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Dover Area Animal Hospital


Euthanizing a pet is not an easy decision. We are here to discuss options and assist in every way we can during this difficult time.


Euthanasia is commonly referred to as “putting down” or “putting to sleep”. This is a very hard decision many pet owners must make at the last stage of their pet’s life.

Why euthanasia?

Just as we all age, so do our beloved pets. As much as we would love for all of our pets to be in our lives forever, there comes a time to say goodbye. Euthanasia offers a peaceful, controlled option for the end of our pet's life. Based on your pet's quality of life, euthanasia may be something to consider.

When is the time right?

Knowing when the time is right can be a difficult choice. There are many factors that go into deciding to euthanize an animal, and it is a personal issue that differs from pet owner to pet owner. Your top concern should be about your pet’s quality of life, difficulties that come with old age, and the pain they may be suffering.

What should I expect?

Our euthanasia process is designed to be as peaceful as possible. Once you and the doctor have determined that this is the best choice, your pet will have a drug administered that results in deep sedation. During the time it takes to reach this state, you and your family may remain with your pet. It is a quiet few minutes of saying goodbye. You may also choose to leave at this point, having bid your pet farewell, taking comfort in knowing it was calm and pain free.

How should I get more information or ask for help?

Our veterinarians are available to discuss your options. They are very familiar with the experience, and are able to talk about the process and the feelings that come with it. Please make an appointment or contact us for information on options, timelines, and references for support through the grieving process.

Although the question of euthanizing a pet is an emotional decision, preparing for this end-of-life procedure can alleviate some stress and grief associated with it. Euthanasia is a painless experience for the pet when conducted by a veterinarian. It may be the last act of compassion you can show toward your ill or suffering pet. Veterinarians, who know how personal this decision is, can help guide you through the process. Common questions that arise when pet owners face this decision include:

  • Is my pet suffering?

  • What are the effective treatment options?

  • How do I know if the illness/condition is affecting my pet’s quality of life?

Saying goodbye to a cherished pet is never easy, but our veterinary professionals can help you identify when it is in the pet’s best interest to do so. We sedate all animals before euthanasia. The sedative is given intramuscularly and may have a slight sting. The sedative usually takes effect within 5-10 minutes. A second injection of euthanasia solution is given in the vein. This final injection stops the heart. Some pets may have muscle spasms or agonal breathing. Rest assured that your pet is no longer suffering or feeling any pain once the sedative is given. Our cremation services are provided by Allied Veterinary Cremation in Palmyra, PA. Allied offers communal and individual cremation services. Individual cremations remains are returned in a decorative wood carved box and a memorial card. Pet’s ashes are returned to DAAH in approximately 2 weeks.

We are able to hold patients' remains for at-home burials during inclement weather. Some questions to think about before euthanizing your pet:

  • Which family members should be present?

  • What do you want to do with the pet’s remains?

  • Do you want to stay throughout the whole process?