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Euthanizing Your Dog at Home with a Veterinarian - At-Home Euthanasia

Updated on September 25, 2015
Whitney05 profile image

Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

When you have to make the decision to put your dog to sleep, it can be a very traumatic decision. No one wants to make that call, but there are times when we, pet owners, must make the decision.

Only you, as the pet owner, will know when it is time to euthanize your pet. Each animal will be different, but keep in mind that when you pet cannot perform the daily routines of eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom, it may be time to make the call.

When your pet cannot live a normal life, it may be time to make the call.

It is a hard decision to make, but making your pet live for your own desires to prolong life, is cruel.

When you've made the decision to euthanize your dog, you may want to consider at-home euthanasia, where you will have a veterinarian come to your home to put your dog to sleep.

Euthanizing your dog at home can be ideal if the dog is too ill or too large to take to the vet. It is also a good option to help reduce stress on the pet from having to take him to the animal hospital to be around other animals and people.

In some cases, euthanizing your pet at home will help the people and other animals who live with the pet. Being able to see the body can help both people and animals come to grasp with the situation, creating closure.

In some cases, the other animals in the home may search for the deceased pet not understanding where he has gone, which can cause depression-like symptoms of appetite loss and lethargy.

Home euthanization can make a dog's last moments peaceful and calm, instead of stressful and anxious.

Problems with At Home Euthanasia

The main problem is that not all veterinarians will make house calls. Check with your vet to see if he will be able to come to your home, if he does not make house calls, your vet may be able to make suggestion as to vets in your area that may.

When euthanizing your dog, you don't have to be in the room when the procedure occurs. Do not feel obligated to sit there. If you have to walk away, do so. Consider not allowing younger children to witness the procedure. If you decide to stay during the procedure, but feel your emotions getting to you, consider walking out so that your pet doesn't see you upset; animals feel and sense your emotions.

What Will Happen

During the process, your dog may make noises, experience muscle spasms, appear to gasp for air, and void his bowels and bladder. These are normal reactions, and do not mean that your pet is in pain or suffering.

Before the procedure, your vet may opt to give your dog a sedative that will help calm any nerves and will help relax your pet.

Then the euthanasia solution will be injected through a vein, so that it is dispersed throughout the body. Your pet will not feel any pain.

He will become unconscious and breathing will slow down and stop over the next several seconds. Cardiac arrest will follow, and then death. The process will take less than a minute after the euthanasia medicine is administered.

You do not have to watch the process if it is beyond your comfort. Just keep in mind that your pet will not be in pain during the process. It is a very peaceful process.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We had two of our beloved Bichons put to sleep at home in our arms, on the couch where they always loved to cuddle with us. Today we will send our third Bichon Casey, who is 17 1/2 years old to the rainbow bridge in the same way. I couldn't imagine having something so heartbreaking done anywhere else but in the home that they have always known. Yes, it costs a lot more, but who cares? They give us nothing but unconditional love their whole lives, the least we can do is make their last moments as stress and pain free as possible. My heart is breaking :(

    • samsons1 profile image


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Very well written and informative. We just put our little Duchess(miniature schnauzer) down yesterday, it hasn't been 24 hours yet. It was very difficult but we both agreed it was for her benefit. The vet did come to the home and she died in our arms. We buried her in our back yard because this was the only home known to her. Thanks for getting this information out to others who might need to consider it. Voted up, useful and beautiful...

    • barbarabarth profile image

      Barbara Barth 

      7 years ago from Decatur, Georgia

      My dog Foxy was put to sleep at home some months ago. I have the most wonderful vet and he knows my dogs well. I still have five rescue dogs. I had previously called and was given the name of a traveling vet. She came and gave Foxy a quality of life exam, and Foxy perked up. She made it another month before I made the decision it was time. Max, my regular vet, came to my house with his assistant. I held Foxy so she was not concerned that others were touching her. She was a pretty hands off type of dog. My vet also made the arrangements for the pet crematory to have a representative come in at the same time and take Foxy's body off. I picked up her ashes later and she is burried in the back yard. The other five knew she was sick, did not watch the procedure, but understood she was gone. It was the hardest decision I have had to make. Foxy was with me for fifteen years and was the last link left to my old life with my husband. To have kept her going any longer would have been for me, not for her. This post was great. I think it is the kindest thing to do to let your pet leave this earth from home surrounded by comfort and love. Thanks for sharing this information. I figured everyone knew this could be done at home, so you have provided a wonderful service.

    • SandyMcCollum profile image


      7 years ago

      I've never heard of this, but what a wonderful concept! I wish my Harley could have been put down at home, but we never thought to ask. He got very scared at the end, he didn't like the relaxer medicine at all. The vet had to give him a second shot to relax him. It was traumatizing for me to see him so scared and he did not know what's happening to him. (((sigh)))

    • YogaKat profile image


      7 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Twice I have had to put my dying dog to sleep and both times I had a vet come to my home. It costs 10x as much as taking them to the vet, but it was way worth it. Dogs die with dignity in their own home.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      This is a concept I have not heard of. Interesting Hub. You are right about the dogs left behind if you take the dog to a vet to be put to sleep. They will look around for that dog and I know they wonder where the dog is. Dogs are very emotional. Good Hub. Thanks.


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