The decision to euthanize a family pet is extremely difficult. Our staff at Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital understands the complexity of this decision and is willing to answer any question you may have. Common ones include how the process occurs, and whether or not it is time to euthanize, and what happens after the fact.

The first step is usually to schedule an exam with one of our veterinarians. The veterinarian can discuss your pet’s symptoms, if any other treatments are available and how to pursue those treatments. Sometimes, treatment is not an option and euthanasia may be the best choice. In these cases, euthanasia can be performed at our hospital and our compassionate staff will care for your pet until the very end. We will also help you make arrangements for aftercare.

The pace of euthanasia is guided by the owner. Our staff will provide a room with comfortable bedding for your pet and provide you with as much time as you need to say good-bye. Our doctor will be available throughout the entire procedure to answer questions. Some owners opt to not be present for euthanasia, and in this case the process will continue with our caring staff.

We also offer, on a limited basis, a housecall euthanasia service within a 5-mile radius from our hospital. For more information about this service consult our housecall page.

After the passing of your pet, many options are available for aftercare.  They include:

  • Individual cremation with ashes returned
  • Communal cremation with ashes scattered at sea

For more information about any of the aftercare choices or to make alternative arrangements, please contact our hospital and our staff will answer any questions.

We understand that the death of a pet is the loss of a family member. The grief after this type of loss can be substantial. Aside from talking to us, below are several options for pet loss groups, online discussion forums and links to other helpful information.