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How Much It Costs to Euthanize a Dog [Prices in 2023]

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✔️Article reviewed by Dr. Whittenburg, director, on Jan 2nd, 2023. View our editorial quality process.

Facing the difficult decision to say a final goodbye to a beloved family pet is made even more difficult when finances must be considered. Our dogs are there when we wake up every morning, eagerly waiting for us to arrive home from school or work every single day. When the end finally comes, it can be heart-breaking. It’s especially challenging when we need to consider how much it can cost to euthanize a dog.

What Types of Costs do I Need to Consider?

The cost to euthanize a dog is largely dependent upon the services you choose and who performs these services. The services typically include:

  • Euthanasia
  • Cremation: group cremation or individual cremation (where the ashes are returned to you).

What Are the Costs?

The costs to euthanize your dog depend on the service provider. Your main provider options include 1) the Humane society – a nationwide non-profit association, 2) Petsmart’s Banfield clinic or a pet hospital network like Banfield, 3) Your veterinarian’s office, and 4) At-home veterinarian euthanasia services, with a vet coming to your home.

We have outlined the costs below, along with estimates in US dollars. We have used a range because prices often vary based on your dog’s weight (Keep reading for cost estimates based on your dog’s weight).

Table summarizing costs, by provider:

 Euthanasia only (owner takes pet back)Euthanasia and Group Cremation (No ashes returned)Euthanasia and Individual Cremation (Ashes returned)
Humane Society$35-$145, depending on your dog’s size$75-$190$130-$270
PetSmart’s Banfield Clinics$50-$130$120-$160$250-$290
Your Vet Office$80 to $195

(see examples)  
$130-$350  $230-$550
At-home Vet Visit$240-$375$320-$650$420-$800

As you can see, the price ranges in the table above are pretty wide. This is because euthanasia and cremation costs will often vary based on your dog’s weight. Since you already know your dog’s weight approximately, let’s review the costs of euthanasia based on your dog’s weight.

Costs to Euthanize A Dog – Based On Your Dog’s Weight

The Humane Society of the United States (or various other locations) is typically the cheapest way to put your dog down with low-cost euthanasia services. The costs usually range from $75 to $190, depending on your pet’s weight.


WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]


The table below shows an estimate of the costs to euthanize your dog at the Humane Society. Please note that these numbers are estimates only, and your price can vary significantly by location.

Your Dog’s WeightEuthanasia Only (owner takes pet back)Euthanasia and Group Cremation (no ashes returned)Euthanasia and Individual Cremation (ashes returned)
up to 10 pounds$50-$70$75-$130$110-$180
11 to 50 pounds$60-$80$130-$170$190-$230
51 to 100 pounds$70-$90$180-$220$240-$280
101 to 150 pounds$90-$110$200-$240$250-$325
151+ pounds$125-$145$220-300$270-$390

(See information about the Humane Society End of Life services)

Euthanasia Services By Providers

1. Banfield Veterinary Clinics

Euthanasia packages with group cremation usually cost around $130-$160 at PetSmart’s Banfield animal clinics. You can use their price estimator, along with your Zip code, for the price at your location (look for the “Euthanasia package” price, which includes group cremation based on our phone calls – additional costs of approximately $130 will apply if you want individual cremation with ashes returned to you).

2. Your veterinarian’s office

Your average cost could range from $80 to $195. The cost may vary based on your pet’s weight and the facility’s location.

3. At-home euthanasia

Many dogs find a veterinarian’s clinic stressful regardless of what you do, making a completely stress-free euthanasia impossible. At-home euthanasia offers a much more intimate, private, and stress-free solution.

While this is often easier for your pet, there is more preparation required and the overall time commitment is significantly greater. On average, at-home euthanasia ranges from $240 to $375.

table showing costs to put a dog down at different locations

More About Aftercare Services (Cremation and Burial)

Aftercare services include pet crematorium transportation or either communal, private, or memorial cremation. Cremation services will add an additional fee, usually based on your pet’s weight.

This normally costs between $75-$550.

Private cremation

Your pet is cremated individually, and privately. Then ashes can then be returned to you. Facilities and location determine specific costs.

Communal cremation

When you make this decision, your pet will be cremated with others. Individual ashes won’t be returned. Ashes are disposed of in either facility grounds or on a specified memorial area by crematory staff.

Pet cemetery burial

Depending on the area you live, burying your pet in your backyard is often illegal. However, you still have the option of a pet cemetery burial.

This includes a burial plot, an optional burial stone, and several options for a casket. Your average cost could range from $400 for a small pet to several thousand dollars, depending on the options you choose.

Who is legally allowed to euthanize domestic pets?

Currently, 49 out of 50 states in the US have passed legislation regarding pet euthanasia, mandating it only be carried out by a licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or veterinary technician under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, though specific regulations can vary by state.

Owner-induced euthanasia (you euthanize your dog yourself at home) is almost always illegal. This is only an option in certain states if your pet meets very specific criteria:

  • Severely injured or so sick death is imminent
  • Medically “unfit” for living (losing several limbs, severe brain damage)

It is also important to note that there are NO safe and humane euthanasia methods that can be performed by owners.

What is the euthanasia process?

Euthanasia involves humanely ceasing a dog’s vital life functions, allowing the animal to peacefully pass and ending its’ suffering. The process is meant to offer both pain-free and stress-free relief for animals in extreme discomfort or suffering from chronic and incurable health complications.

First, the animal receives a sedative, allowing them to calmly enter a sleep state. Then, most veterinarians will intravenously give a medication called pentobarbital. Finally, the animal’s heart, lungs, and brain functions should cease within two minutes.

Your pet may feel the initial needle prick. After that, your dog slowly drifts off while asleep, free from pain and distress.

Why is owner-administered euthanasia a bad idea?

Choosing to euthanize your pet yourself is a terrible idea. While it may be tempting to save on costs, there are many reasons to get your pet to a professional.

Legality: First, owner-administered euthanasia is nearly always illegal. The punishment will vary depending on state legislation, but you could be looking at prison time and a fine.

If your actions are considered animal cruelty, you could be facing a much harsher punishment.

Difficulty: Second, most owners do not have a sufficient background in medicine to make sure owner-administered euthanasia is humane. Without proper training, you may cause your animal unnecessary pain and suffering.

Managing remains: Finally, because of other predatory animals, water contamination, and other unforeseen complications, many states prohibit at-home burials. Owners at home struggle to respectfully manage their pet’s remains.

Saying goodbye

True euthanasia offers pain relief to an animal suffering from a severely diminished quality of life.

Sometimes, this is ultimately the kinder, gentler option. No one wants their precious furry family member to suffer needlessly until the end.

In the end, while financial matters can’t be ignored, decisions should be made for the good of our pets. They deserve nothing less.

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Author

  • Jason Robins

    Jason is a pet specialized writer who works with our veterinarian team (https://seniortailwaggers.com/meet-our-team/) to write in-depth articles about pet health and behaviors.

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