How to euthanize a dog with over the counter drugs?

Is it possible to euthanize a dog with over the counter drugs? To answer this question, let’s talk a little about euthanasia and how it should be performed in order to alleviate the suffering of dogs.

How to euthanize a dog with over the counter drugs?

Dogs should not be euthanized with over the counter drugs! This type of euthanasia is wrong and can lead to much more suffering for dogs before death. Some dogs can even survive and spend days with reactions to excess medication applied.

The euthanasia of dogs with over the counter medications is performed by tutors without veterinary assistance. So it is never certain that the animal would really need such a procedure. Many tutors can even euthanize healthy dogs, due to lack of information.

When the euthanasia of dogs is done unnecessarily by tutors with over the counter drugs, this can configure animal abuse, which is a crime in some countries.

If the owner thinks the dog needs to be euthanized. This tutor should seek a veterinarian and only then should performer the euthanasia procedure in dogs. The dog euthanizing will be done if  it is really necessary.

When should euthanasia not be performed?

In some situations euthanasia is not necessary for dogs, such as:

  • When sick animals have a bad prognosis but have a chance to be cured;
  • When sick animals can have quality of life with palliative treatment;
  • When some adaptations are made and the dog can live well;
  • When the animal is not suffering.

When sick animals have a bad prognosis but have a chance to heal

Many diseases have treatment even if the dog’s health status is bad, the use of the correct medication can have positive responses by the dogs. Those dogs that show improvement to treatment, even if they improve slowly, they deserve to have a chance to not be euthanized.

When sick animals can have quality of life with palliative treatment

Some dog diseases do not  have treatment. However, with conservative treatment, such as hydration, a good diet and some symptoms tratment with medications, it can prolong the animal’s life without suffering, and euthanasia is not necessary immediately.

When some adaptations are made and the dog can live well

Some animals may present some malformations that are compatible with life and therefore should not be euthanized.

An example is animals that are born without a limb, or need to amputate a limb after an accident. Nowadays metal structures can be crafted providing a limb adapted for these dogs.

When the animal is not suffering

If an animal is healthy, there is no sign of pain and suffering. This dog does not need to be euthanized.

Euthanasia should not be performed when the tutor no longer wants to have the animal or in case of sick dogs where the tutor cannot afford the costs of treatment or the work for the sick dogs care. 

When should canine euthanasia be performed?

Euthanasia is an ethical act and must be a decision of the veterinarian after evaluating the health status of the sick dog.

Some of the reasons for performing euthanasia in dogs:

  • Elderly dogs;
  • Untreated diseases;
  • Cancer and tumors;
  • Malformations incompatible with life;
  • Polytraumatism;
  • Environmental accidents.

Elderly dogs

Aging in dogs is not a disease, and euthanasia should not be recommended for healthy dogs. However, with the aging of dogs, many diseases can appear, such as osteoarthritis, endocarditis and others.

These diseases can be treated, but some dogs can be very lethargic, to the point where they won’t get up. Therefore, the dog must undergo an evaluation with the veterinarian and only if it is really necessary, euthanasia should be performed.

Untreated diseases

Some illnesses, such as heart failure or chronic kidney disease, can often reduce the dog’s quality of life. These diseases can lead the dog to hospitalization, and when the treatment used does not respond, euthanasia is indicated.

In some countries, dogs euthanasia are indicated for infectious diseases such as Leishmaniasis. Diseases like Leishmaniasis, which is a zoonosis, and its treatment is not as effective for some dogs. In addition to public health prevention, dogs euthanasia with this type of disease is indicated.

Cancer and tumors

The euthanasia procedure in dogs with cancer can be used to reduce dogs suffering from malignant tumors like Hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma and others. Tumors can settle in places that make locomotion difficult, and can even generate a lot of pain and discomfort for dogs.

Some tumors can be treated, but tumors in advanced stages and even those that have already metastasized may not be treated, thus leading to a loss of quality of life for the dog who suffers from pain and discomfort.


Some dogs are born with some malformations incompatible with life, such as anencephaly or the absence of organs necessary for life.

Therefore, these puppies are usually born alive and die a few hours later. To avoid the suffering of these neonates, euthanasia can be performed soon after the birth of the puppies.


Dogs that suffer accidents, such as when they are run over and suffer multiple traumas. After the veterinary evaluation with ultrasound and x-ray exams, the veterinarian can perform the euthanasia of the dog.

Euthanasia in these dogs is used to reduce the dog’s suffering and pain. Dogs euthanasia should only be performed if the veterinarian observes that there is no longer a positive prognosis or any improvement expectation in the dog’s health.

Environmental accidents

In some environmental accidents such as earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions and others. Some animals may be in situations where it is not possible to rescue them and the animal is still alive and suffering. In such cases, physical euthanasia can be performed to reduce the animal’s pain and suffering.


With this post we were able to learn when euthanasia should not be performed and that the tutors should never perform this type of procedure, as it can lead to dog pain and suffering. Veterinarians are the only ones trained to perform euthanasia when they decide through various tests that this is the only way to reduce the dogs suffering . So, dogs cannot be euthanized with over the counter drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to euthanize a dog with over the counter drugs?

Is it possible to euthanize a dog at home?

Yes, a dog can be euthanized at home, as long as it is performed by a veterinarian who will respect all protocols so that the animal feels the least amount of suffering.

What does the dog feel in the euthanasia procedure?

The dog should not feel pain or discomfort at euthanasia. Because the dogs are euthanized after being sedated and anesthetized. In theory, dogs sleep under the effect of anesthetics and do not feel the pain of the drugs used for euthanasia.

How much does dogs euthanasia cost?

The price of euthanasia in dogs can vary greatly. Because the dosages of anesthetics, sedatives and euthanasia drugs vary according to the weight of the animal. Also the value depends on the medication that will be used, among other factors.


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