End of life care

Pets give us so much as companions – they are a source of unconditional love, comfort and stability. However, as we all know, there comes a time in every pet’s life when old age sets in.

At this time, naturally, we all avoid thinking about what will happen next because it is too distressing. Often this leaves us unprepared and unsure of the options when it does come to discussing end of life care.

Less than a quarter of all dogs and cats die peacefully in their sleep which means that the owners of the remaining 75% of pets come to the time when a difficult decision needs to be made.

This is an extremely difficult time and you are not alone- the team at Value Vets will always have the time to discuss the options with you and guide you through this testing time. If the decision is reached of putting your pet to sleep then there are a few things to consider which we will go through on this page.

What happens during euthanasia?

A pet is usually is euthanased (or put to sleep) by giving an overdose of anaesthetic. This is administered into the vein in the front leg and the pet should feel no more pain than the usual prick felt when being given an injection. In a few seconds the animal is completely unconscious and so doesn’t feel a thing.

It is up to you whether you choose to stay with your pet at this time or not. Whilst some owners like to stay to comfort their pet, others may feel that their own sadness or distress would only make it worse for their animal. If you choose not to remain during the procedure, then you will always be offered the chance to come back into the room afterwards and spend time with your pet to say a final farewell. We provide our clients with privacy and, most importantly, plenty of time to say goodbye. This is not something that should ever be rushed.

Most pets are euthanased at a veterinary surgery because the procedure can be carried out easily with veterinary nurses available to assist, however it may be possible to arrange for a home visit. Call your branch to discuss if you would rather say goodbye to your pet at home.

What happens after euthanasia?

As with humans, you have the option of burial or cremation.


You can bury your pet in your garden or in a pet cemetery. Home burial is one of the cheapest and most personal ways of saying goodbye. However, it can be distressing for owners to undertake. Private pet cemeteries can also take care of this but it is a much more formal service and can work out to be quite costly.


This is a popular method and a service that most of our clients choose to use. You can opt for routine cremation or private cremation.

Routine cremation

With this method, you do not receive your pets ashes back and they are buried, along with other animal’s ashes, at the pet crematorium.

Private cremation

Your pet is cremated on its own and the ashes are returned to you to do as you please. The Pet Crematorium offer many different containers for the ashes to be sent back in but most people opt for a scatter box if they are going to scatter the ashes or a casket if the ashes are to be kept.

After euthanasia

We are here to provide you with any support that you need in this time. Feel free to come and chat with us. The ashes generally take 7-10 days to be returned to you.