An older large black and white dog laying on a couch cuddled in an orange blanket

What to Expect

The benefit of saying goodbye to your pet at home is that it is a familiar and comfortable environment for the animal, free from the noise and stress of the veterinarian’s office. It also affords the family more privacy during and after the appointment. Here’s what happens during euthanasia when you say goodbye with HomeHeart.

An owner petting their black, orange and white cat

What Happens During Euthanasia

Our veterinarian will arrive at your home and gently explain the process of the euthanasia to you and your family so you can be prepared. During your appointment, we treat your pet with the utmost care and compassion, ensuring that they have a pain-free end-of-life experience.

The euthanasia appointment consists of three parts:



We administer a preliminary sedation to minimize any stress or anxiety your pet may feel. The exact protocol is tailored to meet your pet’s unique needs. The injection is done with a very small needle and is usually given at the back of the neck or shoulder region. This will put your pet in a gentle twilight sleep where they will still be able to hear you as you comfort them.


As your pet relaxes, we gently inject the euthanasia agent into your pet’s vein. Our veterinarian will explain to you what is happening at every stage. The injection is painless and will take effect within one to three minutes.

Final Goodbye

We typically give you a few moments after your pet has passed to privately honor them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my pet feel anything?

In most cases, no. However, what happens during euthanasia can depend on the individual pet. We tailor our protocol for each unique case to make the appointment as smooth as possible. Some pets who have multiple diseases and organs failing may have a mild nausea reaction to the sedation.

Will my pet move or vocalize during the procedure?

There are a few natural changes that may occur in the body as your pet passes. Their eyes may not fully close, they may take faster deeper breaths, there may be small twitches of the face and legs. The tail may move slightly as it relaxes and urine or feces may release (we place a pad underneath your pet before the injection to keep them clean). There is normally no sound or vocalization that happens during euthanasia.

Where do you take my pet after they've passed?

Our veterinarian will gently remove your pet from your home and transport them to our pet morgue until they are ready for cremation. Dignity and respect are the core of our company’s principles. Rest assured that every step of the way your pet will be handled in a loving manner.

How long until we get the ashes back?

It usually takes 10-14 days from the date of your appointment for your pet’s ashes to be returned to you. Longer times can occur, especially around holidays. You are welcome to call us for an update at any point while you are waiting for your loved one’s ashes to be returned to you.

An older grey and white dog

Have more questions?

If you still have questions about what happens during euthanasia or wish to speak to one of our veterinarians about your pet, we’re happy to assist you.

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