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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to our most common questions.
Peaceful Paws FAQs
We get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns.
What types of companion animals are you able to provide service for?
What locations do you serve?
Our regular service area is Santa Cruz County, within 20 miles and 35 minutes drive time, and includes the following areas: Aptos, Ben Lomond, Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Capitola, Corralitos, Davenport, Felton, Freedom, Happy Valley, La Selva Beach, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville.
The following locations are outside of our normal service area, but may be accommodated if time allows, on a case by case basis, and with an additional fee: Aromas, Campbell, Castroville, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Prunedale, Redwood Estates, Royal Oaks, Saratoga, Summit Area.
If you do not see your city listed but are interested in our services, please contact us to see if we are available to travel to your area (additional travel fee will apply if you are outside our service area).
How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment for in-home euthanasia?
By the nature of what we do, the notice required varies from day to day, and week to week. In general, 24 to 48 hours notice is the minimum recommended. There are certainly times when Dr. Ravina can accommodate a same day request, and there are other times when she is fully committed for several days or even up to a week in advance. The more notice you can provide, the more likely Dr. Ravina can be available when needed. That being said, we completely understand these situations sometimes don’t lend themselves to advance notice. Dr. Ravina will do the best she can to accommodate your needs, based on availably, and can discuss other options if for some reason she is not able to be available.
Why choose in-home euthanasia?
What happens during an in-home euthanasia visit?
How should I prepare for in-home euthanasia?
- Consider who should be present. Has your pet bonded with or touched the lives of other family members, friends, or neighbors? Do you wish to have your children or other pets present?
- Consider how you would like to care for your pet’s remains. Do you wish to have them cremated? Would you like to have their ashes returned to you? Do you wish to bury your pet at home or on a family member or friend’s property?
- Choose the spot where euthanasia will occur. This should be a place that is familiar to your pet and where they feel comfortable. You will also want to be sure you will have enough space for all family members who wish to be present.
- Prepare the area and create a comfortable space. You may want to have a comfortable blanket or bed for your pet to lay on, or a comfortable place to sit if you plan to hold your pet through the process. You will also want to be sure you have a towel or pee pad to collect any leakage from the bladder or bowels that may occur when the muscles relax. Aside from these basic preparations, you may want to have special music playing, low lights, flowers, candles, or photos on display, or perhaps read a poem or something similar.
- If your pet is still eating and not vomiting, it may be helpful to have special or favorite treats on hand.
- Be sure to silence phones (unless there are family members who wish to attend virtually), and consider any other ways you might minimize interruptions.
- Have a box of tissues readily available.
Should my child(ren) be present for in-home euthanasia?
Children don’t often express their grief in the same way as adults, so it’s important to provide alternate routes for children’s grief, such as making drawings or writing poems, creating a photo album, sharing favorite stories and memories, and involving them in planning a memorial. For more information about supporting children through the grief process, please see our Resources page.
Should I have my other pet(s) present for in-home euthanasia?
Many times, the other pets don’t appear to be doing anything but avoiding the pet or just taking a sniff or two. That may be all your pet needs to process the information. Don’t force them to be nearer to the pet just because you expect “more” from them. Aside from that, you know your companions, so it’s completely your call whether you have them present for the entire process or not. Oftentimes, the companion pet(s) seem to sense the emotions in the room (they “get it”) and lie down quietly near the family. Occasionally the companion pet may be a distraction, particularly if it’s a young puppy, or one who is especially interested in a new visitor at the house. Conversely, sometimes a pet sequestered away from the family in another room can be a distraction if they are upset and very vocal in their confinement. The bottom line is – it’s your call. The only reason to definitely not have the companion present is if they have any aggression towards “strangers” in the home.
Can I bury my pet at home?
What is animal hospice and palliative care?
When your pet is seriously ill, you want to do as much as you can to make sure they are comfortable and peaceful. Animal hospice, similar to human hospice, exists to provide supportive care to pets and their families when a terminal illness or permanently debilitating condition has been diagnosed. It is chosen when a family decides that aggressive therapies or invasive diagnostics are no longer in the best interests of their pet. Hospice focuses on physical comfort, pain control, and quality of life, rather than a cure. The goal is to manage symptoms, as well as to provide education and emotional support for the family until natural death occurs, or euthanasia is chosen.
Palliative care provides pain alleviation and/or relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is appropriate at any age and any stage of serious illness, and can be provided even along with curative treatment or aggressive therapies.
What happens during the initial hospice or palliative care house call?
Dr. Ravina will come to your house and meet with your family and your pet. We will review and discuss your pet’s medical history. She will observe your pet in your home environment and perform a physical exam. We will discuss what to expect with your pet’s condition, how things may progress, and answer any specific questions you may have. We will also discuss what your hopes and wishes are for your loved one as he or she approaches the end-of-life. We will educate your family on how to assess comfort and quality of life. Together we will formulate an individualized treatment plan for your pet, focusing on providing comfort and taking into consideration your family’s values, beliefs and resources.
Your pet’s care plan will be personalized to his or her condition as well as to the preferences of your family. Treatment may include many of the following: pain management, wound care, infection control, mental stimulation and enrichment, household modifications, and nutritional therapy. Please note we have limited ability to perform testing or diagnostic services. Should that be recommended or desired, we will refer you to the guidance of your primary care veterinarian.