When the time comes


How does it work?

What is euthanasia?
Euthanasia, also known as "mercy killing," is the process of humanely ending the life of an animal whose continued existence would, despite all care, be associated with suffering and a very low quality of life.

When is "the" time?
There is no general guide for this; the decision is complex and should always be discussed with a veterinarian who understands the specific situation of the specific animal. If circumstances allow, it is advisable to schedule the euthanasia in advance – the veterinarian will then try to arrange the timing so that the entire process can proceed as smoothly and dignifiedly as possible.

General procedure: The process of euthanasia varies according to the individual needs of the animal, but generally involves 2 steps:

  1. Sedation and induction of general anesthesia:
    The veterinarian usually first inserts an intravenous cannula and administers a mixture of sedatives and anesthetics as needed (medications to reduce anxiety, pain, to induce unconsciousness, and anesthesia). Especially for anxious animals, the veterinarian may choose to first give a sedative injection into the muscle, and then insert the cannula and deepen the anesthesia after the animal relaxes.

  2. The euthanasia itself:
    Time when substances that stop the heart and cause irreversible loss of consciousness are administered into the bloodstream. These are administered only after confirming that the animal is in a state of deep anesthesia. The animal does not perceive the euthanasia process itself.

What happens to the body?

The body remains at the veterinary clinic and is temporarily stored in a cooling box. It is then picked up by a sanitation service, and the subsequent process is carried out according to current legislation – usually involving mass cremation. The cost of sanitation is based on weight and is typically paid at the time of euthanasia.

There are already several cremation services in the Czech Republic. Cremation is arranged by the owner, usually by phone. You can either bring the body to them yourself or leave it at the veterinary clinic, which will help you with the body until it is picked up by the cremation company. This involves individual burning – cremation – and you will receive the ashes in an urn according to the crematorium's offerings. The cost of this service is paid to the cremation service; temporary storage of the body is typically provided free of charge by the veterinary clinic.

Burial of the body
The owner can take the body of the deceased pet and bury it. The release of the body by the veterinary clinic is, of course, free of charge. When burying the body, it is important to pay attention to local regulations – for example, distance from buildings, water sources, burial depth, and similar considerations. The body may also constitute a so-called encumbrance, restricting future use of the land. Ideally, the body should be buried only in biodegradable materials and lime should be added.

After euthanasia, the veterinarian usually reads the chip in dogs to issue a death certificate, which is then used to deregister the dog from the municipal dog registry (regarding dog tax).

Don't forget to also deregister your dog from the chip registry if it is registered there.