Putting your pet to sleep is a very painful and difficult decision to have to make.

But making the decision to choose at-home pet euthanasia can make it as easy and comfortable as possible.

Pinehurst Animal Hospital in Southern Pines, North Carolina provides compassionate and loving in-home pet euthanasia to Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Vass, Whispering Pines and the surrounding NC areas.  

By choosing at-home pet euthanasia, you can be sure that your pet's last moments will be in the loving comforts of home, rather than in an unfamiliar setting.  

When euthanasia is performed in the home the entire process is very private and peaceful.  We will explain each part of the process in detail and work to make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible.

We provide a relaxing sedative to help your pet be completely comfortable and at ease during the entire process.  You can choose where your pet will be to feel the most relaxed; whether that is on the couch, a favorite corner, or even on your lap.  We aim to make each at-home pet euthanasia experience as personalized as possible and provide professional and experienced care.  
If you are unsure of whether or not your making the best decision rest assured that we can offer a complimentary doctor's phone consultation.  If we jointly determine that treatment is the best option we provide full-service veterinary care at Pinehurst Animal Hospital in Southern Pines NC. If you are ready to make the decision please call us anytime (910) 692-3551 or if you prefer you can email us, info@PinehurstVet.com.  We know how hard this decision is and we are here to help you. Our services are recommended in the National In Home Euthanasia Registry.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." (Anatole France)

Common Questions About the Appointment

What preparations do I need to make before the appointment?

On the day of your appointment you may feed your pet any amount or type of food, if the pet is still eating. Treats are fine as long as it does not upset your pet's stomach: Make your pet happy. Continue giving any medications that are making your pet comfortable. These medications will not interfere with the sedation. You may also provide a towel and a waterproof barrier to help prevent soiling if your pet happens to urinate during the appointment.

How does the sedation work?

A sedation is given first to allow your pet to drift off to sleep. It is an injection that is given under the skin, just like a vaccine. The sedation does not take effect instantly: Most dogs start to become noticeably sedated between 3-5 minutes and cats after 2 minutes. Most pets will become totally sedated between 5 and 15 minutes, with 10 minutes being average. At Pinehurst Animal Hospital we do not believe in the one size fits all mentality. The sedative has multiple medications in it that are tailored to each pet's symptoms and illness providing many mental and physical benefits.

  • It contains a Valium-like product that helps prevent seizures and helps your pet mentally relax.
  • Multiple products that help with pain and muscle relaxation.
  • Anti-nausea and anti-vomiting preventive.
  • An extra and stronger anti-seizure medication will be added for those with a history of seizure activity or with an illness that would make them prone to seizures.

Many pets will show obvious dream sequencing with sedation. Commons signs of dreaming include snoring, light twitches, REM eye movement, leg movement and smiling/grinning. Some of the cats have also shown nursing/suckle behavior.

How will you know when your pet is asleep?

Each pet reacts to sedation differently. Not all pets close their eyes. This makes sense if you think about it: We all have heard of people that can sleep with their eyes open, and pets can do that too. Some pets naturally sleep with their eyes open, while others develop this habit when they become sick. When given, the sedative may take effect before your pet thinks to close their eyes. Your pet may be in a sleep state, but have their eyes open or partially open. This is why the veterinarian at Pinehurst Animal Hospital uses other ways to know that your pet is truly asleep. Before the final euthanasia injection is given most pets will need a small amount of hair clipped over the vein. Most pets will react to this if not under complete sedation. This is the final signal we watch for when monitoring depth of sedation. If they are not completely sedated we will simply give another stronger sedative injection before proceeding.

What is the best way to give the sedation injection?

About 80% of dogs and 50% of cats will not care that they are getting a shot. The others will often show a mild reaction to the injection. Many pets are just not expecting an injection at home. They tend to react like they are stung by a bee. They may yelp or hiss. A few will turn and look over their shoulder at the area where the shot was given and behind them. Typically they will settle right down once they realize the "bee" is gone. One way to help bypass this reaction is to give a treat when giving the sedation (if your pet is still eating.) A mouth full of happiness goes a long way to make your pet comfortable.

What is the final injection, and how does it work?

The final euthanasia injection is an anesthetic overdose. It is not one of the old products. It will not paralyze them or just stop the heart. This product works by going to the brain. The brain will then tell the body to shut down in stages. There is no "mental" awareness or pain when this happens. You will notice the breath will stop first and the heart will stop second. The euthanasia injection is given in a vein, and is very fast. Most pets pass within 1-3 minutes.

Do I have to stay during the appointment?

During the sedation period, your pet needs to have someone who they are comfortable with present. Many of our clients chose not to be in the room for the final injection. That is a very personal decision. Your pet will be in a comfortable mental state, dreaming and unaware at this point. They will not know if you opt to leave the room.

What happens to the body after euthanasia?

There are multiple decisions that need to be discussed and thought about before the euthanasia is performed.  One of these tough decisions is what to do with the pet's body.  1) The veterinarian will take the body back to Pinehurst Animal Hospital in Southern Pines NC where the cremation service, Agape Pet Services will pick it up and return the ashes/cremains to you if desired. 2) A separate option is to have a service known as Good Shepherd operated by Bole's Funeral home, pick up your pet's body from your home immediately after the euthanasia.  This should be set up with Good Shepherd by the owner prior to the euthanasia. 3) If allowed by law the owner can bury the pet on their property.

How much is Home Euthanasia?

Home Euthanasia is performed in the evenings after regular working hours so the family can be at home with their pet.  The price is $255 within 10 miles from Pinehurst Animal Hospital in Southern Pines NC.  It is $3/ mile beyond this distance.  The price of cremation varies based on the size and options.  Please call us to further discuss cost.  Payment can be over the phone by card, or at the time of euthanasia by cash or check.