Pet parents find joy in caring for their puppies all through to adulthood. Eventually, you get used to your dog, and they become a family member. But, there comes a time to make a difficult decision.
Euthanizing your dog is one of those tough decisions. We all believe that the dog will die and go to heaven peacefully. But vet bills can be expensive!
For that reason, pet owners opt to use over-the-counter medicines. The amount of Benadryl to administer depends on the dog's weight. To euthanize a dog at home, doctors recommend administering 3-5 mg of Benadryl per pound of the dog's weight. Give the dose 2-3 times, and the drug will put your dog to sleep.
Other dosage factors include dog size, age, and medical history. Let’s discuss how to humanely euthanize a dog at home, why putting a dog to sleep with Benadryl is an option, and if it’s legal.
What is Dog Euthanasia?
Dog Euthanasia is a calm technique for peacefully putting a dog to sleep 🕊️ 🕊️ 😔. It helps relieve pets from extreme pain and life-threatening medical conditions.
“EUTHANASIA” is a Greek concept that comes from two words; “EU” and “THANATOS.”
- Eu: good
- Thanatos: death
Hence, good death.
The euthanizing concept was first introduced and performed by Samuel Williams in 1870. He used morphine and other anesthetics to shorten a suffering patient’s life.
The practice is still in use, and vets practice it legally. Euthanasia is different from animal cruelty.
Some of the questions to ask your vet about Euthanasia for Dogs before performing the heartstopping act include:
- Which conditions qualify for euthanasia
- What are the treatment options available for my dog’s condition, and what is their success rate
- What will my dog feel like
- What to expect from the process
- Can my children be there while I euthanize my dog?
- What happens to my dog’s body remains after Euthanasia
- Is there any other way to save my dog?
Your vet is there to support you and provide guidance in this difficult act. So, consult them if you have any doubts.
Below is Why you can Euthanize a Dog at home:
6 Reasons for When to Euthanize Your Dog
There are several reasons why you should euthanize your dog. They include the following:
1. Your Dog is Extremely Aggressive
Dogs in pain tend to be overly aggressive, even to the owners. To some extent, the dog may hurt a family member. In such cases, vets can recommend you put that dog to eternal sleep.
It’s common for dogs to show unusual behaviors. Talk to a professional dog trainer if your dog is aggressive and has no underlying medical condition.
Your puppy will likely be aggressive and show unusual behavior in new environments. In such cases, give the dog time and help them calm down.
Other causes of aggression in dogs include fear and frustration. Consult your vet and discuss your dog’s behavior. Euthanasia should be your last option.
2. Your Dog is Getting Too Old
Unlike humans, dogs age quickly. Our Dog Age Chart shows that 1 dog year equals 7 human years. So, when at 32, your 4-year-old dog is your age mate!
Old age in dogs comes with several challenges like massive hair loss, impaired vision, loss of hearing, and memory.
While some of these conditions are not life-threatening and can be treated, your vet can still suggest you give your dog an early send-off. After all, your dog has lived its best life, and only a short time remains.
3. Your Dog is Anxious
Anxiety can be as harmful to your dog as any medical condition. Advanced levels of anxiety may result in aggression and make your dog timid.
The common signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- Pooping and peeing in the house
- Lip licking
- Destructive behaviors
- Excessive barking
- Ears pulled bark or down
Your dog may not exhibit all these symptoms simultaneously, and you will need a vet to interpret each symptom. Anxiety makes a dog uncomfortable, and your vet may recommend Euthanasia for dogs.
4. Your Dog is Suffering From Life-threatening Sickness
There are many diseases that attack a dog throughout its lifetime. However, some of them are so serious that they put other healthy dogs in danger, and worst case, your dog may never get well; some diseases are incurable.
You can euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl if they have serious injuries.
Some serious health conditions that can make you euthanize a dog with Benadryl include:
- Anal sac impaction
- Organ failure
- Canine distemper
- Heart complications
- Ear infections
- Gum disease
Diseases like Canine Influenza are contentious and can spread to other dogs and household puppies. In such cases, your experts can recommend you euthanize a dog.
5. You Can’t Afford Long-term Treatment
Some illnesses require special treatment, putting your dog on long-term, expensive drugs. Daily visits to the vet and bi-weekly operations may also drain your finances.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to visit a psychologist because of the trauma your dog is putting you through. At this point, you can euthanize your dog with Benadryl and adopt a healthy dog.
6. Injuries and Pain
Just like in humans, pain and injuries can risk your dog’s life. If your vet says the dog may not recover from an injury, it’s time you put them to rest. Do the honorable thing and save your dog from unending pain.
What Justifies Euthanizing a Dog at Home?
Putting a dog to sleep with Benadryl is hard, especially when you know it’s forever. But you must accept and learn to live with what nature has for you.
Euthanizing a dog at home is also stressful. That’s why a majority prefer a vet doing it. So, what factors count and support your decision to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl?
Below are the reasons:
1. High Vet Bills
There is no doubt that euthanizing a pet at a vet is expensive. Instead, you can call a veterinarian, and they euthanize your dog at home.
2. Your Dog is Comfortable at Home
Despite choosing to put your dog to rest, they still deserve love and compassion. Your dog will also be calm, knowing they are in their favorite room.
3. You Want to Spend Your Dog’s Last Moments Together
While some vets allow you to be around as they work on your dog, others don’t.
You may want your entire family to be around as you bid farewell to your dog. The dog was your friend, and you will want to spend as much time together.
Euthanizing a dog at home gives you one last memory about the sick dog.
Is it Legal to Euthanize a Dog at Home with Benadryl?
It's illegal to euthanize a dog at home with without a license and proper training. You will violate animal rights and can be charged under Animal Cruelty Laws.
On the other hand, it’s legal for a veterinarian to Euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl. In the states where Euthanasia is legal, it’s more of a moral issue, and your vet should choose what to recommend.
As already mentioned, Benadryl doses vary from one dog to the other. Hence, dog size, weight, and other underlying conditions should be assessed.
Veterinarians or certified practitioners are highly trained and well acquainted with the process. Hence, you should visit a vet clinic and schedule a home Euthanasia.
Animal laws vary depending on the state and country you live in. If you live in the US, check Animal Euthanasia Laws by State.
Some states strictly prohibit euthanizing a dog, and in others, animal Euthanasia may be warranted, even if the animal is not suffering. (watch the video below)
We recommend you talk to an attorney and your vet before euthanizing a dog at home with Benadryl.
Please note that our website does not offer legal advice in any form, and you should always rely on a vet’s advice.
How Much Benadryl Does It Take To Euthanize a Dog?
Administering 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight will provide a calming effect (too little). The dose is recommended for treating anxiety, motion sickness, and mild allergies in most adult dogs.
However, if the dose is administered in a slight overdose, your dog will peacefully fall asleep and never wake up again. That is why we read cases of “Benadryl killed my dog.”
Vets recommend giving 3-5 mg of Benadryl per pound of the dog’s weight. Administer the dose 2-3 times. Benadryl effects will start manifesting in your dog within thirty minutes.
The effects of Benadryl medicine create a simulated coma, more of putting your dog to forced sleep. While your dog is in this sleep, Benadryl will discontinue the regular operation of all other organs.
By accurately dosing Benadryl, you can have peace of mind knowing you are providing the most peaceful death to your dog.
How Do I Prepare Myself for Pet Euthanasia?
Your dog has been your loyal companion, and now is the time to ensure their final moments are filled with comfort and peace.
While focusing on physical aspects and technicalities, remember to create a serene and loving environment.
You can bring along a veterinarian to help you with preparation:
1. Preparing for Dog Euthanasia
Your dog’s eyes may shut down after the first dose. You should be prepared to handle the grief and loss of your dog.
Sometimes, your dog may undergo agonal breathing— taking deep breaths. You need to understand that it is a reflex from Benadryl drugs, not stress or pain.
Knowing what to expect during the Euthanasia process will save you from anxiety and keep you calm.
You should have the following before administering Benadryl to your dog:
- A syringe
You should also plan for the cremation or burial of your pet.
2. Cooperate With Your Veterinarian
Your dog may not be used to your vet, resulting in aggression. You should be around and let your dog notice your presence, as it helps keep the dog calm. If your vet recommends the dose and you administer it, stick to the doctor’s prescription.
3. Focus on Your Demeanor and Emotions
Dogs are incredibly intuitive and can pick up on our feelings and energy. So, you should remain calm and composed.
Take deep breaths, speak gently, and offer gentle strokes or cuddles. You may let your dog lay on you. Assure your dog of your love and support.
4. Make it Memorable
Before settling on euthanizing your dog with Benadryl, you must have done so much soul-searching. You then plan and set a date for the actual send-off.
Take photos of your dog. Bring all the dog’s best toys, props, and food. Play soft dog music to keep your dog calm. When death strikes your dog, you know you had the best moments together.
5. Use Aromatherapy for Ambiance
Scents like lavender or chamomile have been found to have calming effects on dogs.
You can diffuse essential oils or use a pet-safe spray to infuse the air with these relaxing scents. They will help your dog stay calm and relaxed.
6. Up to This Point, Do You Still Want to Euthanize Your Dog?
Euthanizing should only work for critically ill and suffering animals. If you still want to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl, below are final tips to help you consider putting your dog down:
- Your dog has lost weight, doesn’t eat, vomits, and is sick
- Still in pain, even after continuous treatment
- Poor muscle coordination, leading to minimal or no mobility
- Always asleep and doesn’t even wag 😪
- Has a huge wound with no signs of recovery
- Has a highly contagious disease
Any noticeable changes in your dog’s lifestyle can also result in euthanization, in consultation with a vet.
How to Euthanize a Dog at Home with Benadryl
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl:
- Make a table on which your dog will be put to rest
- Your vet will administer Benadryl to your dog three times. The first dose will help your dog calm down and fall asleep
- The vet will wait and watch your dog’s reaction
- If the drug doesn’t work in putting your dog to sleep forever, your vet will inject more subsequent and lethal doses.
If the professional sees no functional movement and reflexes in your dog, they will declare your dog’s death.
Warning: Viewer discretion is advised.
Precautions to Take While Using Benadryl to Euthanize a Dog
Benadryl can be lethal in overdose. It also won’t work if administered in small doses. So, exercise the precautions below:
- It’s safe to give Benadryl to your dog to treat allergies
- Don’t give 0.8mg – 1.8 mg per body weight if you intend to euthanize your dog.
- Monitor your dog’s response to Benadryl. Pay close attention to breathing patterns, heart rate, and overall behavior
- Always consult your vet before giving your dog any drug
Why Should I Use Benadryl to Euthanize a Dog?
Vets primarily recommend Benadryl because it’s cheap and does the magic.
Studies show that the drug has active compounds that, when taken, will put your dog to normal sleep, followed by an intense comma.
How Do You Grieve a Pet After Euthanasia?
Once your dog has been put to sleep or after euthanizing your dog, you should arrange their burial and cremation. It will also help with anxiety if you grieve the loss.
How to overcome the death of your dog is the greatest challenge you will face after Euthanasia. You should find a support group of pet parents or friends who have gone through the same before. Ask them how they dealt with healing.
Various online resources are also available to offer guidance and support to pet owners contemplating euthanasia. Many websites and forums provide information on end-of-life care for pets, including recognizing signs of pain and what to do with a dead dog. These resources can help you make informed decisions.
You should not feel guilty about euthanizing your dog. Euthanasia is different from animal cruelty.
Alternatives to Euthanizing a Dog at Home
Benadryl is not the only option to help put your dog down; it should be the last option after spending days thinking about it.
One of the most suitable alternatives is finding a local animal rescue or shelter for your dog. Some vets will treat your dog for free if you disclose what you intend to do.
Some charities also raise funds for sick dogs. If you can’t raise hospital bills for your dog, search for one on the internet or social media. Present your case, and they may help.
What Medicine Will Euthanize a Dog?
Several over-the-counter medicines can euthanize a dog. One of the most popular and cheapest options is Benadryl pills. Vets also use Pentobarbital, which targets and impairs the dog’s nervous system.
What Is the Cheapest Way To Put a Dog Down?
Using Benadryl as an euthanizer is the cheapest way to put a dog down at home. Benadryl is an antihistamine known for its calming effects on dogs. However, a slight overdose will put your dog in a coma. Subsequent doses will impair your dog’s internal organs, putting it to rest peacefully.
Can I Use Liquid Benadryl to Euthanize My Dog?
Benadryl is available in the form of tablets, liquids, and pills. You can use whichever form you can easily find in consultation with a certified vet.
How Can I Help My Dog Pass Away Peacefully?
Visit a vet near you; they will help put your dog down peacefully. In most cases, doctors use an overdose of anesthetics. But oral medicines like Benadryl will work. To help your dog pass away peacefully, relax and stay calm. Also, keep massaging your dog while the vet is euthanizing it.
How Can I Put My Dog Down at Home Fast?
Yes. You can easily put your dog at home within 30 minutes by using Benadryl. Before putting your dog down, a vet has to assess your dog’s condition and measure the dog’s weight. They will then recommend a dose that will put down your dog fast.
Is It Safe to Use Benadryl to Put Down Dogs?
Yes. Using Benadryl is one of the cheapest, safest and best way to euthanize a dog. Vets will most likely recommend the medicine for putting sick dogs down. In the right doses, Benadryl won’t harm your dog and will only deal with anxiety. To help put the dog down, you must overdose on Benadryl.
How Do You Put a Dog Down With Pills?
To put a dog down with pills:
- Prepare a table where your dog will be resting
- With the help of a vet, administer the pills to your dog
- You can add the pills to your dog’s best treat
- Keep massaging your dog while they get unconscious
Once the pills take effect, your dog will lose consciousness and rest peacefully.
How Can I Make My Dog Unconscious at Home?
You shouldn’t want to make your dog unconscious without a reason. But if you intend to put your dog to rest peacefully, administer an overdose of Benadryl. We recommend you consult a vet before making your dog unconscious.
Take Away on How To Euthanize a Dog at Home With Benadryl
Putting a dog to sleep with Benadryl is not an easy decision, especially when it’s at home. We understand the pain pet parents go through. But you shouldn’t let your dog suffer while they can rest calmly. Euthanizing a dog should be the last option.
By understanding how to euthanize a dog at home with Benadryl, adequately preparing, and creating a peaceful environment, we can honor the final moments of our dogs.
Remember, consult your veterinarian, seek support during this difficult time, and surround your dog with love. As you bid them farewell, remember that their legacy lives on in our hearts, and they deserve nothing less than a gentle goodbye.
Kogan, L. R., & Cooney, K. A. (2023). Defining a “Good Death”: Exploring Veterinarians’ Perceptions of Companion Animal Euthanasia. Animals : An Open Access Journal From MDPI, 13(13). https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13132117