Owners should select and prepare a comfortable place for their pet.  It could be a soft bed, couch, ottoman, a comforter on the floor, or even outside.  Just be aware that sometimes urine or feces can be released after a pet has passed away, and so nice furniture should be protected with a waterproof layer.  I will bring special pads for this purpose, but leakage can still occur.  Adequate lighting is also helpful.

     When I arrive, I will have papers for you to sign stating that your pet has not bitten anyone in the last ten days, and giving me permission to perform the procedure.

     When you are ready I will administer an injection of a strong sedative.  Over the next ten to fifteen minutes, your pet will become sleepy while you comfort and pet him or her.

     When your pet is completely relaxed, I will shave the fur over several veins to make it easier to see them, because the euthanasia solution works most quickly when given intravenously.  I try to use a vein in the back leg to allow owners to be alone at their pet's head, but owners should understand that in older, sicker pets, veins may be harder to access, and there may be a better vein in a front leg. If the pet's veins are difficult to access, the euthanasia solution can be given in alternate, equally painless, locations.

     When everyone is ready, I will administer the solution that actually puts the pet to sleep.  It is like an overdose of anesthesia and usually works very quickly.  Often the pet has passed before I even finish giving the injection.  When certain conditions like heart disease or dehydration are present, it may take a few seconds longer.  Owners should be aware that sometimes there can be reflex movement, last breaths, or even vocalization, though this is very rare.  The important thing to realize is that your pet is not feeling any pain or discomfort because of the powerful sedative that has been given.  Sometimes urine or feces can be released after the pet is gone as well.  Pets may not close their eyes.

     The whole process is painless and peaceful.

     Afterwards, your pet can be wrapped in a special blanket if you want, and you may send any special toys, mementos, stuffed animals, or photos that you wish to be cremated with them.  Please have a clean blanket, sheet or towel ready to wrap your pet in if he or she will be going with Dr. Sernik.