How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down in 2022

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Let’s be honest—your dog’s not just a pet, they’re a member of your family. Just the thought of losing your furry friend is soul-crushing, but sometimes when they’re very sick, there’s no other choice but to put it down. For this reason, it’s good to know some basic stuff about euthanasia—when should a dog be euthanized, how it’s done, or how much does it cost to put a dog down?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more, providing you with all the essential information for a serene goodbye to your best friend. Let’s go through all of it.

What Exactly Does “Putting a Dog Down” Mean?

To put down your dog means to end their life in a non-violent way due to illness or aggressive behavior. Frequently referred to as “putting down a dog to sleep,” the medical term for this procedure is euthanasia. Although euthanasia is also called mercy killing, with the word killing implying negative notions, the procedure is a noble act to end the suffering of your sick or dying pet.

When Is Euthanasia Required?

Euthanasia is usually recommended by veterinarians for dogs who no longer have good overall health or the ability to enjoy their lives due to illness or old age, although there are other factors that may warrant euthanasia as well. The veterinarian is the one who’ll help you decide whether to euthanize and guide you through the whole process, including the dog euthanasia cost. There are 4 main reasons why putting your dog to sleep may be inevitable, including:

Illness

Illness almost always comes with pain, and when your dog is experiencing ongoing pain for an extended period of time, euthanasia is probably the best you can do for them after all the CBD oils and other pain medication stop working. Diseases like cancer, congestive heart failure, Cushing’s disease, or tracheal collapse can cause severe pain. If your dog is not eating, has breathing problems, and has profound weight loss joined with constant vomiting and diarrhea, these may be signs your dog is dying, so it may be time to end their agony by putting a dog down.

Aggression

If your dog’s aggression extends to the point that they bite and injure people or kills other animals, the law requires euthanasia, setting up a hearing before the dog is euthanized to determine whether the dog poses a threat to public safety. At this hearing, the dog owner may present evidence in defense of their dog. If the court determines that the dog poses a threat to public safety, the dog may be euthanized. However, the hearing will not happen if the dog has rabies—in that case, euthanasia will be done by an official professional, and dog owners will carry the cost of putting a dog down.

Age

Even if your dog is in perfect health, some diseases and conditions will start to appear as the years go by. Despite getting some of the top joint supplements, some dogs may have mobility issues that will affect their happiness and wellbeing. Blindness and hearing loss, dementia, heart problems, and kidney failures are all among the common medical conditions in senior dogs as well. All of these health concerns can affect your dog’s quality of life, turning their every day into suffering. Despite the cost to put a dog down, euthanasia is the kindest option you can do for your dog in this case.

Overpopulation

The most unhuman reason for euthanasia is the alarming number of dogs in shelters. However, shelters have few options when the number of incoming homeless dogs outnumbers the number of eligible adopters. To make room for the endless number of unwanted animals, they must make the soul-crushing decision to euthanize less adoptable pets.

DID YOU KNOW: Out of 7.6 million pets taken to US shelters every year, 2.7 million end up getting killed.

How Is Euthanasia Done?

The procedure of putting down your dog can be done at the vet’s office, at a pet hospital, or at your own home. Although the dog euthanasia at home cost is higher, many dog owners choose this option, as the dog is most comfortable there. Others who don’t want the image of their dog dying in the house forever stuck in their heads decide to do the procedure in a medical office, especially if they have others this might impact.

Either way, the process of putting down a dog is quick, simple, and, most importantly, painless for the dog. Beforehand, the owner signs consent for euthanasia.

The procedure is done by intravenous injections of a pharmaceutical agent to quickly stop the heart, so the vet will prepare the dorsal area of the cephalic vein by shaving a small patch of hair. If your dog is agitated, the vet can give him a sedative, and proceed to administer a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital. Your dog won’t feel anything, falling peacefully asleep in 30 seconds.

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down

While worrying about money in this heartbreaking situation is the last thing on your mind, there are some costs you need to be aware of when deciding to put your dog to sleep. In general, the average cost to put a dog down depends on the dog’s size and the location where it will be done.

At-Home Euthanasia

Euthanasia is regulated by state laws and only certified and trained professionals can do it. To make the experience more peaceful for you and your dog, veterinarians offer the service of performing the procedure at your home. The dog owner usually decides where euthanasia would take place—in the dog’s bed, on the couch, on the owner’s lap, outdoors, etc.

The cost of at-home euthanasia usually depends on the distance between the vet’s office and the client’s home. Dog euthanasia at home cost ranges from $200 to $300. Even though it’s pricer, many dog owners choose to do it at home. Almost every dog has an aversion to vets, so choosing your home for their final moments of life is the best option.

In-Office Euthanasia

If you decide that the best option for euthanasia is the vet’s office, the cost will vary between $60 and $300. Your vet will guide you through the whole process, so you don’t need to be worried. If you can’t afford the procedure, you can do the procedure at your local shelter, and the dog euthanasia cost will be around $30. You can decide whether you’ll be present for your dog’s final moments, or you want to leave the room if it’s too much for you.

Key Takeaways

Euthanasia is usually recommended by veterinarians for dogs who no longer have good overall health or the ability to enjoy their lives due to illness or old age.
Euthanasia is done by intravenous injections of a drug that quickly and painlessly stops the heart.
At-home euthanasia costs from $200 to $300, plus additional costs.
In-office euthanasia is cheaper, ranging from $60 to $300.
The cost of dog cremation is lower than burial costs.
DID YOU KNOW: Medium-sized dog breeds have an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.

What to Do With Your Dog’s Remains and How Much It Will Cost You

After figuring out what is the cheapest way to put a dog down, when your dog has passed away, there are three things you can do with the dog’s remains. You can either bury or cremate them, or call animal control for disposing of the body. No matter what you end up choosing, take a look at each option, along with their pros and cons:

Burial

If you’re thinking of burying your dog in your backyard, make sure to check the state laws, as this is illegal in some states. On the other hand, burying your dog in the pet cemetery is perfectly legal. The cost depends on the dog’s size, and it can be around $400. Burial, together with the cost of putting a dog down, will sum up to over $800.

Pros
  • A pet cemetery may be a peaceful, solemn place to visit your pet’s remains
  • It enables a return to nature
  • By creating a headstone, your children can participate equally and get familiarized with death.
Cons
  • Burials can be pricier, depending on the casket and additional services
  • If you bury your pet at home, you may not be allowed to take their remains with you if you move
  • Home burial may be prohibited in some states.

Cremation

Cremation can be done both by vet’s offices or pet burial homes. Before cremation, you can choose whether you want an individual/private or a communal one, which will significantly influence the cost of dog cremation. With the private cremation, you get to have the ashes back, and with the communal, you don’t. The price for cremation depends on the dog’s size, ranging between $25 and $300. A private cremation costs more, from $150 to $300, while a communal cremation costs around $30.

Pros
  • Pet cremation is cheaper than burial
  • The cremated ashes can be put in a decorative vase and displayed in your home so you always feel the presence of your dog.
Cons
  • There’s no physical location where the deceased dog can be visited
  • Crematoriums aren’t always eco-friendly.

Third-party Disposal

The third option is calling an animal control company, which can provide you with the services of euthanasia and disposing of your dog’s body. The putting a dog to sleep cost is almost identical to the disposal cost—around $30, although there are a few NGOs that do this kind of service for free. Make sure you check if you’re suitable and they’re available in your area of living.

DID YOU KNOW: The oldest dog in the world was Bluey from Rochester, Australia. He lived for an incredible 29 years and 5 months!

Extra Costs You May Encounter

We showed you how much is it to put a dog down, but there’s more. Not much different from any other veterinarian treatments, there are extra costs that can pile up. You must be entirely informed of these additional costs to not be startled when you get the final bill.

  • If you decide on-at-home euthanasia, the cost of the vet’s trip will be priced. Also, there will be an additional charge to transport the body from your home to the burial home or the vet’s office.
  • If the vet is seeing your dog for the first time, he will examine the dog and charge you for that.
  • Sometimes sedatives are used before the procedure, and they will be included in the final cost to put a dog down.
  • You might have to pay for other goods, including IV catheters and needle disposal.

Ways of Making the Process More Cost-Effective

When your dog gets sick, you will do everything just to make them better, including paying a lot of bills from the vet. However, when the time comes and you need to put your dog down, there are a few cost-effective tips you can use. Let’s see what is the cheapest way to put a dog down.

  • If your dog is often sick with serious diseases, even though it’s hard, euthanasia can save you medical expenses while ending your dog’s suffering at the same time.
  • For a cost-effective procedure, decide on euthanasia in a vet’s office, because at-home putting a dog to sleep cost is higher.
  • Some animal shelters and humane societies offer low-cost euthanasia for $25 and above.
  • Some pet clinics and shelters have a Good Samaritan fund that offers euthanasia free of charge.
  • Cremation is a more cost-effective option compared to burial.
  • If you decide to cremate your dog, the cheapest option is mass or communal cremation, where your dog is cremated together with other animals.
DID YOU KNOW: The number one cause of dogs’ death is cancer, followed by obesity, diabetes, Lyme disease, and kidney disease.

Conclusion

Putting down your dog is one of the hardest decisions a pet owner can make. Nevertheless, in those sad moments, it’s essential to know how much is euthanasia for a dog and what options you have to be mentally and financially prepared. The most cost-effective option is in-office euthanasia, but communal cremation will save you money as well. After the procedure, it’s important to give yourself enough time to grieve—your dog was happy and loved, and you should cherish the good memories.

FAQ

How much does it cost to put a dog down without insurance?

If you don’t have pet insurance, the in-office euthanasia will cost from $60 to $300. On the other hand, the at-home procedure is more expensive—$200 to $300 plus additional fees.

When should a dog be euthanized?

Your dog should be euthanized when they’re sick with some terminal disease, are in a lot of pain, are up to the age when their organs start to fail, and when they attack or injure someone due to their aggressiveness.

What is the cheapest way to put a dog down?

While putting your dog down isn’t an easy decision to make, you need to know how much it costs to put a dog down, and research the cheapest options for you. Euthanasia done in your vet’s office is the most affordable choice, and some shelters can do the procedure at a low price.

ABOUT AUTHOR

When she couldn’t decide between being a nurse, a psychotherapist, and a financial genius, Ofelia decided to do all three. Her interests run far and wide, and she loves researching about everything you get to read on our website. Credit cards or top-notch software, she’s here to tell it all like it is.

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