Is it possible to euthanize a dog at home?

Is it possible to euthanize a dog at home? To answer this question, this post will talk about euthanasia and how it should be performed and where this procedure can be performed.

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.

However, performing euthanasia at home may not be a good option, as many tutors can be hurt, and even develop some trauma, when watching the death of their dog. For very sensitive people, it is indicated to perform the euthanasia in a veterinary clinic or in a veterinary hospital.

For dogs, euthanasia at home can be a comfort. Since many dogs do not feel comfortable in a veterinary clinic or hospital environment. It is worth remembering that when there is an indication for euthanasia, dogs are usually very weak and transport to the clinic can be an stressful factor.

What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is defined as the act of providing death to dogs that have incurable diseases or to dogs that are suffering from certain diseases that can produce intolerable pain.

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

Euthanasia can be performed on several animals species, and it can be done in different ways, whether with the use of medication or even physically. The method to be used will depend on the species of the animal and the conditions in which these animals are found.

Below we will talk specifically about how anesthesia is performed in dogs, especially in domiciled dogs for which the tutor opts for performing euthanasia at home.

How is euthanasia at home done?

Euthanasia must be performed by a veterinarian who will decide the best method for the dog euthanizing. Euthanasia is always performed in calm and peaceful environments, like in some comfortable room in the house or even in the doghouse. Avoiding further animals stressing at the end of its life.

The veterinarian will apply tranquilizers and sedatives for complete muscle relaxation, preventing the dog’s reaction, especially dogs with severe pain. Thus facilitating the manipulation of the animal, for placement of a catheter where the other medications will be applied in the vein.

Systemic anesthetics are also applied, which makes the dog sleep and feel no more pain. Often the same anesthetic is used for anesthesia in dog surgeries.

After the animal is anesthetized, it will receive another medication in the vein. This will make the dog’s heart stop beating. Death is only declared after the veterinarian observes that there are no more vital signs, such as breathing, heartbeat, eyelid reflexes and others.

When is dog euthanasia performed?

The dog can be euthanized for several reasons such as:

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

Elderly dogs

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

These diseases can be treated, but some dogs can be very apatic, to the point of not getting up, not eating, urinating and defecating in their own body. So the dog must undergo an evaluation with the veterinarian and only if it is really necessary, the euthanasia must be performed.

Untreated diseases

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

In some countries, infectious diseases such as Leishmaniasis, euthanasia of the dogs are indicated. Because diseases like Leishmaniasis is a zoonosis, and its treatment is not so effective for some dogs. As well as public health prevention, euthanasia of dogs with this type of disease is indicated.

Cancer and tumors

The euthanasia procedure in dogs with cancer can be used to reduce the dogs suffering with malignant tumors such as Hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma and others. Tumors can settle in places that difficult locomotion, 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 metastasized may not be treated, thus leading to a lack of dog  life quality  that suffers from pain and discomfort.


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

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


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 suffering and pain. Dogs euthanasia should only be performed if the veterinarian observes that there is no longer a positive prognosis, or expectation of improvement in the dog’s health.

Environmental accidents

In some environmental accidents, such as earthquakes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and others. Some animals can be in situations where it is not possible to rescue them and still the animal remains alive and suffering. In these cases euthanasia can also be performed.


Euthanasia is a painful procedure for many tutors and can be performed when there are no more treatments for certain diseases, or when the animal is in a great state of pain and suffering. Euthanasia can be performed at home, as long as it is done by a veterinarian, so it can be a comfort for the animal and for some tutors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is it possible to euthanize a dog at home?

What does the dog feel about euthanasia?

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 is euthanasia performed on dogs?

Euthanasia must be performed by a veterinarian who will decide the best method for euthanizing the dog. Euthanasia is always performed in calm and peaceful environments, to avoid further stressing the animal at the end of its life.

How much does euthanasia cost in dogs?

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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Wammes, J. C. S., Filadelpho, A. L., Birck, A. J., Peres, J. A., SILVA, P. E., de Carvalho, J. R., … & BARCELOS, R. P. (2013). Anencefalia, macroglossia e fenda labial em cão: Relato de caso. Revista Científica Eletrônica de Medicina Veterinária, 21, 1-8.

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