Let’s discuss one of the most controversial topics in the pet world: euthanize a dog at home. If you don’t know, euthanizing an animal is putting it to sleep forever (death) using painless methods. Many dedicated pet lovers do not see why we write this post because the answer to them is clear: whenever they have to euthanize their dogs, just take them to the vets.
But we understand there are many pet owners who wish to say goodbye to their friends at home or just want to know more about this home euthanizing practice. That’s why we cover this topic in a NEUTRAL manner. This post is NOT meant to give any veterinary advice. This is for the PURE SAKE OF INFORMATION. You must always consult a qualified and reliable veterinarian before administering any medical solutions to your pets.
The Process Involved in Euthanizing a Dog
This is a very common method used by vets to put down a dog. In layman’s terms, the whole process involves two stages: putting dogs to sleep and administering them a powerful dose of drugs which help animals relax. This kind of drugs is called barbiturate drugs. You can tell by the name of the process that the injection is aimed at a vein of the dog, as opposed to intramuscular injection which is aimed at muscles.
In the case of dogs, the right vein to look for is that in the front legs. This vein is particularly hard to find in old dogs or dogs suffering from extreme illnesses. The putting down process takes place as soon as the injection is given to a dog. It all happens very quickly, maybe in several blinks of your eyes. Some people even use the word “instantaneous” to describe the process. Here is the order of what actually goes on inside a dog’s body as soon as it is injected:
- Consciousness loss
- Muscle ability loss
- Respiratory and cardiac ability loss
- Brain and central nervous system loss
In the end, vets must follow the procedure of checking the status of the dog to see if it is completely gone or not.
Intraperitoneal Injection and Intracardiac Injection
An intraperitoneal injection means administering drugs directly into the abdomen. An intracardiac injection means giving into the heart directly. Either of these two ways can be used instead of the intravenous injection if there are problems hindering the location of or access to veins.
The major differences between the intravenous injection and these two injections are the pain and time. It takes much longer (about 15 minutes) for an intracardiac injection to have effects. And it is much more painful to a conscious dog. Therefore, when resorting to intracardiac injections, vets feel obliged to make dogs completely unconscious first.
Euthanize a Dog at Home With a Vet
There are many tragic scenarios in which people find themselves left with no choice but to resort to euthanizing their dogs. Most animal care centers offer this service.
In this modern time, people have grown much closer to the animals they keep at home. Awareness of the equal and respected relationship between humans and animals has increased. People are treating their pets as actual human members of the family. So, it is easy to understand why many have opted to see off their dogs in warm home settings with close family members.
Different countries and different states of a country have their own LAWS regarding who can euthanize pets and where that act is allowed to happen. In many countries, only licensed professionals can carry out the task. So, wherever you are, do some research to understand clearly the laws.
Professional People and Equipment
Euthanizing a dog is indeed a complicated process to the doors although it may seem quick and easy to the watchers. This process has strict requirements in terms of drugs, administering tools, extra support (to hold and calm dogs, for example) as well as the expertise to deal with unexpected situations. Qualified vets with the right equipment can guarantee the success of the procedure without causing any further problems.
Many people do not feel comfortable with expressing their sorrows and grief in the presence of strangers. Some also don’t want others to talk about what’s going on with their pets. So, euthanizing a dog at home ensures owners’ privacy. Another plus point is that owners don’t have to drive home with the kind of distress that interrupts their concentration.
There are many veterinarians who refuse to euthanize pets outside their centers because the alternative environments are not as well controlled. Surely, vets can bring their equipment to your house, but operating outside surgery rooms is not as ideal. Some possible issues are poor lighting, unstable tables, contamination, etc.
Having vets, support teams and equipment brought to your house definitely means some extra money. Depending on the complication and distance that your vet has to travel, that “extra” can turn out to be too much.
Euthanize a Dog at Home Without a Vet
This practice receives mixed views. Some people feel it is fine to do if the person involved is fully capable and if there are no other choices. Others protest by saying that it is illegal (this is true in some areas of the world) and unethical. Vets have the trained eye, so they see a lot of risks in this practice and most of them would never recommend such a thing. We try to remain informative and neutral, so we do not take sides. We simply compile a list of pros and cons for you to see for yourself.
No “Service Unavailable” Problem
Not all vets offer this service outside their operation rooms. Plus, not everyone lives close to a vet that offers the service, and not everyone can afford the time to travel a great distance to a pet center. When owners cannot cope with their dogs’ sufferings anymore, this choice may seem the most viable.
Again, there are many people who are simply not in their best financial situation when the need to euthanize their dogs arises. Therefore, doing this without a vet may turn out to be the final resort.
No professional supports
There are many things that can go wrong without the supervision of a professional during the euthanizing process. When problems suddenly arise, the untrained are likely to lose control and cause their beloved dogs to suffer more than they should.
Putting down your dogs without a permit or a professional supervision can be deemed a breach of law in your area. Anyone thinking about this practice must do their research thoroughly to make sure everything is right.
We hope you have got all the information on whether you should euthanize a dog at home or not. We’d like to reiterate strongly that this post is NOT meant to give professional veterinary advice.
It is true that we have done a lot of research to provide the most reliable and important information for our readers. We do research so that you don’t have to. But we are not experts in this area. Please do NOT make your decisions based only on our post. You must always consult a qualified and reliable veterinarian before administering any medical solutions to your pets.