Pet Euthanasia

“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they moved finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
-Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

We’re Here for You During This Time

Saying goodbye is never easy, but sometimes providing a peaceful, respectful passing is the last kind thing we can do for our pets. We can utilize varying degrees of sedation to help ease your pet’s final moments and lessen pain. We will place your pet into twilight sedation, followed by an injection that stops the heart and the brain. Passing is nearly instantaneous and is free of anxiety and pain. Our comfort room with a private exit can allow you and your family to be present for your pet’s peaceful passing if you so choose.

We partner with Faithful Companion, a crematory service with a local branch in the Triangle. Remains can be picked up at the hospital, or should your pet pass at home, they also offer a home pick-up service. The staff are very professional and kind and treat every pet with the utmost respect. They have a private viewing room available if you wish to be present during the cremation process and return cremains within 24 hours, either to your home or back to the clinic. More information about their services can be found at

How Do I Know It’s Time?

There’s no good answer to knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. If your pet is no longer interacting with the family as they used to, if they have uncontrolled pain, isn’t eating or drinking, is having difficulty standing and walking, or is having difficulty breathing, it may be time to consider providing your pet with the relief and dignity of euthanasia. Our veterinarians can help guide you through the entire process to ensure your pet’s passing is as gentle and pain-free as possible.

Knowing When the Time is Right

At the end of a pet’s life, health conditions can change rapidly. When palliative treatments with end-of-life care no longer provide a pet with adequate relief, comfort, and quality of life, the time for euthanasia may have arrived.

If your pet is experiencing unmitigated pain, has stopped eating or drinking, is struggling to breathe, struggles to move around, and/or has withdrawn from family members, it might be time to consider providing your pet with the relief and dignity of euthanasia.

Euthanasia is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner will face, but you don’t have to make it alone. Our veterinarian will be with you to help guide your pet’s end-of-life process.

What to Expect When Saying Goodbye to a Pet

The time of a family member’s passing can be extremely emotional. Our goal is to lessen your stress as best we can while you are saying goodbye. We want you to take this time to focus on your companion while we take care of everything else.

Our veterinary hospital has the thoughtful space you and your companion need to quietly say goodbye. We have a private room with a separate entrance set up to provide you both a comfortable place where you can share these last precious moments. We can’t make the emotional pain of losing a loved one disappear. Rest assured, we make every effort to give your family member a peaceful passing and to keep you safe while you grieve. When the time comes, we can discuss how we will proceed and help you decide which options work best for you and your companion.

As your pet nears their final moments, we will be there for you every step of the way. We welcome you to contact our veterinarian at Homestead Veterinary Hospital anytime with your questions or concerns.