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Is There a Way to Humanely Euthanize a Dog at Home?

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Many dog owners are trying to find inexpensive options to euthanize their dogs in the comfort of their homes. After all, after facing expensive vet bills to treat their dogs, it’s no surprise that most people are also trying to save on the euthanasia procedure.

And most dog owners also want what’s best for their old friends. As a result, we are often asked if there are simple over-the-counter products that can help humanely euthanize a dog at home. However, the answer to that question is a bit complex. Let’s look at the options.

Are there Ways to Humanely Euthanize a Dog at Home?

First, you should know that many vet services provide at-home euthanania. At-home euthanasia offers a much more intimate, private, and stress-free solution to help put down your dog: A licenced vet will come to your own to perform the procedure. However, costs are high ($320-$650) compared to euthanasia services provided by the Humane Society ($75-$190). See our page about costs to put a dog down where we provide a list of estimates and options for each provider.

However, if you are looking to save money and euthanize a dog at home, there are few, if any options. Owners often search for options to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl. However, Benadryl, or other medications, can have dramatic side effects for your dog. This will likely result in needless suffering for your dog, before the active ingredients actually result in death.

For example, Benadryl is lethal to dogs because it can cause serious neurological and cardiovascular effects, with effects including hyper-excitability, rapid heartbeat, seizures, convulsions, or respiratory failure – this is a terrible way for your dog to pass away. These medications are far from the best option to use for euthanizing a dog. In most states, it is also illegal to euthanize your dog at home yourself.

What’s a Humane Way to Euthanize your Dog?

If you are looking for ways to euthanize your sick, injured or elderly dog in the most pain-free way possible, your veterinarian is the best option, and there are ways to save on costs, as our veterinarian Dr Chyrle Bonk explains:

Asking your vet should always be the first step. Many may have a good samaritan fund or something similar to help clients in need. They may also consider a payment plan. There may also be less expensive choices for disposal that will help cut down on the costs. For example, cremation is usually more expensive than burial. Again, most vets are aware of what the local options are and can help clients out if they ask.
Dr Chyrle Bonk, Veterinarian at Senior Tail Waggers.

If you want to save money, you should also look at other euthanasia services including the services provided by the Humane Society.

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

A veterinarian can give your dog a sedative first. After administering a sedative, a veterinarian will often use barbiturates to stop a dog’s heart. The medication is administered through an intravenous catheter or an injection. This will ensure a pain-free experience for your dog.

Most US States Prohibit Euthanizing a Dog at Home (Without a Vet License)

You should know that you may not even be allowed to euthanize your dog at home by yourself: pet euthanasia is highly regulated. In most states, putting a pet to sleep can often ONLY be performed by a veterinarian to ensure a pain-free and effective process for the animals (with rare and well-define exceptions in case of emergencies). The ‘FindLaw’ website states that “obtaining and administering a fatal dose of euthanasia drugs to your animal without specific training or required license may be a violation of the law.” (Learn more).

How to Save Money on Dog Euthanasia

To learn about ways to save money on euthanasia and cremation services, we recommend you read our page: How Much It Costs To Put a Dog Down [Estimates Included]

Learn more:


  • Jason Robins

    Jason is a pet specialized writer who works with our veterinarian team ( to write in-depth articles about pet health and behaviors.

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