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Our Doctors Describe a Typical Visit


There is nothing special you need to do to prepare, as Dr. Meyer or Bolch will provide everything needed.  You will simply need to make sure your pet is accessible and that all the people you wish to be present are available.  In general, the doctors don't like to disturb pets who have found a comfortable place to rest.  Whether it’s on a couch, on a bed, or in a bathroom, our doctors are happy to accommodate your pet in that special, comfortable location.  Some people choose to arrange flowers, pictures, or candles nearby.  Some people read passages, sing, or play music.  Do whatever feels right for you.

For pets who still have an appetite, please have a generous supply of very special treats available to offer your pet as the doctor gives the first injection.  Some people choose to continue feeding these treats while their pet falls asleep.


Dr. Meyer or Dr. Bolch will text you when she begins her travel to your home to give you the estimated time of arrival.   


Once she has arrived, she will discuss the procedure, confirm your wishes for aftercare, and answer any questions.  This is often also a good time to take care of payment.  We accept personal checks, major credit cards, and cash.  


The first injection, a combination of very strong sedatives and tranquilizers, will be given under the skin.   While giving the injection, the doctor will coach family members in distracting your pet with touch, soothing words, and special treats, if they still have an appetite.  The injection will cause your pet to drift off into complete unconsciousness—3 to 5 minutes for cats, 8 to 12 minutes for dogs.  People often find this to be a special time for saying final goodbyes.


The second injection, an overdose of an anesthetic called pentobarbital, is given once the doctor has confirmed that your pet is completely unconscious.  Your pet will pass away completely after this injection is given.


The doctor will confirm your pet has passed away by checking reflexes and listening for a heartbeat.  If we will be providing aftercare, cats and very small dogs will be placed in a wicker basket and carried to her vehicle.  Dogs over 20 lbs will be placed on a soft stretcher with blankets and carried to her vehicle.  If a stretcher is used, the doctor will need the assistance of at least one person to help her carry the stretcher and place it in her vehicle.


If you have requested your pet’s ashes and/or a framed clay paw print, we will email you when we receive them, usually within 1-2 weeks of our visit.  You may pick them up at our Gaithersburg office or we can ship them to your home.  If you are picking up, we  have a lockbox outside of our clinic that is available 24/7.  A code will be provided via email when the items are ready.  If you choose to have items shipped (UPS), there is a shipping fee of $20.  Please email us if you have any questions.

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