When the doctor arrives, she will greet the pet and allow the pet to get comfortable with her. Often, this entails a lot of sniffing and petting. Then, you will read and sign an authorization form, and take care of payment beforehand, since it’s harder to handle afterwards when emotions can overwhelm you.
Next, the vet will prepare the sedative and administer it to the pet. Great care is taken to minimize even the smallest sensation of the injection. A fresh, small needle is used for the sedative, and your pet will be distracted with petting, soothing words, and/or treats.
While the pet drifts into sleep, the vet will prepare for the final injection and prepare the clay for the paw print impression to be taken after the procedure.
When the pet is fully sedated as determined by the vet, the final injection is given, most typically, in the leg vein. The breathing may become deeper and quicker at first, but then slows down and stops. A couple minutes later, the heart follows.
If you want to spend time with your pet afterwards, simply let the vet know. It is important for you to do whatever you feel necessary to mourn, and the vet always allows enough time so that you should never feel rushed. This is part of the grieving process and everyone is different in how they choose to express it.
If cremation is chosen, the vet then prepares the vehicle, and returns with a stretcher (for larger pets). If using the stretcher, another person is needed to help the vet carry the pet out.