If love could save them, they would be with us forever, but unfortunately, there comes a time when we all have to say goodbye to our four-legged family members.
Losing a dog is an emotional process, but sometimes putting them to sleep can help prevent suffering and allow them to pass as peacefully as possible.
End-of-life services for dogs can vary in price, and if you choose to have them cremated, this can also influence the price.
To help put this into perspective, here is what you need to know.
What Is Euthanasia and When Should It Be Used?
Most vets refer to the process of putting dogs to sleep as euthanasia.
This is a medical procedure that allows dogs to peacefully pass on without any pain.
Euthanasia is usually advised for dogs that are struggling with a lot of pain or have another condition that impacts their quality of life.
Conditions like this can take away a dog’s ability to enjoy life, and without euthanasia, they can continue to struggle and suffer until they pass on their own.
To prevent suffering, your vet may recommend euthanasia and it is a decision that you should make together.
If your dog is suffering from ongoing pain, labored breathing, uncontrollable coughing, or an illness or disease that cannot be controlled or treated, euthanasia should be considered so that they can pass with dignity.
What Happens During Euthanasia?
When you choose euthanasia, the procedure will usually take place at your vet’s office, although some may do it in your home.
In order to make your dog as comfortable as possible, your vet will usually administer a sedative.
This will enable your dog to slip into unconsciousness.
A high dose of sodium pentobarbital will then be injected, causing the heart to stop within 30 seconds.
During this process, your dog won’t feel any pain, and overall it will be like falling asleep.
If you wish to bury your dog at home, your vet will place the body in a container for transport if you had the procedure done there.
However, if you wish for your dog to be cremated, the vet will make the arrangements and they will keep the body until it is transported to the cremation company.
How Much Does Pet Cremation Cost?
When it comes to how much it will cost to put your dog to sleep, there are a few variables.
While euthanasia usually starts at around $50, this can differ by region.
The cost can also vary based on your dog’s weight. Always ask your vet ahead of time how much you can expect to pay.
Similarly, the materials used can also contribute to the cost.
Things such as IV catheters and medication can increase costs.
Usually, if things like this are required, the additional costs can be between $150 to $400 depending on where you are and what your dog needs.
If you choose to bury your dog yourself, you won’t have to pay for anything other than a headstone, if you choose.
However, if you want to have your dog cremated and returned to you, this will cost you extra.
There is also communal creation, in which the body is cremated and not returned.
Although many owners opt for private cremation to ensure that they can hold on to the ashes, and in some instances, vets or private companies will offer this as part of an end-of-life package.
Packages like this will include euthanasia and private cremation.
Some may even include options for purchasing an engraved urn with your dog’s name.
Examples of services like this include:
- The Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, which offers euthanasia for $35 and free communal cremation. For private cremations, you can make arrangements with affiliated companies for discounted rates.
- The Animal Humane Society of Minnesota also offers euthanasia for $85, with some post-services available at a discount.
If you believe your dog is suffering or if your vet has recommended euthanasia to help them pass on, it’s a good idea to ask them about packages like these.
You may also look around your city for other options if your vet doesn’t offer end-of-life packages like these.
Things to Keep In Mind
Making the decision to put your dog down is never easy.
However, if they are in pain and their enjoyment of life has declined beyond what can be helped, euthanasia can be the best way to allow them to pass on peacefully.
Although we all wish that we could keep our dogs with us forever, it’s important to remember that, even if we have to let them pass on, they will always be a part of the family, and they will never be forgotten.