Q. How much notice do I need to give for a euthanasia (‘putting to sleep’) visit?
A large proportion of our call-outs are booked the same day. We often make visits at very short notice (an hour or less) for pets that are deteriorating quickly and we always strive to prioritise the most urgent cases. Bu.t sometimes we do have days were we are overwhelmed with emergencies so always contact us as soon as possible to minimise the stress of a rushed visit (or worse the disappointment of having to make an unplanned car journey to your nearest surgery) we advise that registered and potential clients provide us with regular updates on the condition of their pet so we can plan as much as is practical.
Q. What about cremation arrangements for deceased pets?
We can always transport your pet for cremation after the visit. Or we can liaise with a crematorium to arrange collection by them. Alternatively you may arrange cremation yourself by dealing with a crematorium directly. Or opt for home burial. Ask your Dignipets vet for options. For clients who have been referred to us by their local vet, we are able to transport your pet to their clinic during opening hours if preferred.
Q. What if my pet needs treatment that can’t be carried out in my home?
For elderly or disabled pet owners (or pets with special access issues – mobility or behavioural), we will make arrangements to your registered veterinary clinic for further tests, surgery or hospitalisation. If you are unable to arrange transport for your pet we can work with a local pet taxi or transport. We will advise you over the telephone if we believe that a home visit isn’t suitable for your pet’s condition. For example if your pet is very poorly and there is concern that arranging a home visit would delay urgent hospital treatment. In these cases it is best to prioritise the immediate transport of the pet to your local practice.
Q. My pet has passed away, can you collect?
We are sorry you have to go through this difficult time of losing a pet.
We will always try our hardest to arrange collection for your pet but unfortunately during out of office hours this can be quite difficult.
We do however have knowledge of who might be able to in your area.
Also you can look at our local pet crematoria page to see what is available in your area.
Q. My pet is difficult to handle - what are the options?
All our vets are very experienced with anxious or sometimes aggressive pets. We have tailored sedation protocols we use to make any handling as stress free as possible.
It’s really important to us that your pet can receive treatment fear free.
As every pet is different we recommend for you to get in touch 0333 3208731.
Q. Should my other pets be present during the euthanasia visit and will they grieve?
This is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong answer. Often afterwards some pets may wish to sniff the pet that has passed away. This is a normal behaviour. Some pets may just ignore the pet that has passed away and this is OK too. Like us they all have their individual way of dealing with loss.
We advise it is a good idea to continue with your daily routine as much as you can in the following days to support your other pets. Some may want more attention from you, and some may want less. There can be cases of pets grieving where they do not eat as much and can become withdrawn. It is always advisable to have pets in this condition checked for any signs of ill health, which could be a coincidence, however if they are otherwise well we can help you with supporting them through their grief. Increase the things they love and provide structure as best as you can.
Q. What are crisis kits and why do we use them?
A crisis kit is essentially medication intended to be used only in case of a sudden crisis in a terminally ill pet. It is something we very often leave with a pet owner at the time of the initial consultation. It’s also called a “just in case” kit in human medicine.
Crisis kits form an important part of caring for pets with terminal illness. They help by giving peace of mind and reassurance that if things got worse very quickly, there is something the pet owner can give to help their pet, while waiting for one of our vets to arrive.
Q. Will my pet insurer pay for the visit?
Most insurers pay for our services. When you book an appointment or when we are in your home let us know your pet is insured. After the visit our team will download on online claim form of your insurer, they will fill it in and sent it to your home address together with a payment receipt. This gives you the opportunity to fill in your policy number and sign plus alert the insurer to pay you as the policy holder. We try and make things as easy as possible for all our clients.
Q. Do Dignipets except donations of unused medications or food?
Yes. There are 3 charities that Dignipets supports through sending unused food or medication.
HART (Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust)
SOS for Dubrovnik Cats
Q. What is Hospice care?
Hospice care seeks to improve the quality of life/wellbeing for pets with a life limiting or terminal illness helping pets live as fully as they can for the precious time they have left.
Q. What is end of life care?
End of life care involves treatment and support for pets nearing the end of their life - it is part of palliative care.
Q. What is palliative care?
Palliative care improves the quality of life for pets and owners through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of identification, assessment and treatment of pain and suffering and neither intends to hasten neither postpone the end of life.
Q. What is a quality of life assessment?
Quality of life refers to the total well-being of an individual animal, taking into account the physical, social, and emotional components of the animal’s life. The assessment an animal hospice provider or caregiver makes is all about how well or poorly an animal is doing, considering the totality of an animal’s feelings, experiences, and preferences, as demonstrated by the animal. In the context of animal hospice care, these assessments indicate the current or ongoing comfort levels in relation to the diagnosed health problems and severity of symptoms and suffering.
Q. How can I help my children memorialise a pet that has passed away?
If you know that the time is coming it can be a nice for children to draw a picture that can be kept with your pet even after they have passed away.
Memory boxes can be a really good way of allowing children to express their feelings towards the loss and to help remember and memorialise their pet. They can decorate the box and add a favourite toy, collar and photographs along with drawings.
Sometimes holding a little ‘service,’ especially if you are opting to have your pet’s ashes scattered or planted, can be a nice way to pay tribute.
We also have a memorial walk every year where you and your family can attend to walk in memory of a lost pet together.