How to Euthanize a Dog with Sleeping Pills

How to Euthanize a Dog with Sleeping Pills

Being a loving human parent to your dogs, I’m sure you’ve given your maximum effort to take care of them the best that you can ever since they came into your lives. You’ve probably put them to sleep when they are still a puppy, teach them how to play dead, without a doubt, you’ve already shared so many beautiful memories.


So it is definitely unfortunate to see them going through some illness from which they can’t recover. And when it is time for them to go, we need to give them the peace they deserve. We have to face the sad truth that pets do not live as long as humans. 

In this article, as we are trying to get ourselves ready, I will help you learn how to euthanize a dog with sleeping pills. So keep on reading below to know how to do this appropriately. Sometimes, all that is left to do is to take some tough calls.

What is Euthanizing?

Euthanizing or the process of euthanasia is said to be a gift to ailing pets and a curse to owners. It is a method of intentionally ending the life of our pet in a non-painful way to relieve them from the pain and distress they are going through.

It is commonly done to dogs, cats or other animals suffering from any medical condition that cannot be treated or is stopping him from living a normal life and causing him much pain and misery.

To do this, you will need:

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    The correct sleeping pills. Pentobarbital Sodium is the most efficient anesthetic drug to euthanize your dog that it is even approved by the Humane Society of America to be used in this method. You can choose between oral barbiturates or those that come with injection.
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    A dose of Sedatives. The effect of barbiturates can be painful to your dog. Of course, we don’t want to let go our beloved pet in a much more painful way; so I highly recommend you give your dog some sedatives to keep them relax. Consult your veterinarian to make sure you are using the correct sedatives.
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    Help from an expert. It would be best to have a qualified and practicing veteran by your side even if you’re doing this process at home and you think you have everything you need. This would make sure you are euthanizing your dog in the right way. And just in case some problem occurs in the procedure such as seizures, then a medical help can be useful and must be available immediately. It would be best to not let your dog suffer.

Things You Need to Know Before Euthanizing Your Dog

There are few things you need to consider before you subject your dog to the process of euthanasia. You can begin by asking yourself some questions such as:

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    How do I know that it is the right time to euthanize my dog? Is this the right choice for my pet? Always discuss this with your vet. Let her or him help you if your dog is suffering from long-term pain. Take note that dogs do not necessarily cry or howl to show he’s in pain. Other signs could include loss of appetite, lack of enthusiasm to play or change in behavior.
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    How will this affect my family? Decide beforehand if any of your family members wants to view the procedure or not; though the presence of family and friends during this time can be comforting
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    How much would it cost? Doing the procedure at home may cost less than doing it at the veterinary clinic or in the hospital. If you’re doing it at home, just make sure there’s a vet by your side.

I understand that it can be hard to say goodbye to your lovable pet, it may even break your heat when you’ve finally arrive to the decision to euthanize your dog. So I suggest that you make the most of the remaining time. Here are some things you can do when you bond with your dog on his last hours.

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    Talk to them! Your voice will probably be the most comforting things he will ever hear. Convince him to eat some high calorie dog food so he’ll gain strength for a moment.
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    Keep on hugging him. I’m sure you’d miss it when your dog’s gone.
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    Pet them. Your dog will always cherish this.
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    Hold his paw. He may be scared of the pain he is going through and what’s to come.

Four Steps on Euthanizing Your Dog with Sleeping Pills

I divided the whole process of how to euthanize a dog with sleeping pills into four steps to make this a bit easier for you.

Here are the steps that you need to go through to bid farewell to your beloved pet.

Step 1: Prepare yourself emotionally and mentally.

Euthanizing your long time furry friend is a tough thing to go through, so you need to prepare for it. Spend time with your family and give support to one another. If you have children who’ve developed a special attachment to the dog, I recommend that you don’t lie to them. Most parents choose to say the dog has run away or has gone to another place, but I suggest you sit down with them and tell them exactly what’s about to happen.

Step 2: Consult your veterinarian. 

Before you fully implement the procedure, it is imperative to let a regular veterinarian to thoroughly examine the dog. Ask the doctor all the matters you doubt about, how much dosage you would need to euthanize your dog with sleeping pills or if Euthanasia is the last option for your pet. Get as much expert opinion as you can, even regarding the small details.

Step 3: Make your dog comfortable.

A comfortable area may not be an issue when you are doing this in a clinic, however doing this at your home requires a place where your dog would feel at ease. I suggesting you put them into their favorite dog bed.

Step 4: Administer the drug.

Begin the process by giving your pet sedatives, this will help your dog relax his muscles and make it easier for him and his body to handle euthanasia drug. Afterwards, administer the euthanasia drug or the sleeping pills. 

This drug will relax your dog’s muscle, will put his breathing to stop gradually and slowly, the heart will stop breathing.

You might notice certain reflex actions such as twitching or gasping. Your dog may even discharge urine or stool. But take note that these are not signs that your dog is still alive. The veterinarian can confirm it to you that the heart is no longer beating and your beloved dog has now departed.

Final Thought

I know the process of learning how to euthanize a dog with sleeping pills makes all our stomachs drop. But sometimes, putting our dogs to sleep forever can be the best decision. It is even probably what your dog would have wanted, to be free from all the pain and suffer he’s been going through.

So how do you plan to cope up with the loss of your pet? Let’s support each other by sharing your experience below. It would be comforting to hear from.
And oh, don’t forget to share this with your friends too.


  1. I’ve read lots of articles today on how to put ur dig to sleep at home.i have one problem he won’t eat anything so I can’t give him anything.he hasn’t walked since last night so I can’t take him to vet and even if I could he bites people he don’t know

  2. Hello Ana. Thank you for the very useful information. We have a 15 year old (approx.) stray that I picked up in the grocery store parking lot 12 years ago, and he’s in the end stages of renal failure. He still eats every once in awhile, but ALL of his joy is gone, and it’s heartbreaking to watch as he wastes away. We love this little guy as a member of our family, but I need to put an end to this because I think he’s in pain and he’s passing blood. More vet bills are out of the question, financially. Here are my questions…

    Which household sedatives will work? How much time is required after their administration before giving the barbiturate (phenobarb in this case)? And which dose of phenobarb will be sufficient to let him pass? How many milligrams? Thank you for your time and help in this matter, really.


  3. Hi Ana, I just want to thank you, I was in dire need on how to put my baby boy down at home!! It breaks my heart having to do this!!! He is in so much pain!! Thank You!

  4. I’m dying inside. She’s so sick, so old, and I’m completely broke. I’m scared she’s in pain, although she’s shows no signs of pain. I’m going to do it myself, there’s no one else. I just don’t know which sleeping aid.

  5. I’m sorry, but you talk about the pain the dog will go through dying at home through your method of choice. This is not humane! I would prefer my dog die in the comfort of his own home, but not like this! To advise people to choose this method that you describe as painful is irresponsible. People who follow your advise will be the ones who only care about cost. Your quotes, “The effect of barbiturates can be painful to your dog.” and “He may be scared of the pain he is going through and what’s to come.” If you love your pet you won’t put him down like this.

  6. 1st off, sorry about your dog,,,
    If your dog bites people he doesn’t know, then you might want to put or just hold a muzzle on him and if your dog can’t walk then maybe you should have carried him and you probably won’t or didn’t have to worry about him not eating because the vet will take care of that. Good luck

  7. Is there anybody that can help me with my beloved Ernie boy who can hardly walk has no coronation can’t see and walks in circles but I love this do so much talk about loyalty this dog has never wanted to be with other dogs even a cute female dog I hooked him up with leaving them alone for a romantic evening but when I came home much to my surprise Ernie didn’t want nothing to do with her besides having a poop contest he has always been faithful to me and no interest in any other female period, but Ernie is suffering now and I can’t afford a vet and must help my little guy to end his suffering please help us if you can.

  8. I don’t know what to do for my beloved Ernie boy who is 16 years old and has lost his cordnation is blind can’t walk and just stares at the wall but the worst is he has fleas so bad they are eating him alive and I’ve tried everything to get rid of them but nothing works except dawn dish washing soap but only for a little bit then they are back, I’ve bombed the rooms, vacuum daily most twice,give him a bath almost daily, use front line it doesn’t work at all, if someone knows of a way to help Ernie please do so as I’m thinking about putting him down and it’s killing g me I love my boy beyond love but the fleas are so bad I can’t stand it and I know he is suffering , I can not afford a vet because he wants 1500 to check him out, Please help if you know of something that will save Ernie boy who is so stubborn it’s funny.
    Thank You


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