My Dog Needs to Be Put to Sleep But I Can’t Afford It

“It’s so hard to watch our pets get older. For my dog Sebastian, his health has declined over the last year, and he’s having trouble eating and drinking. Because I love him so much, I don’t want him to suffer but can’t bring myself to put him down either. I love my dog dearly, but I just can’t afford the cost of putting him down at a vet clinic. Every time I look at him, his big brown eyes make me feel guilty for even thinking about not paying for his expenses. Please help me pay for my dog to be put to sleep; he means the world to me!”

My dog needs to be put down but I can't afford it

How much does it cost to put my dog to sleep?

If you are having a local veterinarian perform your dog’s euthanasia then the cost will be between $200 and $400 depending on the size of your dog and where you live. However, if you choose in-home pet euthanasia services then the price may run you up to $600 or more.

Some states have laws regulating the cost of pet euthanasia, while others don’t. Contact your veterinarian to find out how much it will cost to euthanize a dog.

What to do if you can’t afford to euthanize your dog?

If you have a dog, then you know how it makes you smile. Unfortunately, for many reasons, your dog may need to be put to sleep (euthanized). While this is a sad situation, there are ways in which you can make this situation more manageable.

  1. Talk to your veterinarian to see if they offer any discount programs or free euthanasia for pets whose owners are low income, elderly or disabled.
  2. The American Humane Society also offers a list of participating low-cost euthanasia clinics across the United States that may be able to perform pet euthanasia at reduced rates.
  3. If you are having trouble affording the cost of euthanasia, please contact your local humane society or animal shelter. They may be able to provide assistance with costs or even donate money to help cover the cost of your pet’s final moments on earth.
  4. Many people don’t realize that there are other options besides euthanizing dogs that are suffering from terminal illnesses or injuries. For example, you can take your dog to a local shelter or rescue organization. These organizations may take in terminally ill pets who must be put down and have the resources to nurse them back to health for adoption.
  5. Posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites asking for donations. Give a brief description of the situation and what type of veterinarian you are looking for. You might be surprised how quickly people come forward to help out.
  6. You can try reaching out to family and friends for assistance with the cost of euthanasia. They might be willing to help you cover the cost or donate towards your dog’s last days.
  7. Alternatively, you can ask your vet about pain management options for your dog; some procedures and medications can help relieve that pain and make your pet more comfortable.
  8. Some states allow pets to be put down by gunshot if performed correctly. If this is an option, ask your veterinarian whether it is appropriate before taking any further steps to end an animal’s life.

What is the cheapest way to put a dog down?

The cheapest way to put a dog down is to get the dog euthanized at an animal shelter. There are some shelters that provide free euthanasia services for dogs.

Animal control officers are often trained in euthanasia and may offer low-cost services to owners who cannot afford to pay for veterinary care. The fees vary by location, so call your animal control office for prices.

Can you put dogs down with sleeping pills?

No. If you are considering putting a dog down with sleeping pills, it is important to know that there are many problems which can occur. In fact, you may find that you make your pet’s passing very painful and uncomfortable.

Sleeping pills are not designed for euthanasia. They are prescribed by your vet to help with anxiety in your pet or to help them sleep better. These medications are not strong enough to kill an animal and there is no guarantee that they will work. It may just cause your dog to have unpleasant side effects like seizures, vomiting, and respiratory failure before they ultimately die.

The only ethical way to put a dog down is with an overdose of barbiturates, delivered intravenously by a veterinarian. Often, the dog is lightly sedated first to reduce their stress. The drug causes unconsciousness within seconds and then stops the heart within a minute or two.

How to put a dog down without a vet

The procedure for putting down a dog without a veterinarian is sometimes called “do it yourself” or D.I.Y. pet euthanasia. This method of pet euthanasia is not recommended for everyone, but for those that feel comfortable with the process, it can be a viable alternative to making an appointment to have your dog put down by a vet.

It is not easy to have to put a dog down, but for the sake of your family or others, it might be necessary. In these cases, you need to do it quickly and humanely. There are several methods you can use, but some are better than others. The best way is to ask a veterinarian to help you, but if that is not possible or if the vet is too far away, you will have to decide which method is best for your situation.

In order to euthanize your dog at home, you will need some supplies in addition to being comfortable with the process. Items needed include:

  • Propofol, Xylazine, Acepromazine, or another anesthetic to induce anesthesia.
  • Barbiturate to induce the dog’s heart to stop beating.

Propofol and barbiturate are usually given in a large dose via intravenous injection. It will quickly render the pet unconscious and cause the heart to stop beating usually within one or two minutes. The dog will not feel any pain or discomfort during this process. Afterward, the veterinarian will check for vital signs to make sure that the dog was truly dead before disposing of the body in an appropriate manner (usually burial).

If you are faced with the decision to put an animal down, it is important to understand that there are alternatives. You can call your local humane society or SPCA for help in finding a veterinarian who will assist you in putting your pet down.

Trying to locate a veterinarian willing to do this procedure “under the table” is not likely to get you any results. The veterinarian’s association may also be able to help you find a qualified vet who will come out and put your pet down in your home or yard.

If you have decided that euthanasia is the best solution, then you must be absolutely sure that this is what you want. Social organizations can be very helpful in helping you through this process by providing someone to talk with as well as by helping locate a veterinarian who will work with you.

Conclusion of putting a dog to sleep

You may be able to reduce the cost of putting your dog down by talking with your vet about the options and asking for help. Your bank or credit union might also have low-interest loans available, or you could consider crowdfunding.

As a final reminder, if you are considering euthanasia for your dog because of financial reasons, know that there are many resources to help you. Many vets will work with you to reduce the cost of treatment. You can also contact the Humane Society, American Humane Association, and other animal organizations for assistance.

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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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