How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet? (safety factors you need to know)
When you get a dog, he/she becomes a part of your family and home. Your precious little pet went from being a cute little puppy to a full-grown adult dog right in your home. That’s more than 10-12 years. So when your furry companion is nearing the end, it’s only natural to ask such a dreaded question. How to euthanize a dog at home without a vet?
Many dog-lovers these days prefer carrying out the euthanasia procedure at home. Some wish to do it with a vet while some without.
The thing about putting down your dog without professional guidance is that it can be a risky process. So I highly advise you to speak to your vet about it first. This is for nothing but the benefit of your dog. A peaceful, pain-free death is what he/she deserves, am I right?
How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet – Introduction
The decision of euthanasia is not something any dog owner is able to make. But, at such times, you should understand that keeping your pet alive when there’s no hope for him/her to lead a healthy, happy life is a selfish move. You have to show mercy and let your furry friend rest in peace.
So here are the most common medical conditions that degrade the quality of life in dogs. Euthanasia is an option when these significant factors take form. But, once again, talking to your vet will give you a better, more well-informed understanding.
- Terminal illnesses like cancer.
- Paralysis or a severe injury or damage due to an accident.
- Old age, which is often accompanied by the inability to perform daily tasks.
- Untreatable or very painful physical conditions.
It’s during these times that euthanasia comes up as an option. In most cases, it’s the last resort. So the best thing you can do in such scenarios is to take your dog to the vet clinic to have him/her fully examined. And then let the medical professional decide what’s in the best interest of your adorable pet.
How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet – Common Reasons
I have already mentioned that the conventional way to go about it is to take your dog to the vet. And let him/her perform the euthanasia procedure if required. As a responsible pet owner, this is the only safe approach.
Even so, here are some very common reasons why so many dog owners want to euthanize their pet at home without a vet…
- Not everybody has access to a vet clinic. Maybe you’re staying in a rural region or the vet is miles away from your home.
- Another common reason is that many dogs are terrified of car rides or veterinarians themselves. So you don’t want your precious furry companion to feel even more distressed.
- Then there are some dog-lovers that want the procedure to be performed at home with the family. After all, even the dog is a part of that house.
To be honest, if it’s possible to take your dog to the vet clinic, then you absolutely should. But if it’s just not happening, then you can consider euthanizing your pet at home without a vet.
Just make sure you speak to the vet at least to figure out your options and other important matters. For all you know, the vet might be able to come to your house to carry out the procedure. In that case, you’ll be euthanizing your dog at home only but in the presence of a trained, trusted professional.
Is It the Cost You’re Worried About?
The cost of euthanasia varies from one vet to another. Even the cost of having the vet come to your home to perform the procedure varies. Irrespective of how small or big your dog is. And irrespective of how far he/she has to travel. But one thing is for sure. Having the vet come home is comparatively cheaper than going to the vet’s clinic.
Even then, there are many people who simply opt for euthanasia at home without a vet. Due to the lack of financial resources or access. The only major concern here is the safety of your dog. When doing it yourself at home, the possibility of your pet feeling pain during the procedure is not eliminated. Also, without a vet, you might not even get access to suitable medication.
How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet – Factors to Consider
What Happens After
Whatever approach you decide to take in terms of euthanasia, the aftermath is going to be quite difficult to deal with. Only a few dog owners choose not to be in the same room during the process of euthanasia. But the most that do find it very emotional.
When you perform the procedure at home, you’re highly likely to find it even more challenging to deal with the death of your dog. That’s because you keep seeing the place or room where your pet was put down. And carrying this image in your head daily is not easy to handle.
So doing it at the vet’s clinic seems like a less devastating choice. At least you don’t have to be reminded of it on a daily basis. Nevertheless, it’s hard to cope with the loss of a pet. There’s no denying that.
If you’re leaning more toward euthanizing your dog at home without a vet, then please understand that it might get complicated. Medical assistance at every step of the way is very important at this point. Otherwise, your pet ends up suffering for your mistakes. Proper sedation before the last drug is given is crucial to the procedure.
If that doesn’t happen, side effects like vomiting, pain, and seizures are common. So you have every reason to take your dog to the vet’s clinic for euthanasia.
There’s no point in deciding whether or not you want to euthanize your dog at home without a vet if the laws in your state don’t permit it. You should know that it’s illegal to carry out the procedure of ending life without proper medical training or license. The only legal method is to let the vet do it. Most animal shelters employ well-trained staff for this very reason.
In the majority of US states, only certified technicians and vets are allowed to perform euthanasia. Only a few states have legalized carrying out the process by non-veterinarians but with the supervision of a vet.
And it’s not just the procedure that you have to worry about here. Even the drugs are not easily available without a proper medical prescription. Most states allow only licensed professionals to store the drugs commonly used for euthanasia. In my opinion, this is a very responsible move. Since drug control ensures that these drugs aren’t abused or misused.
So you have to also check if the medication you want to inject is legal and accessible in your state.
How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet – Steps to Take
#1 Consult with the vet first
I know I keep mentioning again and again that you should speak to your vet first before you decide to do anything. But that’s because it’s very important you do so. The vet will examine your furry companion. Only after a thorough examination can any medical professional decide if euthanasia should be the last resort.
You can even call up the clinic and ask if the vet performs home procedures. And if yes, then ask how you should go about it and the arrangements to be made.
#2 Prepare your family
So the decision of euthanasia has been made. Now is the time to emotionally prepare yourself as well as the members of your family. Your pet passing is not an everyday or pleasant occurrence. So, at such times, what goes a long way is talking about the situation. And offering support and care to one another.
Be very careful and sensitive toward children. You have to explain what’s about to take place. And let them share their feelings and emotions with you. Speaking of children, it’s best your child not be in the same room as your dog when he/she is being euthanized. But if your kid isn’t too sensitive or young, then it’s alright.
#3 Make your dog comfortable
Your precious pet has brought so much joy, happiness, and love into your life. So now is the time for you to show how much you care. Make your dog’s last moments as comfortable and enjoyable as you possibly can.
You can do so by making sure he/she is lying down in a comfortable, warm space. Use extra blankets and pillows. Feed some of his/her favorite treats. And most importantly, shower your pet with loads of kisses and hugs.
And in the final moments, make sure that at least one loved one is present with the dog. It’s important that your pet doesn’t feel alone during this time.
#4 Get the sedatives required for the procedure
For a peaceful and pain-free send-off, you should choose one of the following medications. These are common anesthetics vets use for mercy killing.
It’s a combination of zolazepam and tiletamine. Zolazepam offers valium-like properties. And tiletamine works as a dissociative anesthetic. Individually, both medications are low in terms of pain relief. But when combined, their effect reaches full potential.
Here’s another dissociative anesthetic. What the drug does is allow your dog to experience the brain and body separately. The result of this is immense pain relief when combined with valium-like drugs.
It’s a sedative that provides pain relief for dogs. But it’s expensive for larger breeds.
This one’s quite effective when it comes to working as a sedative. It’s not a widely abused form of medication, thus more accessible to get. However, propofol is quite expensive.
It’s a cheaper alternative to medetomidine. Most vets administer acepromazine on aggressive dogs.
But, obviously, before you decide what to pick, consult with your vet. What I am doing here is just giving you a vague idea about the sedatives. The final decision should be made based on the advice of a medical professional.
#5 Perform the procedure
The preparation part is in place. So now it’s time for the inevitable.
The first injection consists of propofol, telazol, and ketamine. This you should administer intravenously. IV injections are preferred because they tend to have an effect quicker. Plus, they’re easy to administer. This is very useful in case you’re inexperienced or not a professional.
Don’t inject telazol, propofol, and ketamine intramuscularly. It ends up hurting the dog, at least in the majority of cases. But you can administer acepromazine and medetomidine intramuscularly. The former does sting though. So it’s best to do the IV method for this too.
Another thing to keep in mind is the right dosage. So my advice to you here would be to talk to your vet about the amount of pain-relieving sedative you should inject during euthanasia. The goal here is to heavily sedate your dog.
Now come the anesthetics, meaning barbiturates. These trigger cardiac arrest in less than a minute after injecting the medication intravenously.
At this point, don’t be surprised or alarmed if your precious little furry companion moves. The movements don’t imply that your dog is in pain. Or that the procedure is failing. They’re just the canine’s last few electrical impulses before the brain shuts down completely.
#6 Handling your dog’s remains
Once your dog breathes his/her last, you can start thinking about the funeral service. Most dog-owners go for a simple burial.
Handling your pet’s remains is also a very emotional part of the experience. But you can find some solace in knowing that now your dog is resting in peace. And that he/she is not going through any pain or suffering.
How to Euthanize A Dog at Home Without A Vet – Final Words
I know that reading this guide must have been hard for you. But you have to understand that your dog deserves nothing but the best treatment from you. Even during his/her last moments!
So you have every reason in the book to perform the euthanasia procedure at the vet’s clinic. Avoid doing it at home if possible. Such important decisions and procedures should be undertaken only by well-trained medical professionals. Only they have the proper knowledge to assess the situation. And then provide the most appropriate form of treatment.
Trust your vet, even if your instincts tell you otherwise.