Arriving at the vet practice

If you’ve followed our preparation advice (see Making a Euthanasia Appointment), we hope that the functional aspects of arrival at the clinic will have been made easier.

Even when you’ve made an appointment for the euthanasia procedure at the start of a practice's consultation session or at the very end, often there will be other pets and owners in the waiting room. Before taking your pet from the car into the practice, it is advisable to go in and talk to the reception team to find out if the vet is keeping to the appointment times or whether you will have to wait a while.  If you do have to wait, you may be directed to a quiet room with your pet to avoid sitting with other patients but if this is not an option, you may decide to wait in the car until the vet is ready for you. You can ask the receptionist to come out and call you in when it is time for your appointment.

Some people like to take a favorite blanket into the appointment for their pet to sit on. This can be useful to wrap your pet up in after they have passed, for instance, if you are taking your pet home to bury.

Your clinic may have a room dedicated to pet loss, where euthanasia will take place. These rooms often appear less clinical than standard consultation rooms, and usually have comfortable seats, softer lighting and warm pictures on the wall. It’s often possible to spend some time in the room with your pet following your pet’s passing (note that this is usually possible in a standard consultation room as well, although you are usually able to spend longer in a dedicated bereavement room). 

Signing a Consent Form

If your appointment is for a planned euthanasia, the vet, receptionist or veterinary nurse will ask you to sign a consent form. While this can appear insensitive, this document is important to give your legal permission for the vet to carry out the euthanasia procedure. If you are not present at the appointment and have asked a friend or relative to attend in your place, you should notify them that they too will have to sign a consent form.  Some consent forms include a question about your wishes for your pet’s body after he or she is at rest. If you’re not sure of your wishes at this stage, talk through the options with the vet or nurse, or ask them to hold onto your pet’s body while you decide. You can read about cold storage of your pet’s body on our What Happens Immediately After A Pet's Passing page.