How to Put a Dog to Sleep: Making the Decision

Putting a dog to sleep is always a hard decision to make but it comes a time when a dog owner has to administer euthanasia to relieve the dog from its pain.

For a dog owner to successfully embrace that putting his dog to sleep is the kindest option to relieve the dog from pain, he has to do a lot of research to support his actions. Understanding euthanasia will help the owner accept that he did the right thing.

How to Put a Dog to Sleep

Agreeing to Euthanasia

Before learning how to put a dog to sleep it necessary to take the first step which is accepting to carry out euthanasia.

It is always a hard decision to make but once it is clear that the dog will not recover; it is a kinder option to relieve the dog from its suffering. When making the decision, one is torn between wanting to spend more time with the dog and relieving it from the suffering.

Before making the decision it is recommended that the owner consult with the vet and family members on the best course of action. Also keep in mind if the dog is having trouble feeding, moving around, eliminating, breathing, and its response to various types of treatment.

Putting your dog to sleep will be a tough decision especially for children but you can talk to them and educate them on why it is necessary to carry out euthanasia. This may be an emotional moment for the family but do what you think is best for the dog.

How to Identify the Right Time to Administer Euthanasia

With the advances in veterinary medication, a dog’s life can be extended, while others die peaceful deaths, some go through suffering terminal illnesses before they die.

Prolonging the dog’s life may not be in its best interest. Even with the knowledge on how to put a dog to sleep, the timing has to be good. Know when to administer euthanasia, look for the signs that your dog is suffering and weigh your options. Look out for the following:

Check with your vet to see if your dog has a terminal illness. Know the stage the dog is currently in and the subsequent stages.

Ask the vet’s advice on what to do at the next stage and the current. Know if the pain can be reduced by medication and if the medication will improve your dog’s condition. Also be keen to know if the treatment is affordable to you.

Gauge if the dog has lost control over his body functions like moving around, defecating, and urinating. Your dog may also lose appetite and refuse to eat which is most probably a signal that he’s on the brink of death.

Check the color of the gums if your dog is getting sufficient oxygen.

The last step is knowing whether extending the dog’s life will be helping the dog or is it for self-interests. It is a difficult decision but if it relieves the dog from its suffering it could be a wise idea to carry out euthanasia.

Making an Appointment for Euthanasia

You can either learn how to put a dog to sleep and do it yourself or go to a vet. Preferably, book an appointment with your vet in the morning or in the evening when there is no hurry.

You could make plans for cremation or burial at home after the procedure. Ask the vet any question you feel you need to know before the procedure begins.

You can ask the vet to sedate the dog prior to the appointment. The euthanasia solution is administered through a vein.

The solution acts quickly and is painless but has to be administered through a drip or needle into a vein. When administering the solution your dog has to be calm thus the vet may require sedating the dog.

Pros and Cons of Carrying Out Euthanasia at Home

With the adequate knowledge on how to put a dog to sleep choose the perfect place to carry out the procedure.

Most dog owners would prefer putting their dogs to sleep at home where it is peaceful and free from the hospital smell. Dog owners consider home euthanasia as being less stressful as compared to euthanasia administered at the animal hospital.

Sometimes the dog may be too ill or too large to carry to the vet.

Putting your dog to sleep at home will allow you to choose the environment that your dog dies in. You could provide the dog with comforts as a sign of the last respects and a nice farewell.

The last advantage is that the other pets can view the body and will understand the terms that lead to his death. Viewing the body will provide the other pets with the full closure they required.

Expert view this opportunity as a relief since the other pets could get depressed searching and wondering where the dog disappeared to.

Conducting euthanasia at home also has its disadvantages. The vet may not be in a position to conduct the procedure at your home. If having the procedure done at home is what you prefer, get a vet who will be available to come to your home.

Pros and Cons of Putting a Dog to Sleep at the Vet

Carrying out the procedure at the clinic allows the family to accept the loss of your dog. The cons are that the owner is not able to provide creature comforts to the dog, the owner has no control over the proceedings, and the family lacks the privacy as they grief.

How to Manage the Loss

Losing a member of the family is always heartbreaking; it hurts even more if you were very close friends. View the positive side of putting your dog to sleep rather than dwell on the part you lost a companion.

You relieved your dog of pain and granted the dog a painless death. View the procedure as an act of mercy and a show of kindness to your dog.  Focus on the memorable times with your dog and remember him with pride.  You could get a new dog and look forward to making better memories.


Do adequate research and consultation before deciding to carry out euthanasia. Try other options that are favorable for the dog. But if there is no other option learn how to put a dog to sleep and get a vet to administer the euthanasia solution.

It is important to have euthanasia knowledge before carrying out the procedure as it makes it easy to understand what is going on. Relieving your dog from its pain will be an act of kindness and will be like a reward for its loyalty and love for the years spent together. So if putting your dog to sleep is the best thing to do, go ahead and do it.

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