How To Euthanize A Dog At Home Without A Vet?

Mercy killing or euthanasia is a very sensitive topic of discussion for all animal lovers. To make such a decision is not only difficult but also emotionally taxing. No matter the reason, it’s never an easy conclusion for a pet owner. However, it might come to the point where this is inevitable. As this is a sensitive process, it’s crucial that you know how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet, and what your best options are.

Euthanasia can be an incredibly emotional and arduous process. Conventionally, this is done at a veterinary clinic, and this is the recommended option. The veterinarian can make sure that the procedure goes as planned and that your pet can pass away peacefully and painlessly. It can also be less traumatic for you and your family.

However, this isn’t necessarily the right option for everyone, and more and more people nowadays choose to do this in the comfort of their own home. In some situations, you might not even have any other option.

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ways to euthanize your dog at home

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How to Euthanize a Dog at Home Without a Vet | What You Can Do

"Euthanasia" is a Greek term meaning “good death.” It refers to ending an individual’s life and thereby minimizing or eliminating pain or distress.

Although this isn’t a decision that any owner wants to make, there are times when it could be easier for you and your pet and more merciful to let them go. Experts recommend that if your pet suffers from an untreatable condition that stops them from living their life, it is probably time to ask your vet about euthanization options. You might find yourself asking when is it time to let go?

The most significant factor to consider before making a choice is what your dog’s quality of life is. Here are some signs that you might need to consider euthanization:

  • Your dog could be terminally ill with a condition like cancer.
  • Your pet was injured in an accident that left them with severe damage or leaves them paralyzed.
  • Or, your elderly dog starts to struggle severely with the side effects of old age to the extent that it’s hard for them to complete everyday tasks.
  • Your pet has a physical condition that is untreatable and leaves them in a lot of pain.

At times like these, the right decision to make is often to ease their passing. Your vet will be able to advise you on when to euthanize your dog and whether that is the last resort. Before making a decision, you should take your pet to a visit to a vet for a full exam.

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Your Options

As has been mentioned, the conventional way to put your dog to sleep is to take them to a veterinary hospital. It’s a very safe way to approach this issue. Owners often find themselves asking will a vet euthanize a dog at home?

The following are reasons that can lead you to decide on euthanizing your dog at home:

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  • You live in a rural area or too far away from a veterinary clinic.
  • Your dog could be terrified of veterinarians or car rides, and you might not want them to be so distressed.
  • Many people feel it will be more meaningful to share their pets last day with their family in their home. Your pet is a beloved member of your family after all.

If you decide against having the procedure performed at a veterinary clinic, there are different options for you to consider. 

One option is to ask a vet to come to your home and to perform the procedure there. This way it is still done by a trained and trusted professional but in the privacy and comfort of your home. Veterinary technicians or nurses can also be able to assist you. In some areas, there are even vets who specialize in providing at-home care, including euthanization. They might even let you administer the drugs used under their medical supervision.

Are You Worried About the Cost?

The cost of this will vary depending on the vet, whether it is a large or small dog or how far they have to travel. However, it will probably not be much more expensive than going to the vet’s room.

Controversially, some people nowadays look for ways to euthanize their pets at home without a vet. The reasons why are often sentimental, because of the price or because of lack of access. Three major concerns with this method are the safety of the owner, the possibility of causing pain to your dog and difficulty in accessing suitable medication.

What to Consider When Planning to Euthanize Your Dog?

The Aftermath

No matter how you choose to go through with this emotional procedure, the aftermath tends to be even worse. Most dog owners want to be in the same room after the dog passes away. It can make the heartbreak even worse.

If you decide to have your pet euthanized at home, it can be more challenging to treat your pet's remains respectfully. For many people, seeing the room or the place where their pet passed away on a daily basis can be too much to handle.

In a 2012 study shows that veterinary staff employs many emotion management techniques which can make the process easier for owners to handle.

Medical Assistance

As I have mentioned, some people prefer to euthanize their dogs themselves. However, this procedure can be too complicated to perform without medical assistance. A vet will be able to make sure that your pet doesn’t suffer. Your pet needs to be sedated sufficiently before the final drug is administered. Some of the possible side effects of the drugs are seizures, pain, and vomiting. To avoid your pet being harmed, it’s better to carry out the process at the clinic or with assistance.

State Laws

Before even thinking about how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet, consider the laws of your state. Performing the procedure without a license or training could be illegal. It’s possible that the only way to legally put your pet to sleep is with the help of a vet or trained technician. Animal shelters often employ staff with the necessary training.

In most states, only veterinarians and certified technicians can perform the procedure. For example, in North Carolina and Maine only licensed veterinarians or certified euthanasia technicians.

euthanize dog at home

Technicians can perform the procedure. It is only legal for non-veterinarians to euthanize animals in a minimal number of states. For instance, in Texas, somebody who is not certified can do this as a vet supervises them.

Here is a list of the laws in the different states. 

Aside from the actual procedure, the drugs might also only be available with a prescription which is written by a healthcare professional. The majority of states authorize the injection of sodium pentobarbital or a similar agent. Just a few states permit the use of carbon monoxide gas.

In addition to this, the possession of the medication is controlled. Laws in most states outline that only licensed practitioners can keep the drug. In some cases, animal shelters can keep the drugs on their property.

The regulations regarding euthanization are so strict to protect animals. The drugs also need to be controlled as they can have sedative effects on humans and animals and can be misused or abused.

So you need to check what medication is legal to use in your area and whether you can access it and what the regulations are regarding the process itself.

Final Consideration

euthanize dog at home

You should make sure to consider all of these factors beforehand and be prepared to deal with them. The most important thing to continually ask yourself when you decide on the best way to euthanize your pet is whether what you are doing is humane.

In the helpful video below, a veterinarian discusses what euthanasia involves and what factors will influence your decision making.

Choosing to put your pet to sleep at home with the help of a vet or a vet tech is a good compromise between the different methods. This guide will now discuss what to expect from this method and how to approach it.

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What to Expect Euthanizing a Pet at Home?

Self-Managed Euthanasia

Before embarking on self-managed euthanazia it is important to understand that improperly performed it has the potential to cause distress and can harm the dog. If you decide to go ahead anyway you should take your dog to the vet for a last examination within a day of the event to ensure that you are making the right decision.

You will need his advice on the choice of sedative that you will require to calm your dog and bring him to a state of unconsciousness. This is because the euthanazia is a two-step process:

  • You inject the dog with a sedative. Whilst he loses consciousness you’ll have a chance to say your goodbyes
  • The second phase involves administering Pentobarbital Sodium which is approved for this purpose by the Humane Society of America. This drug is administered either by injection or by catheter which is normally inserted into the front leg of the animal. The drug can take up to half an hour to take effect. It will stop the do from breathing and the heart will stop.

If decide not to take this route but would still prefer to euthanize your dog at home, many vet will make home visits to assist in putting your best friend to sleep.

With the Help of the Vet

If you choose to euthanize your dog at home with the help of a vet, you will need to arrange with one who will be willing to come to your home.

The method and the drugs that the vet uses will most likely be very similar to those used in a clinical setting. There are strict guidelines that should be followed by any professional that practices veterinary medicine.

The most common method that is to administer drugs is through intravenous injections of Pentobarbitone solution which is a type of barbiturate.

Many veterinarians consider this the most humane way to euthanize your dog. It's rapid-acting, and your dog will quickly lose consciousness which will soon be followed by cardiac arrest. The drugs will inhibit voluntary motor activity, but your pet might still have involuntary spasms or show other movements.

ways to euthanize your dog at home

Your vet might choose to sedate your pet first especially if he or she is in distress.

There are few things that you will want to gather in order to go through the process:

  • The contact details of a local veterinarian.
  • A bed and blankets for your dog.
  • Your pet’s favorite toys and food.

Steps to Take to Euthanize Your Dog

1. Consult With Your Vet

Before making any decision about euthanizing your dog, you should arrange a consultation with your vet first so that they can examine your dog. Your vet will be able to help you decide whether it’s the right time and will be able to talk you through the procedure.

You should ask your vet whether they will be able to come to perform the procedure at your home and how you should arrange it all.

2. Prepare Your Family

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Once the decision is made, you and your family should prepare yourself emotionally for your pet’s passing. You are never really ready but talking it through and showing each other care and support will help you to deal with this process.

You should pay particular attention to your children and their feelings. Explain to them what is going to happen and why and help them to share their emotions.

You should decide beforehand who will be present for the procedure. If your children are too young or sensitive, it could be best not to let them see.

3. Arrange the Procedure

safe way to euthanize dog at home

When you and your family are prepared, the next step is to arrange with your veterinarian to have the procedure performed. Feel free to ask them all the questions that you might have.

What is going to happen? How long will it take? Is there anything they want you to do to prepare?

You want to have everything ready beforehand to make it easier for you, the vet, and your pet.

4. Make Your Pet Comfortable

best way to euthanize a small dog at home

Your pet has given you so much love and loyalty if there is ever a moment that you should show them the same affection it is now. Try to make their last day as enjoyable as possible.

To prepare them for the procedure, make sure there is a comfortable space for them to lie down. Put extra blankets in their favorite bed or make a bed out of pillows and blankets. Give them some of their favorite treats and give them lots of hugs and kisses.

Even though it can be tough to be present during the procedure, at least one of the owners should stay with your pet so that they aren’t alone.

5. Going Through With the Procedure

The only step that remains is to go through with the actual procedure. Ask whether there is anything you need to do to assist the vet or whether there is anything you can or cannot do.

You can stroke or pet your dog throughout the procedure while you say your final farewells.

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Conclusion

We hope that this guide helps you answer the question how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet. Saying goodbye is never easy, and any owner who faces this has my sympathy. Give you and your family time to grieve and to deal with the loss. Find a way to commemorate your pet so that he or she will remain close to your heart, for example, planting a tree in their honor.

There are situations where euthanizing your pet could be the kindest road to take.

No matter what choice you make, you should always remember that it is your responsibility as an owner to make sure that this is done humanely and safely. The best way to ensure this is without a doubt to seek medical assistance from a trained veterinarian.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. It is only intended for your general knowledge. You should always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the petsofun.com site.

Hey there, I’m Ruby Smith, founder of Pet So Fun, and I’m here to provide you with useful information about your precious pet. All pets deserve the best care, don’t they? But not all pet owners have access to the right products and tips for their pets. And the central core of my work here is to change that.

2 thoughts on “How To Euthanize A Dog At Home Without A Vet?

  1. My sweet and beautiful Abbey, 13.5 years old, is facing euthanization soon. In the last few months, Abbey was diagnosed with CHF. A couple weeks ago, she was diagnosed with kidney failure as well. A terrible and difficult combination to work with. What helps the heart, goes against the kidneys and vice versa. For the past couple days, Abbey’s vomited several times. She was given a regimen of pills including Vetmedin, which makes her sick. I know this little angel can’t keep going on like this and the thought of euthanization is tearing my heart and stomach apart. I’m trying to get prepared, but is there such a thing? Just the thought of having this procedure done on her makes me sick to my stomach. I keep praying to God for a miracle, but God may have other plans and how do I go against His decision? I keep praying little Abbey will go peacefully in her sleep, but how often does that happen? No, it’s a tormenting hell for pet lovers. Some people think it’s best, but I hold on to ‘what ifs’. What if a drug came out the very next day that was a cure for these two conditions? Or, I’m hoping she’ll linger until I’m tired of watching her go down everyday to the fact I’ll be more ready than ever to let her go so I won’t grieve so hard. I know this is a selfish act by me, but when she’s gone, I’m so afraid of what my life will become without her. Empty. The last 2 babies I lost, I grieved a year. I’ve taken the initiative of getting my doctor put me on anxiety medication. Right now, it’s not helping. I cry all the time. If anyone can ease this fright, sorrow, and emptiness I’m feeling, please tune in.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Allow me to share your feelings now, with all sincerity.

      It is difficult to understand the feeling of loss when actually facing it, just like you are facing. But still, I would like to say that you need help from a qualified person. The veterinarian will give you helpful advice. And, before you decide for yourself anything with your Abbey, make sure you bring her to the veterinarian and ask him if he really can do anything else.

      In case you decide to euthanize your Abbey, it’s best to let your vet do it.

      I hope your bad feeling will quickly pass.

      Kindest regards,
      Ruby

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