At-Home Euthanasia: A Vet’s Perspective

Dr Garnett Hall, BVSc (Hons) is a veterinarian, business owner and biotechnology entrepreneur from Perth.

In this insightful interview, Dr Hall talks about the growing preference for saying goodbye to our beloved companions at home.

Q: Is at-home euthanasia for pets becoming more popular?

A: Saying goodbye to a cherished pet is never easy wherever it occurs, but home euthanasia services are definitely becoming more popular. Being in a familiar environment can mean a lot to a pet in its final hours. It is often possible for the animal to lay down peacefully on a comfy couch or dog bed, surrounded by the sights and smells of home.

There are a lot of other factors that must be considered, including that some dogs will be too unwell to be discharged from the clinic, and some owners may even choose a lovely outdoor setting such as a quiet corner of a local park.

Q: What are some of the benefits for having your pet put to sleep at home?

A: For pets:

  • Surrounded by familiar sights and smells
  • You can choose their favourite spot
  • Other animals can be present to say goodbye if desired


For Families:

  • Often better able to accommodate large families
  • Able to set own timeline
  • More private


Q: How has the COVID pandemic affected the decision for pet owners?

A: Covid has introduced several challenges that will continue to affect the veterinary sector for some time. Lockdowns were especially hard because we were restricted in our ability to attend house calls, and mask-mandates made emotional social interactions complex and less ‘human’. I think we’ve moved beyond that phase of the pandemic now, and although we try to appear cool, clam and collected, we are still dealing with staff shortages and a huge spike in workload.

Q: Will my own vet come to my home to perform the procedure?

A: If this is your preference then most vets will do their best to accommodate your wishes, but it is not always possible.

Q: Will the vet allow us to say goodbye to our pet outdoors, for example in the garden?

A: Yes, absolutely. This can often be a lovely way to say goodbye – hopefully bathed in sunshine and surrounded by the sounds of nature.

Q: Can my children and other pets attend?

A: Yes, although take time in advance to explain to your children what is going on and make sure they are emotionally ready for it. It is important to learn about the circle of life, but we need to make sure the time is right.

I love giving other pets the opportunity to say goodbye. They loved them too, and some pets definitely appear to understand that their friend will be gone.

Q: What can I do to help keep my pet calm and comfortable during the procedure?

A: Your pet knows and loves you, just as you do them. Tell them how much your family cherished them, and give them plenty of love and cuddles in their final moments.

Q: What happens afterwards? Will the vet arrange the collection of my pet for cremation?

A: After confirming death, you’ll be given as much time as necessary to say your final goodbyes.

The team at Passing Paws will be able to arrange collection of your pet for cremation. They understand your grief and promise to handle every situation with the utmost care and sensitivity.

About Dr Garnett Hall

Dr Garnett Hall, BVSc (Hons) is a veterinarian, business owner and biotechnology entrepreneur from Perth, Western Australia. He has extensive business ownership and management experience. This includes 15 years of clinical veterinary practice, founding a biotechnology company, senior positions in Queensland Health, and leadership roles in the Australian Defence Force.
He has also been a key part of several major disaster responses, participated in overseas humanitarian assistance missions, conducted charity veterinary work within Australia, and created campaigns to improve ‘pet friendliness’.



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