The decision to euthanize a pet is never an easy one. Pet owners are filled with questions at a time like this. When is the right time? Am I making the right choice? What is involved in the process? What happens afterwards?

Hopefully, this information will help to answer these questions for you. If you have other questions not addressed here, please call us, we are here to help you:

When is the right time?

Your pet will tell you this themselves. When they no longer have a good quality of life, doing the things they always enjoyed. If they are unable to rise, no longer desire to eat or interact with family members; it is most likely time. They tend to withdraw and get a far-away look in their eyes.

If you are not sure if the symptoms your pet is experiencing are signs that they are ready to go over the rainbow bridge, Dr. Miller can do an exam prior to the procedure to confirm your decision.

What do I do when the time comes?

The euthanasia procedure can be done in the comfort of home or at the office. We do our best to offer this service in the comfort of your home whenever possible, however, sometimes that doesn’t work out. In these cases, we may be able to meet at the office instead.

An appointment needs to be scheduled in advance for this. Unfortunately, often times a pet decides it is time to go “home” on a day that Dr. Miller is not in your area. If the pet’s condition doesn’t permit him/her to wait for the next available appointment time, we will work with you to find a comfortable solution.

This may mean meeting at the office after hours or using Dr. Karen Twyning’s euthanasia service out of Lake Geneva.

How is the procedure done?

It is a two step process.

An initial sedative is given. In 10-15 minutes, the pet is completely unconscious and no longer aware of its surroundings. Many owners choose to stay with the pet during this part and are quite welcome to do so. Occasionally, the pet experiences a brief period of nausea before falling asleep (especially if they have eaten that day).

Once the pet is unconscious, the pet owners need to decide if they want to stay for the second injection. This injection is given in a vein. A small area on the leg will be shaved for this, and a tourniquet applied. It can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes for the pet to pass on. But, generally it is less than two minutes after the second injection.

Can I be present? Yes.

Do I have to be present? Only for the initial sedative injection.

Can children be present? Yes, but parents need to consider what is best for their children. It is a personal decision that should be made by the family.

Should other pets be present? During the procedure it is discouraged but afterwards is encouraged.

Where can I locate pet cemeteries?

Pet Valhalla

10025 Kraut Road

Franksville, WI 53126


Owner: Gary Anderson


Paris Pet Crematory

923 Commerce Drive

Union Grove, WI 53182


Owner: Mark Lux

What happens after the procedure?

After the procedure, Dr. Miller will let you know when your pet has passed. Pet owners have four different options after the pet passes:

First Option: If the city ordinances allow it, you may bury the pet at home

Second Option: A pet cemetery/crematory in your area can come to the house and pick up the pet to be cremated. You can have the cremains back to bury at home if you choose a “Private Cremation.” This appointment must be set up with the pet cemetery directly. A list of pet cemeteries is provided at the end of this article.

Third Option: Pet owners can take the pet to the pet cemetery/crematory themselves for cremation. They must call the pet cemeteries directly to set up a drop off time.

Fourth Option: Pet owners can just call their local veterinary clinic and take the body there for cremation. It would be no different than if the pet had simply passed away on its own. They can come to our office for this or any other veterinary service, if they are too far away from us.

What is the cost?

It is the same for cat or dog. The fee includes the house call, sedation and euthanasia. Prices change so calling the office for the current price is best. The cremation is priced separately by weight.

Additional Resources:

Pet Loss: Today/ASPCA

Coping with the Death of Your Pet: The Humane Society

Coping with Pet Loss:

Coping with the Loss of a Pet: American Veterinary Medical Association

Dealing with Pet Loss: A Place for Animals

The Rainbow Bridge poem