found here at Metro Pet Crematory.
Before any visit, you will receive an estimate – usually via email – and a final invoice once that’s approved. We encourage people to pay ahead of time via e-transfer whenever possible, but we can accept debit (preferred), cash, cheque, or credit card at your home. We also have financing available through Scratchpay if needed. You can apply anytime to be pre-approved without a credit check.
We are available most days by email, phone, text, and/or the contact form on this site. Our goal is to respond to any of these within 12-24 hours, sometimes sooner during regular office hours (9am-5pm Monday-Friday). Phone calls may take slightly longer to return, as the nature of these calls requires enough time and privacy to ensure that all questions can be fully answered and any concerns can be completely addressed.
Forever Loved is not an emergency service. If your pet is in need of urgent assistance, please call your regular veterinarian or a local emergency clinic.
For more information, or to request a consultation or a quote, please complete this form and we will respond within 24 hours. If requesting a quote, please let us know whether you need services for a dog or cat; if it is a dog, give an approximate size/weight.