Peaceful Pathways In-Home Pet Euthanasia is a mobile service devoted to ensuring your pet's final chapter is written to include as much comfort and dignity as possible. We provide compassionate, personalized end-of-life care in the privacy of your own home. Our hospice care services aims to alleviate pain and discomfort in those pets for whom age or illness have caught up. When it is time to say goodbye to your elderly or terminally ill companion, our in-home euthanasia service affords grace and serenity in their final moments, devoid of fear and anxiety. We understand the difficulty and grief involved when dealing with the loss of a pet and we are here to offer guidance and support through the decision making process.

“I wanted to tell you that you made us feel much more comfortable about the whole process. The way you handled everything was very gentle but professional at the same time. Mia deserved to be taken care of with love and respect, which you provided. Thanks again for everything.”
“Thank you for your sympathy during our time of loss. Your kind words are a comfort to us as we grieve our ‘Best Friend's’ death.”
“I wanted to write and thank you so very much for your help with Fred earlier this month. I was so incredibly sad and anxious about the decision, and how the process was going to be, and you made the experience extremely loving and peaceful. Your calm, caring demeanor, professionalism and knowledge helped us move through the process at a pace that was right for us - not too slow and not too fast. We really had no idea what to expect, and your service not only met but exceeded our expectations. Thank you for making a day we were dreading into a day filled with peace, love and compassion.”
“Thank you for your help during this difficult time for our family. Bless you for your kindness and services.”
“I want to tell you, again, how much I appreciated your quick phone response, willingness to come over the same day (on a Sunday no less) and, of course, your compassionate care of both Whiskey and me.  I really feel it is such an important service that you provide, and you are clearly the right person for it.”
“Thank you so much for everything. You really helped our family with a tough time, and we all appreciate your sensitivity and kindness.”

How can I tell if my pet is suffering, and what is my pet's quality of life?

Mobility

Is your pet able to get up without your help? Do you notice your pet experience difficulty rising or moving with discomfort? Are they able to lay down comfortably or do they just fall to the floor?

Appetite and Drinking

How is their appetite? Are they eating more or less than normal? Increased or decreased water intake? Any episodes of vomiting or diarrhea?

Incontinence

Have they become fecal or urinary incontinent? Do they display an urgency to go outside or do they need to go outside more frequently? Are they having any trouble urinating or defecating?

Breathing

Is your pet experiencing any respiratory distress? Do they become tired more easily with exercise? Do you notice any coughing or wheezing?

General Pain Level

Do they have a “stressed” look on their face? Do they make noises or groans when rising or moving around? Do they tend to stay in one location most of the day and show a reluctance to move? Do they act as if they don’t want to be petted or flinch when you show affection? Often this is a sign they are experiencing discomfort from simply touching them.

Sleeping

Have the sleep patterns changed? Are they having trouble sleeping through the night or pacing during normal sleeping times? Do they seem confused or disoriented when they awaken?

Happiness & Mental Acuity

Do they seem less responsive to things they would normally enjoy? Do they seem less alert when you come home or not as engaged? Are they acting confused about where they are in their normal surroundings?

Quality of Life

Is your pet having more bad days than good days? When the bad days outweigh the good days, then their quality of life has become compromised. When this happens, it is time to strongly consider in-home hospice care or in-home pet euthanasia.

Quality Of Life Worksheet

Most quality of life worksheets are based off this one or are very similar.

Using a scale of 1-poor to 10-best, patients can be assessed. Over 35 points is considered an acceptable quality of life. Under 35 points is unacceptable and medical care must be improved or euthanasia considered.

Quality of Life Scale The HHHHHMM Scale

Pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to determine the success of ‘pawspice’ care. Score patients using a scale of 1 to 10.

Category Criterion Score
Hurt Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is the pet's pain successfully managed? Is oxygen necessary?
Hunger Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the patient require a feeding tube?
Hydration Is the patient dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.
Hygiene The patient should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after elmination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.
Happiness Does the pet express joy and interest? Is the pet responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Is the pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be close to the family activities and not be isolated?
Mobility Can the patient get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g. a cart)? Does the pet feel like going for a walk? Is the pet having seizures or stumbling? (Some caregivers feel euthanasia is preferable to amputation, yet an animal who has limited mobility but is still alert and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping the pet.)
More Good Days Than Bad When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be compromised. When a healthy human-animal bond is no longer possible, the caregiver must be made aware the end is near. The decision needs to be made if the pet is suffering. If death comes peacefully and painlessly, that is okay.
Total A total of 35 points is acceptable for a good ‘pawspice’
Adapted by Villalobos, A.E., Quality of Life Scale Helps Make Final Call, VPN, 09/2004, for Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, by Blackwell Publishing, Table 10.1, released 2006.

One benefit of being able to schedule an in-home appointment allows us to meet your pet and perform a physical examination and talk to you in depth about your current health concerns without the added stress of your pet being placed in a clinical setting. Often times the stress of coming to the clinic and being in the clinic can complicate our assessment of your pet. In addition, Dr. Winnick is able to see the home environment and make recommendations to the household that may help to make your pet more comfortable. Our in-home examination and home evaluation helps to allow for a more comprehensive discussion on what care would be best for your pet’s situation.

What is pet hospice?

Animal hospice is care for animals, focused on the patient's and family's needs; on living life as fully as possible until the time of death [with or without intervention]; and on attaining a degree of preparation for death.

Hospice begins from the time a pet is faced with a terminal illness and the family has decided not to pursue aggressive diagnostics or treatments. Terminal illnesses and the dying process can be experienced with peace and dignitiy, as the pet rests at home surrounded by its loving family.

Pet hospice is focused on caring, not curing. The goals of our hospice care are to help support your pet by focusing on providing pain control and physical comfort as well as educational and emotional support for the family until a natural death occurs or the decision for euthanasia is chosen.

Treatment is always specific for your pet but may include:

  • Pain Management
  • Infection Control
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • Wound Care
  • Household Modifications
  • Mental Stimulation
The original source for the above material may be found here  www.iaahpc.org

Why choose In-Home Euthanasia?

The word euthanasia is Greek for “good death”. In the veterinary clinic setting, euthanasia can be a very stressful experience for the pet and family; from the car ride to and the noise and busy pace of a clinic. Helping your pet into the car and out of the car may be very stressful if mobility has become an issue. Having to grieve for your pet in a public place can be very upsetting. At home, your family is able to grieve in privacy and take comfort in one another. Every pet and family is unique and you can decide how you would like your final moments with your beloved pet to be.

Reasons to be at home include:

  1. Less stress for your pet
  2. Privacy during the appointment
  3. The presence of other pets should you choose
  4. Choice of location
  5. Religious freedoms
  6. Privacy afterwards, on your terms

What if I am struggling to determine whether or not it is time?

We are available for in-home or phone consultations to assist in assessing your pet's level of comfort and perform a quality of life evaluation to aid you in the decision- making process.

Once I have made the decision for in-home euthanasia what other decisions need to be made?

  1. Where and when should euthanasia take place?

    In the house or outside, maybe under a favorite tree or favorite place? On your pets bed or any place in your home your pet chose to spend their time.

  2. Who should be there?

    Loved ones who wish to be present, children if you deem appropriate, other pets or friends of your choosing.

  3. What do I want to do for body aftercare?

    Private burial, cremation or necropsy, etc. Cremation sevices are provided either communal or private cremation is available. Please see the aftercare page for more detail.

What to expect?

Initially we will have a phone consultation to establish your needs and help answer any questions you may have or discuss any special requests you may have. Upon arrival Dr. Winnick will go over the paperwork and take care of payment beforehand. She will greet your pet and when you are ready she will administer a sedative to help your pet sleep. At this point your pet will be free of any pain or suffering they may have been experiencing.

Once your pet is sleeping deeply she will proceed with euthanasia when you are ready. A solution will be given to gently stop the heart. This usually only takes a few moments and she will let you know when your pet has passed. Although your pet’s eyes will remain open and you may hear a few expirations or see muscle twitching; rest assured that your pet has felt no pain and has passed peacefully and gently. You will be able to spend as much private time as needed with your pet before we make the transition to the vehicle if aftercare is desired. During this time we will also make a clay paw print for you to keep.

Full Euthanasia Services Include:

  • Phone consultation
  • Sedation
  • Euthanasia
  • Clay paw print keepsake
  • Pet loss literature
  • Transportation for cremation
  • Memorial posting on our website and facebook page

What if my pet has already passed away at home?

We can help provide transportation for cremation services if desired.

Home Burial

Please check with your local city or county as to their regulations and the legality of home pet burial.

Pet Cremation

Communal cremation - Your pet is cremated with other pets, the ashes will not be returned to you and will be respectfully scattered in the crematorium's garden.

Private cremation - Your pet is individually cremated and his or her ashes are returned to you in a wood urn with an engraved name plate. Additional options available for additional fee.

Or, for an additional fee, you may choose from the following handcrafted urns made by local Los Gatos artist, Trent Thompson.

Shape A
Shape B
River Rock
Ceramic Photo Tile Urn With Pet's Name
Flower Box Urn
Photo Tile
Name Tile
Paw Print Tile
River Rock Photo Tile Urn With Pet's Name
Colors

Pet Cemetery Burial

If you are interested in burial at a pet cemetery, we can help you in making those arrangements.

Please make a note to discuss this option with us in more detail. We have listed two pet cemeteries below:

855 Strawberry Rd
Royal Oaks, CA  95076
(831) 722-8722
2462 Atlas Peak Rd
Napa, CA  94558
(707) 244-3456