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How do I know when the time is right to say goodbye?


No one can decide for you, but the most helpful resource is usually reviewing the pet’s health and history with a veterinarian. Veterinarians, especially those in the end-of-life field like at Gentle Hands Cherished Paws, have extensive experience in determining whether the kindest course of action is continued treatment or creating an end-of-life plan. 


Most of all, our veterinarians work for what’s best for both you and your pet, and will do whatever they can to make your companion’s life as comfortable as possible until that is no longer feasible. 


For owners hoping to gauge their pet’s quality of life for themselves, we have a Quality-of-Life scale that can be used to roughly evaluate animal comfort.


For owners hoping to get a thorough understanding of their pet’s conditions and possible treatments, we offer Quality-of-Life consultations, where we are prepared to offer a personalized treatment plan, or to help you say goodbye, depending on what seems best for you and your pet at the appointment.

What does a euthanasia appointment entail?


While euthanasia appointments vary from clinic to clinic, our appointments are usually 45-60 minutes long. Payment can be made before or after the procedure, or invoiced for a later date, depending on your preference.

We begin with a sedative shot, usually in the loose skin between their shoulder blades, which allows most pets to peacefully fall asleep within 5-15 minutes.


Once the pet is determined to be sedated, our veterinarian will shave an area on the forelimb, where the IV injection will be administered. Typically, the shot will take effect within 1-3 minutes. We will then collect memorial items (a small fur clipping and a clay paw print) from your beloved pet as requested.

What are my pet’s aftercare options?


Owners are free to choose any aftercare option they see fit, including their own arrangements. 


While most veterinary clinics default to cremation for aftercare, Gentle Hands Cherished Paws partners with Resting Waters, Seattle’s first aquamation service. Like cremation, the final product is a small container of ashes. Unlike cremation, the process is more environmentally friendly, and the resulting remains are da usty grey rather than black.


If you are interested in aquamation, there are two options: Individual and Communal. Individual ashes are returned to you in an urn of your choosing, while communal ashes are scattered on a beautiful property owned by Resting Waters in Leavenworth. 


Gentle Hands Cherished Paws also offers a return service, and can deliver your ashes to your residence, typically within 3-4 weeks.

Is it appropriate to have children or other animals present during a euthanasia appointment?


The final judgment is up to you, but we fully encourage letting children and other household pets be present, and feel it usually helps them process the situation and offer closure.


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