How to Euthanize a Dog With Benadryl

Making the decision to put your dog down can be a difficult one. Deciding on the right time to do it can be tough and deciding on the way to do it could take time and research. The best way to euthanize your dog is to contact your veterinarian.

If you are unable to visit your veterinarian there are ways that you can put your dog to sleep in the comfort of your home that are humane and painless for your pet.

Can you legally euthanize your own pet?

Euthanasia must be carried out by a trained and licensed practitioner. You cannot put your dog down yourself, as this would be considered animal cruelty by law.

There are plenty of places you can find advice such as your vet’s surgery, local council or government services and online support groups.

See: Low / No Cost Pet Euthanasia

Can a dog wake up after euthanasia?

Dogs cannot wake from euthanasia if the procedure is performed correctly. All practitioners go through rigorous training and must have a license to perform euthanasia.

The process involves giving a dog a specific dosage of anesthetic, designed to push them into a deep sleep, then unconsciousness, followed by death. During this time, breathing and heart rate slow down until the heart stops and the brain begins to shut down.

There have been very rare occasions of euthanasia being unsuccessful. These cases were caused due to an incorrect dosage being administered. The most common occurrence of dogs waking from euthanasia is when owners try to put their dogs to sleep themselves at home.

Is there any way to humanely euthanize a dog at home?

If you need to put a dog down at home, there are services that can help. They will come to your house to do the job for you.

The decision to euthanize a suffering pet is never easy. While some pet owners choose to have the veterinarian administer the service, others consider in-home euthanasia.

For home euthanasia, your veterinarian will prepare and administer an overdose of barbiturates that will euthanize your dog. This humane and painless way to end your pet’s suffering offers you peace of mind that your pet will not suffer. Home euthanasia is effective for dogs that are suffering from serious health problems or aggressive for a vet’s office setting.

Your veterinarian will talk with you about whether in-home euthanasia is right for your pet or not. The process can be done at home or at the veterinarian’s office, depending on the circumstances of the dog’s condition.

When is it the right time to euthanize your dog?

There are many factors to consider when deciding when to euthanize your dog. The dog’s health, your access to care, and the cost of that care can all factor into the decision to euthanize your dog. Identifying the signs that your dog is nearing its end of life is the first step when figuring out if it is time to consider euthanizing your pet.

If your pet is in a lot of pain, it may be a good idea to consider euthanizing them. Chronic pain that cannot be controlled easily will cause your dog to suffer immensely until it dies of natural causes. If the veterinarian cannot prescribe medicine to help them relieve the pain or you cannot afford the medicine needed, it may be best to put your dog to sleep. There is no benefit to keeping your dog around just so they can suffer from chronic pain.

If your dog is frequently vomiting uncontrollably, it may be nearing the end of its life. Constant vomiting can cause dehydration in your dog that can be very painful. If your dog cannot keep their food down, they will not survive long anyway. Euthanizing your dog on the onset of this issue can save many days of painful and traumatic experiences for you and your dog. Constant uncontrollable diarrhea is another sign that it is time to put your dog to sleep.

If your dog has stopped eating and drinking on its own, it is time to consider euthanizing them. Dogs cannot survive for very long without food and water. If your dog stops eating and drinking, they may be experiencing a health issue that can be very painful in the long run. If you must force-feed your dog, it may be best to put them to sleep.

If your dog frequently has accidents in the house or stops alerting you when they need to go to the bathroom, it is time to consider euthanizing your dog. Dogs that are incontinent or cannot control their bowels are most likely very sick or old and will most likely die soon.

You do not want your final memories of your dog to be tainted by the irritation of always having to clean up after them. If your dog is having frequent accidents in the house for an extended time, you may want to consider euthanizing them to help manage their comfort levels at the end of their life.

Dogs that have lost interest in the activities that they love to do may be in pain or discomfort. If your dog sleeps for abnormally long periods of time, it may be suffering from a disease that can be very painful as it progresses. Euthanizing your dog in this scenario will put them out of their discomfort and allow them to rest.

If your dog experiences an extended period of labored panting or coughing and looks like it has trouble breathing for an extended period, you may also want to consider euthanizing them.


Putting a dog to sleep with benadryl
Putting a dog to sleep with Benadryl

How to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl

If you do not have the ability to treat your dog’s ailment because it is too expensive, your dog is too old, or you do not have access to certified veterinary services, it may be time to put your dog to sleep.

If you are able, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for euthanasia. However, there are many scenarios where this is not a possibility. In these situations, you can perform euthanasia at home with some easily accessible products.

Benadryl is an over-the-counter allergy medication that you can purchase at any drug store. In small amounts, it can be used to treat allergies, anxiety, and motion sickness in dogs. If given a much larger dose, your dog will become very drowsy, fall asleep, and never wake back up.

The Benadryl will create a simulated coma-like state that will feel like your dog is simply falling asleep. The Benadryl will shut down the functions of your dog’s internal organs, and they will pass peacefully and quietly without the pain of any kind.

A normal dose of Benadryl for your dog depends on its weight. If you are using Benadryl to address your dog’s minor issues like allergies it is said that you should give them 1mg per pound that they weigh. For example, a 20-pound dog would use 20 mg.

How much Benadryl does it take to euthanize a dog? If you are using Benadryl to euthanize your dog, you should give them 3 to 4 times the recommended amount. A dog of 20 pounds would need 60 to 80 mg of Benadryl to successfully be put to sleep. It is always good to give your dog more than you think they may need to ensure that the Benadryl does the job properly.

There are many benefits to putting a dog to sleep with Benadryl at home. You can make sure that your beloved pet is comfortable and surrounded by family. You will not have to put your dog through the scary ride to the veterinarian’s office. You can perform a ceremony at home that is fitting and respectful to your dog.

If your dog is in pain or discomfort, it may not be a good idea to move them around very much. Learning how to euthanize a dog with Benadryl at home is the best way to make sure that your pet has a comfortable and painless end to their life.

How to euthanize a dog with over the counter drugs

Putting a dog to sleep with over-the-counter drugs is not humane and painless.

Some OTC meds like Tylenol PM and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) can be deadly to pets. These medications can cause serious damage to the stomach and intestines of dogs and cats, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, bleeding, and even death.

If you suspect your dog has eaten an OTC pain reliever, call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Do dogs know when they are dying?

We can never know for certain if dogs have an awareness of dying since they cannot speak to us. Certainly, when dogs are sick, they seem to become sad or withdrawn.

Euthanasia is carefully managed so that the dog first experiences a sensation just like falling asleep. They would feel no pain or discomfort, only tiredness. Once they are asleep, the anesthetic will render them unconscious and their organs will slowly start to shut down.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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