How To Euthanize A Dog At Home Without A Vet

Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, is a sensitive topic for many dog lovers. It is never easy to make this decision.

However, when you and your dog’s veterinarian have come to the conclusion that the most compassionate solution is to put your dog to sleep, wondering how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet may be one of the questions you have in mind.

Euthanasia is a very long and emotional process. Whether done at the veterinarian’s clinic or at home, nothing will make the process a lot easier. Carrying out this process, however, involves the following.

Intravenous Anaesthetic

Intravenous Anaesthetic to euthanize a dog at home

This method involves two stages and is possible to carry out without the help of a veterinarian. The first stage is the initial injection that causes the dog to fall asleep.

The second stage is the final shot that will release the dog from all the pain that his or her frail physical body may be suffering from.

Many dog owners prefer this method as it allows time for both humans and pets to say goodbye. It also allows for a quiet and relaxed environment as the process can be done at home where the dog is familiar with the surroundings.

Medicines such as Telazol, Ketamine, Propofol, Medetomidine, Acepromazine, and Xylazine are some of the most common first injections used today.

Intra-Cardiac Injection

Intra-Cardiac Injection euthanizing your dog at home without a vet

In some instances, intravenous anesthetic is not possible. As an alternative, a heavy dose of euthanasia drugs is injected into the dog that has been sedated.

It is important to note that injecting a conscious dog with intra-cardiac injection is considered an offense. The effect is so quick that it can be observed within 15-20 minutes.

Barbiturates are the most common injections used by veterinarians. Different preparations of this medicine are given for rapid onset of cardiac arrest, which usually takes place in fifteen to sixty seconds.

Before deciding between these two methods, you should also first consider your decision to go through the process at home. Most veterinarians would advise against going through the process at home for various reasons. Think of the following before making your final call:

The Aftermath

aftermath of euthanizing your pet

Think about what it will be like at home once the process is over. Some people do not even want to be inside the room where they shared their last moment with their dog.

While it may be more comfortable for everyone, dealing with the aftermath can be such a big challenge for some people. This is why it is important to think about this more.

Availability Of Medical Help

The traumatic fact is that not all processes turn out the same. Euthanizing a dog at home and without a vet may even cause trauma if the dog undergoes a seizure after being administered with the medicine.

Surely, you do not want your dog to suffer so that in case it happens, you want medical help to be available. Hence, proceeding with the process at a clinic is more ideal.


Generally, going through the process at home is cheaper than at the veterinarian clinic. However, if unforeseen events such as the dog developing seizure occur, you will still have to call the veterinarian and end up paying more. This does not include the cost of being traumatized from the whole process.

State Laws

State Laws For Dog Euthanization at Home

Euthanasia is fairly the same in all 50 states. However, the medicine to be injected may be different from one state to another. It is important to consider the state laws in your area before you decide on how to go about the procedure.

If, after considering all these factors, you still decide to pursue the method at home, you will need to strictly follow the steps in going through the procedure.

How To Euthanize A Dog At Home Without A Vet

How To Euthanize A Dog At Home Without A Vet

The most preferred method to go about this process is the two injection methods. Here, an initial injection is administered either on the muscle or on the vein. This will give extreme sedation.

The second injection is then administered through the vein to overdose the dog by means of an anesthetic drug. Here are the steps in detail:

1. Preparation

Preparation To euthanize your dog

Where you want the procedure to take place in your home is your choice. However, the physical preparation is so much easier than the emotional preparation that everyone in the family has to go through.

The process may be overly traumatic for young children. Consider sparing them from seeing the whole process. On the other hand, if you decide to allow your children to watch, make sure you explain to them the process as well as its implications.

2. Deep Sedation

deep sedation to euthanize your dog

To reach deep sedation, medications are overdosed to complete the process. The medications used in this step vary. Telazol is a pre-mixed cocktail of tiletamine, a dissociative anesthetic, and zolazepam, a valium-like drug. Another drug is Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic with pain-relieving effects.

Propofol is another drug used to induce anesthesia. This medicine, however, is more expensive than others. Then, there’s Medetomidine, which is mixed with opiates to help induce pain-relieving sedation.

Acepromazine is a common tranquilizer used by veterinarians. And, Xylazine is a common tranquilizer for horses, but also works alright for dogs.

At this stage, the goal is to provide profound anesthesia and sedation. These drugs, in the right dosage and cocktail, do not cause a conscious form of paralysis. Take comfort in the fact that they do not merely render your dog motionless. This means they will feel no pain.

3. The Final Injection

Final Injection to euthanize dog

Barbiturates are the most common drugs used for the second injection. They are either administered through the vein, which creates an onset of cardiac arrest within 15-60 seconds.

In other cases, intraperitoneal or through the abdomen, intracardiac or straight to the heart is the administration method that professionals go for.

Injecting barbiturates through the heart or abdomen is painful if the dog is not anesthetized or completely unconscious. This is why these methods are not advised if the administrator is inexperienced.

4. What To Expect

What to Expect

Movement after both injections have been administered is common. These movements are electrical impulses that are still present in the peripheral nerves after the cessation of brain waves. Although this may be painful to watch, some movement is normal at this stage.

To Sum Up…

If you are wondering how to euthanize a dog at home without a vet, you may want to consider how ready or sure are you to go through this process. For some people, it is not easy to administer the drugs that will put the dog to sleep. In fact, this may be a traumatic experience.

I hope this tutorial has helped you reconcile all the decisions you need to make at this point. Did you have to go through this process before? Or, are you going through this decision-making process at the moment?

If you are, share your thoughts and questions in the comments section. You may also help other fellow dog owners by liking and sharing this article.

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