...your family's other doctors


2036 E Northern Lights Anchorage, AK 99508


Mon - Fri 8am-1pm & 2pm-7pm
Sat 8:30am-1pm & 2pm-5pm


Losing Your Pet

CVAC understands that the bond we form with our pets is unique and personal and so is the grief we feel when they die. The loss of a pet can have a significant impact on you and your family. Pet loss can be very challenging, fortunately there are resources available to help you through this difficult time.

Below are some links to resources that may be useful to you during this time of loss:

Michigan State University – Pet Loss Support

Tufts University – Pet Loss Hotline and Resources

When The Time Comes

We understand that end-of-life decisions are probably the hardest to make. Our pets are so special to us and play such a meaningful role in our lives. When we see them suffer or when we realize that their quality of life is compromised with no possibility of return to good health, our hearts break. Please ask us if you have questions or concerns that are not answered here.

Here are some things to think about when assessing your pet’s quality of life:

  • Is your pet eating or at least interested in food and treats?
  • Is your pet drinking enough water?
  • Is your pet comfortable and free of pain?
  • Does your pet still enjoy his/her favorite activities? Even if he/she can’t go on long walks, or chase a ball, or catch a Frisbee, your pet should be able to enjoy sleeping comfortably and resting in the same room with the family.
  • Is your pet responsive to you and to his/her favorite toys? Do they enjoy interacting with you and your family?
  • Can your pet get up without assistance? Can your pet walk around the house or go outside to eliminate or use a litter box?
  • Does your pet have more good days than bad days?
  • Is your quality of life being adversely affected by your pet’s health?

Here are some questions for you to consider when it is time to euthanize your pet:

Would you like to be present during the procedure? For most situations you are welcome to stay with your pet. See below for what to expect at the appointment. You are also welcome to say goodbye and leave before your pet is euthanized. You can be sure that your pet will be taken care of with compassion and respect.

Do you want a memorial of your pet? We are able to make 1 to 2  personalized clay paw prints. Requesting a lock of hair or feathers is also an option. If you wish any of your pet’s items (collars, blankets, etc.) to be returned to you please indicate at the time of the appointment.

What is your decision regarding the handling of your pet’s deceased body? We work with Pet Cremations because they are wonderful, caring people who will handle your deceased pet with dignity, care, and respect. We are able to arrange group cremation or private cremation. With group cremation your pet will be placed in a crematorium along with other deceased pets. For private cremation your pet is cremated separately and your pet’s ashes are returned to you. The cost for group and private cremation is based on your pet’s weight. If you choose private cremation your pet’s ashes will be returned to us in a decretive tin and we will notify you when it is ready for pick up.

What to expect at your appointment:

When you arrive, we’ll take you directly to an exam room. As you get settled, one of our support staff will meet with you to ask a few questions and have you sign some paperwork. If necessary, the doctor and technician will give a sedative injection to help your pet be comfortable. An intravenous catheter will then be placed in your pet’s leg to ensure that the euthanasia injection is painless. Once everything is ready, the doctor then gives an injection of an anesthetic drug. It is a peaceful process and looks something like your pet is going to sleep. You are welcome to spend as much time as you need with your pet before and after. When you are ready to leave you may go directly to your car, an invoice will be mailed to you at a later date if necessary.

We no longer are able to offer at-home euthanasias. There are clinics in the Anchorage area that provide this service. Feel free to call and speak with our receptionists to get additional information.

If you have specific questions or concerns about euthanasia or you would like more information regarding the diagnosis or treatment, please contact the clinic for a consultation.

Please enjoy this poem commemorating our past animal companions:

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

-Author Unknown