Saying Goodbye River Road Veterinary Hospital

Because They're Family

Saying Goodbye to Your Pet

Compassionate Euthanasia in Andover

As a pet owner, the single most difficult decision you have to make is whether or not it is time to euthanize your pet. It is so hard to think about, but sometimes the only compassionate way to ease your pet's suffering is by euthanasia. At River Road Veterinary Hospital, our Andover veterinarians understand and sympathize. We are pet parents ourselves and know how painful these decisions can be. We will be here to walk you through the entire process, should you choose to take this route.

Here are some questions you can consider when making this decision:

  • Is your pet in constant pain or discomfort?
  • Can your pet control their urine or stool output?
  • Can your pet move when they choose to do so?
  • Is your pet eating and drinking on their own?
  • Is your pet still enjoying daily activities?
  • Does your pet still recognize you and want to interact with you?
  • Do the bad days outnumber the good days?

If you have additional questions about our pet euthanasia, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (978) 306-4144. We provide care to pets in Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen.

Who Decides When It Is Time?

Although this is one of the hardest decisions you will make, it is yours to make. Sometimes speaking to your veterinarian can answer questions to help you make a decision. They can talk to you about the expected prognosis and progression of your pet’s disease or condition and offer you important information about your pet’s quality of life. Accepting your pet's death may seem overwhelming, but euthanasia may end up being the most unselfish act of love we can offer our pets. Our compassionate veterinary health care team will do whatever we can to help you at this very difficult time.


The compassionate team at River Road Veterinary Hospital will be here for you when you want to discuss the process of euthanasia and your choices for caring for your pet's remains. We can assure you and your family that your beloved pet will receive the respect and quality of care that they deserve. We believe that families, in time of sorrow, desire personal attention, comfort, and absolute assurance that every detail will be carried out perfectly and gracefully.

A Gentle Process

Our team will guide you through the entire process of euthanasia. You will have your appointment scheduled when the hospital is less busy to help you have more privacy. When you enter the hospital, we will have a room with a blanket ready for you and your pet. Initially, you will complete some necessary paperwork so all the formal items are done and then we can focus on you and your pet. The doctor will come in the exam room first to answer any questions and walk you through the steps of euthanasia. Some people prefer to be present for their goodbye, and others decide that they would rather not be present. You can let the doctor know your wishes.

If you decide not to stay, when you are ready, we will leave with your pet and put them to sleep privately in our treatment area.

If you decide to stay for the euthanasia, a pet nurse will bring your pet to the treatment area and place an IV catheter, which is used for the injection and allows you to hold and cuddle your pet throughout the entire procedure. This is a very private setting with only your family, a pet nurse, and your doctor in the room. You can spend as much time as you need, both before and after the procedure. When you are ready, the doctor will give an overdose of anesthetic, which will cause your pet to fall asleep and then pass on. During this time, you can pat them, talk to them, and let them know you are there, and the doctor will let you know when your pet is gone.


There are several ways to memorialize your pet, and the choice is completely up to you. Some owners choose to have their pet’s remains cremated privately and have the ashes returned, while others choose to have the remains cremated but not privately.

You may also have a remembrance clay imprint made of your faithful companion’s paw.


As much as we wish there was something so say to make you feel better after losing your pet, the truth is, there isn't. We are always here to listen to your feelings and to offer you our support. Grief is our natural way of coping with loss, but it can leave us feeling sad, angry, guilty, and alone. And while we believe it’s important to fully grieve the loss of your wonderful companion, please know that giving your pet a full, happy life by your side was truly the best and most special gift they could ever receive. There are some additional resources to help understand the grieving process included on our Helpful Links page.

We are always here for you and your pet. Reach out to our veterinary hospital team if you ever have any questions or concerns.

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  • A Team of Veterinarians and Staff That Are Dedicated to Your Pet’s Health and the Quality of Care They Deserve.
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