It’s now very common for dog owners to schedule an appointment for euthanasia with the vet at home. When you put your precious pet to sleep in the comforts of the place he/she thinks of as home, the procedure seems more beneficial. But how about how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet? There’s a lot that goes into answering this particular question.
So let’s try to understand each and every aspect of choosing to not only euthanize at home. But opting for euthanasia without the presence of a vet!
Euthanasia at Home: It’s Now The Preferred Choice
Do you prefer executing the process of putting your dog to sleep at home and that too without the vet? If yes, then you’re not the first one to feel this way. There are many dog owners who would like to choose this path. And for many reasons! The most important one is putting an end to the suffering and misery experienced by their adorable, loving pet.
Now I won’t deny that euthanasia at home can be performed without pain. The process, even when carried out at home, puts your dog out of misery. Needless to say, it’s a very tough and emotional decision to make. And the process to execute.
Intravenous anesthetic is the method vets choose to go about it. This particular process involves administering 2 injections. The first one makes your dog unconscious. And the second shot is what puts him/her to sleep for good.
The intravenous anesthetic method is the most common and preferred way of putting your pet to sleep. And that’s because it’s not a painful procedure for the dog. Whereas some other ways might trigger a little bit of pain. But not this one! This is precisely why it’s so important for you to make sure that a vet performs the procedure. It’s in the best interest of both you and your pet.
Getting Prepared for Euthanasia
Not all veterinarians offer home euthanasia services. So you might have to check with your vet first. But before you do any of that, please note. That it’s important to emotionally prepare yourself and your family for saying goodbye.
With children in the house, it’s necessary for you to explain the hopeless situation to them. When they know what’s happening, they’re able to process the loss in a calmer and better manner. After all, losing a furry friend is not an insignificant loss in the family. To provide understanding and comfort to the kids.
And if you decide to carry out the procedure at the vet’s, which ideally is the right decision to make as a responsible and caring pet parent, then carry his/her bed to the clinic. Bed or a comfortable pillow or blanket.
The Process of Euthanasia
You can perform the procedure at home. But that’s only if medical supervision is present. Or if you possess the required medical knowledge. And by required medical knowledge, I mean knowledge about the procedure. Along with the vet injections! This part should be very clear in your head.
However, the need for a vet arises prior to performing euthanasia. The doctor has to examine your dog thoroughly. Either on the same day or 1 day before the process.
As for the correct procedure, the vet first sedates the dog. With the help of an intramuscular injection. The first injection takes around 5-15 minutes to make your pet unconscious. After that comes the second shot, which contains the euthanasia solution. This second and final injection stops brain functioning and heart pumping.
Once the dog is put to sleep, the vet performs a thorough medical examination. For making sure your dog has passed away.
How to Euthanize a Dog at Home without a Vet? (Practices You Should Not Follow)
Putting a dog to sleep should be a pain-free and comfortable experience for your pet. Be it at home or the vet! So in order to ensure the lack of pain and discomfort, keep from opting for inhumane practices. Like using inhalants, cervical dislocation, and shooting.
The methods mentioned above involve both trauma and physical pain. So they’re highly discouraged. Even you, as a matter of fact, simply cannot physically and mentally prepare yourself for something like this.
Now I know that euthanizing your dog at home is a personal decision to make. The procedure at home offers many advantages too. Such as your pet being put to sleep in the comfort of your home, grieving alone, and more. But there are 2 sides to every coin, please remember that.
If the distance to the vet’s clinic is too far, talk to the doctor about sedating your dog beforehand. There’s always a proper solution to every problem. All you have to do is speak to the medical professional about it first and then decide what you want to do. And whatever decision you make should be in the best interest of your precious pet.
Euthanasia at the Vet or Euthanasia at Home?
Does your dog get panicky or has difficulty moving? If yes, then opting for at-home euthanasia seems like a logical option. Also, if you have other pets at home, then even they get to say goodbye. Instead of just waiting all confused by the door for the dog to come back.
But, at the same time, pet owners are not so keen on associating their home with the death of their beloved furry companion. Like I already told you, there are 2 sides to every coin.
Plus, it’s upsetting for kids to watch it happen as well. Your pet passing is not a pretty or comforting picture to even be around for some people. Including adults and children!
Avoid At-Home Euthanasia If Possible:
So why is the practice of euthanizing your dog at home so highly discouraged? If you ask a vet, he/she will tell you it’s because the process should be executed in a controlled, medically supervised setting.
Your dog indeed might feel more comfortable at home. However, his/her last memories are likely to be quite unpleasant if something messes up at home. Without any vet supervision!
Anything can go wrong at home. So in such a scenario, how are you possibly going to get the much-needed medical assistance immediately? The situation can get complicated and even painful.
Sometimes drugs don’t produce the desired effect. Or locating the veins is not always easy. Particularly if your pet is very old or dehydrated.
So before you actually decide to opt for euthanizing your dog at home, keep a few essential things in mind.
- Including your family and loved ones
Does your entire family want to be a part of the procedure? Including the children? There’s nothing wrong with the whole family being present at the time. As long as you let the kids know beforehand what is happening. It might actually feel more comforting this way.
- Emotions and memories
You have to think of the aftermath connected with euthanasia. The situation is not easy to deal with. Many vets I have spoken to say that dog owners don’t like to visit the room in which their adorable pet has breathed his/her last. This means euthanizing at home might not be such a great idea.
It’s possible that your dog might suffer from a seizure during the process. So how are you going to address such an urgent situation? If professional medical help is not at your disposal? Your only priority should be to eliminate suffering. And not trigger it for whatever reason.
Now I won’t deny that euthanasia at home is not as expensive as getting the process done at the vet’s clinic or a hospital. But when it’s your dog’s health at stake, the budget doesn’t really matter. And it shouldn’t either.
You have to take into consideration the chances that your pet might develop seizures. Or any other respiratory difficulties during the process. And no one else other than a vet is well-equipped to handle such a situation.
How to Euthanize a Dog at Home without a Vet? (The Next Step)
What comes after the procedure of euthanasia is also a very emotional task. You have to decide the form of cremation and burial. If you wish to bury the dog, you have to check your local, county, and state ordinances. Meaning is it legal for you to bury your pet? And if yes, are there pet cemeteries for that?
There are directories of cemeteries for animals. You’ll find them on the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories.
It’s not uncommon to cremate your dog. The company picks up your pet from the vet’s clinic or your house. And they perform the cremation for you. You can even talk to your vet about it. The chances are he/she already has a service to recommend. But if not, feel free to get in touch with your local government for regulations and guidelines.
Just remember that putting your dog to sleep is a process that should be performed with care. It’s important that your furry friend is pampered with dignity and compassion. Even during his/her final moments.
Cremation and Burial Options
For a burial, you can choose your own backyard. But before you do that, please make sure there aren’t any restrictions. Those that are imposed by local regulations. In America, there are many pet cemeteries that you can choose from for burying your pet.
As for cremation, you have to decide if it’s going to be communal or private. The former involves cremating your dog with the others. The ashes are then spread in the pet cemetery. And private cremation takes place where your dog is cremated individually. You get the ashes after the cremation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Euthanasia
1. When Is The Right Time For Putting My Dog To Sleep?
The best person to answer this question for you is a veterinarian. Only he/she possesses the correct knowledge to guide you. When it comes to figuring out what is the best time for putting your pet to sleep. Depending on the kind of pain and suffering your dog is going through. So call or visit a medical professional to do what’s best for your adorable pet.
2. Is The Procedure For Putting The Dog To Sleep Painful?
Fortunately, the process of euthanasia is very relaxed and peaceful. There’s minimal to no pain at all when the vet is performing the procedure.
The second injection that contains the euthanasia solution takes around 1 to 3 minutes to produce the complete effect. And during this time, your dog doesn’t feel any pain. That sounds like a huge relief, doesn’t it?
3. How Long Does The Process Of Euthanasia Take?
Sedatives in the first injection take around 5-10 minutes to completely relax your dog. And to make him/her unconscious. Once the second injection is administered, the brain shuts down within half a minute. And in about 1-3 minutes the heart starts to slow and then eventually stop pumping.
4. What Effect Does Pet Euthanasia Have On Family Members?
There’s no denying or even underestimating how stressful the decision can be. On both you and your loved ones at home. But before you get to the vet’s clinic for the actual procedure, decide who all are going to be present.
Including family members does seem like an incredibly comforting idea. However, the process of euthanasia might be a little too devastating and heavy for children. And even some adults. So decide accordingly.
5. What Is The Cost Of Euthanasia?
In any veterinary clinic located in America, the cost ranges between $50 and $200. This, obviously, does not include cremation or burial charges.
And it goes without saying that at-home euthanasia is much cheaper. It actually depends on the size of your pet. Along with the medicine recommended by the vet.
6. Can I Do Something To Comfort My Pet During Euthanasia?
Saying goodbye is always an emotional experience. And also a very difficult one. When euthanizing your dog, it’s best to make the most of the time you have left with him/her. Rather than allowing your emotions to get the better of you.
So during the final few hours, practice some of the following:
- Pet your dog: Dogs adore being loved, no matter the condition they’re in.
- Hold your dog’s paw: It’s just like holding hands. The action provides comfort, which is exactly what your dog requires when afraid or in pain.
- Talk to your dog: The chances of your precious pet feeling more comfortable are higher if you speak to him/her in a calm and soothing voice.
- Hug your dog: Hugging your dog is the best way to reassure him/her that everything is okay.
7. What If I Let My Dog Die Naturally And Not By Euthanasia?
In rare cases, some dog owners simply cannot muster the will and courage to make that decision. Putting your pet to sleep is no easy decision to make in the first place. So they just let the dog pass away in his/her sleep.
But you should know that natural death is not always painless and quick. At least not as painless and quick as that triggered by euthanasia. A natural death can make your dog feel very distressed. And he/she takes longer to pass away like that.
Imagine your body organs and systems shutting down slowly one after another. Respiratory failure, and then heart failure. This doesn’t happen quickly and without pain either. So letting your dog die naturally might seem like a less burdensome decision. But it’s not in the best interest of your adorable pet.
8. What To Expect At The Time Of Your Dog’s Death?
Many things can happen at the time of your pet passing away. Such as the following:
- The dog may cry out or vocalize.
- The dog can even gasp intermittently once his/her heart stops pumping. These gasps might be loud at such times. But there is absolutely nothing to worry about here. It’s not like your pet is gasping in pain. It’s just the contraction of the diaphragm. Along with the muscles and brain not receiving oxygen.
- The dog becomes rigid and arches his/her head backward. This usually happens after the administration of the second injection. It indicates the setting of death.
- The dog might involuntarily urinate or defecate. Due to the bladder muscles beginning to relax, which is another indicator of death.
- Dilation and dullness of the eyes.
- The dog may experience shivers or even tremble. Please note that this too is a very natural response because of the absence of oxygen. It doesn’t last for more than a minute.
- And if your pet has some intestinal disease, then there might be vomiting as well. Bile coming out of his/her nose and mouth.
What to expect at pet euthanasia
So it’s not only about answering the question, how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet? The process needs to be considered based on both the advantages and disadvantages. The most popular opinion is to ease the suffering and mental pain of your pet. Something that you know is guaranteed to happen if you perform the procedure at the vet.
The decision may be personal and desperate but it doesn’t have to be wrong too. Also, emotionally prepare your mind and your loved ones’ to be able to handle the situation.
Only if you’re completely confident about performing euthanasia should you go ahead with it? But even then, talk to your vet on the phone and discuss the procedure. Let the medical professional guide you and show you and your dog the right path.
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