First, we should make it clear that this term means euthanasia- the humane and painless killing of an animal in order to end its suffering. There are many reasons why you might want to euthanize your pet: they’re terminally ill or injured and there’s no hope for recovery; the veterinarian has determined that their quality of life will be so poor following surgery or other treatment that it doesn’t seem worth going through with it; they’ve been hit by a car and can’t get up, or have had such severe seizures that they can’t walk or eat without help from someone else. They may also be aggressive due to old age, illness, or dementia.
It is important to recognize that euthanasia, though a difficult decision for many people, often represents the best and kindest choice you can make for your pet. It requires a huge amount of courage to put your animal down, but it lets them die with dignity and frees them from pain and suffering that would otherwise worsen as they continue living on without hope of recovery.
There are many options for euthanasia depending on the species of your pet: some vets may use a shot of a powerful anesthetic drug like pentobarbital sodium (the “Pentobarb” injection); an overdose of an intravenous anesthetic called propofol; or inhalant anesthesia where animals are placed in chambers which flood their lungs with anesthetic gas.
If you want your pet euthanized at home by a vet who isn’t there at that moment, they will usually write you a prescription for pentobarbital, to be taken either orally by the owner or by mouth via syringe.
So how much does it cost to put your pet down? Prices vary widely depending on where you live and what type of euthanasia your vet uses, but in general you can expect to pay between $100 and $300. It’s important to remember that this is not an easy decision for the person who wrote the check, so keep that in mind when asking about costs. If you are at all unsure whether or not putting your animal down is right for them, perhaps you should reconsider- many people end up regretting it if they decide their pet isn’t suffering enough, because once they’re gone they’re gone.
So if you find yourself in the position where the only humane thing to do is euthanize your pet, please don’t shy away from it out of concern for what it will cost. It’s a small price to pay for giving your animal an end to their misery and pain.
Make sure that at some point you make this call or seek this option- it shouldn’t be taken lightly because no animal deserves to suffer, but for most people who are making this difficult decision it means they’re actually paying their last respects to their partner in life.