Karingal Vet Hospital

328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

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Pet Euthanasia

Pet euthanasia is never an easy decision to make but sadly sometimes it has to be done. As with any service at Karingal Veterinary Hospital and Ballam Park Veterinary Clinic, your animal’s welfare is our primary concern.

Pet euthanasia is a kind, ethical service that may be performed if:

  • Your animal is in too much pain, with no long-term solution
  • Because of illness, injury or, your animal’s quality of life has become too poor
  • Your animal is terminally ill or gravely injured


Deciding to Euthanise Your Pet

Pet euthanasia is a last resort, and is never chosen lightly. Many pet owners feel guilty or remorseful about euthanising their pet, but the decision is always made in the animal’s best interest.

If you are having trouble with the decision to euthanise your pet, consider the following:

  • What is your pet’s quality of life?
    • Can they eat and drink by themselves?
    • Are they comfortable or are they able to get comfortable when at rest?
    • Are they incontinent, have they started wetting themselves?
    • Are they as active as they used to be?
    • Are they neglecting themselves, not grooming, eating or getting up?
    • At rest, are they able to support their own head?
  • Do they have a terminal condition or serious injury?
    • Will this ailment worsen over time?
    • Is your pet in severe pain?
  • Are there any other humane treatment options available?

How Does Euthanasia Work?

Euthanasia is very quick and painless. An intravenous catheter is placed in a vein in your pet’s leg. The veterinarian then injects a drug that is a massive dose of anaesthetic. Within seconds, your animal will relax and exhale, as though going to sleep. They may take a few deep breaths but the whole process normally takes no more than 10 seconds. The vet will check for a pulse and for an eyelid reflex to make sure the animal is not in a deep coma.

Your pet will not know what has happened. Owners can choose to be with their pets and hold them in their final moments. When sitting with the pet beforehand, it is important to try to remain as calm as possible to keep them at ease. They will be reading your responses. Although it is hard, the calmer you appear, the calmer your pet will be.

Afterwards, we will place your pet in a natural sleeping position. They will be at peace.

What Happens Next?

Once you have said goodbye to your pet, we can organise a cremation if requested. A number of vessels and memorial plaques are available for pet owners to purchase, otherwise one of three standard vessels are supplied, depending on your wishes.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve for your pet. Owners should not feel compelled to scatter the ashes, or to immediately replace their loved one with a new puppy, kitten or rabbit. Mourning takes time and is an individual process. Some pet owners bury their pet’s ashes under a tree or memorial plaque, others when they are ready spread them at their pet’s favourite park, and others keep the remains on a shelf with a few mementos. Whatever you choose to do, we recommend taking time to mourn your pet however you feel comfortable, with friends, alone or through a pet grief counselling service.

Pet Grief Counselling Services

Losing a pet is the same as losing a family member and the effect can be overwhelming. It is important to take time to mourn and ask for help if you need it. A number of Pet Grief counselling services and support groups can be found on our Pet Cremations page here.


328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.