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Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 09/26/2011

Pet euthanasia: Is saying goodbye at home any easier?


Jim Schenning had his dog Emma put down at his home in May by a vet who specializes in home euthanasia. (Michael S. Williamson - WASHINGTON POST)
For many who’ve had to euthanize a family pet, the grey interior of a veterinary clinic can feel like the coldest way to say goodbye. Now, a growing number of pet owners are opting to have the painful procedure performed in their own homes.

“It really made a terrible situation much better,” Wendy Bowlds of Gainesville, Va., told the Post’s Steve Hendrix of her decision to put down her elderly mutt, Niki. “There’s nothing so awful as leaving the vet’s office with nothing but the empty leash.”

Hendrix’s story evoked memories from over 100 commentators, many of them past or present pet owners seemingly split on the issue.

Here are three of the most popular comments, plus some extra discussion points ahead of our 1:30 p.m. EST chat:

Should pets be allowed to just die naturally? “Barring unforeseen circumstances, I won't choose either euthanasia option for my cats. I will take them to the vet and if there is nothing the vet can do, I will take them home and do my very best to make sure they are comfortable. Circumstances may change of course, but that is my plan,” wrote commentator eric654.

Is at-home euthanasia the best decision? “When it was time, my vet came to the house with 2 bags; the "magic" bag for just in case my cat had a chance to turn it around, and the bag that would remove her pain and help her into Heaven. The latter was necessary. Even through my tears and anguish I knew it was the best decision,” wrote overhereontheleft.

Should anyone be allowed to provide euthanasia? I read on several sites that "only" a vet can euthanize a pet — usually said by vets. That is such an arrogant, self-serving statement meant only to protect a lucrative trade that shows zero concern for the stress and pain that last trip to the vet will cause an animal,” wrote treetopflyer.

How kind is at-home pet euthanasia?

Tweet us by replying to @PostLocal, share your story in the comments below or share your pet photos with us here. You can also join our online discussion with veterinarian Krisi Erwin at 1:30 p.m. EST.

By  |  11:11 AM ET, 09/26/2011

 
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