How to Euthanize a Dog

How to Euthanize a Dog with Tylenol PM

When you bring a dog home for the first time, you’re probably in love with him already, even if you barely know him. He may not be completely sure of you yet, but in time he will love you every bit as much as you love him. Over the years there will be chewed socks, dumped over houseplants, puddles of urine at the front door, and probably plenty of piles of dog poo to pick up.

You will become closer to your dog that you will anyone else on the planet. In a recent survey, women confessed they kiss their pet more than their husband or boyfriend. They are always there for you and with you.

When you cry, they’ll come and sit down, looking at you with big brown eyes, as if to say, “It’s okay, I’m here to listen to you.” They will listen to you too. They will snuggle with you when you feel terrible and they will always be there to greet you when you get home from work, ready to love you no matter what type of day you’ve had.

Early in the morning, when your breath is bad, your hair is standing up, and you are grumpy, your dog will still look at you as if you are the most beautiful or handsome person on this earth, because to him you are his everything.

sad dog

This makes it so traumatic when the day comes, usually without warning, that your dog is ill, perhaps to old and frail to stand on his own, or to eat without your coaxing. Some will resort to laying on the floor and spoon feeding their best friend to keep him going. You cannot will him to survive old age, however.

For some, it will be cancer, for others it may be renal failure, and the lucky ones have simply lived all of their allotted days on the earth and it is their time to pass on. We hope that there is truly a rainbow bridge for them to cross to a meadow where they can again run and be free like the pup they once were. 

But what about the here and now? You are faced with difficult decisions and They are your burden to bear. You’ve loved your dog and he’s been with you through everything. He has learned to trust you with his life, and now the time has come for you to decide when to end that life.

We don’t make the decision to euthanize our dogs easily. It takes time to think it over and it takes courage of heart and a leap of faith to know that you are doing the right thing. You might visit with your veterinarian to be sure that the time is right.

Choosing to Euthanize By Yourself at Home

This isn’t the choice for all. Many people wouldn’t be able to do the deed themselves because of their grief, but some people are faced with it as their only choice because of the cost of euthanization by a licensed veterinarian. It can cost anywhere from $150 to $400 to have your dog euthanized at a veterinary clinic or for them to come to your home. 

Some people prefer this option because it feels more personal to them, a final act of love and compassion for the friend they’ve held close to their heart for so long. Indeed, it is a final bonding moment. Dogs are so trusting and so loyal. It’s a very beautiful moment to be with them at the end as they take their final breath, but it is also a moment filled with intense grief and loss.

If you are able to choose euthanizing at home yourself then you will want to take much consideration and planning as to how you’ll go about it. You are not a veterinarian, so you could make a mistake that won’t be good and cause your dog more pain in the end. You want to avoid this through preparation.

Making the decision when to euthanize is a hard one but most veterinarians agree that when the quality of life is poor, it is time. When they no longer have an interest in eating, drinking, and no longer acknowledge your presence or it is all they can do to lift their head or wag their tail, then it is time to make preparations, both emotionally and physically.

How to Euthanize with Tylenol PM

Tylenol is acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is the other active ingredient, an antihistamine which causes drowsiness. When combined, they are unsafe for dogs. 

A veterinarian knows exactly how much of a lethal injection to give to a dog. You don’t. It largely goes by weight and if you make a mistake, you could cause them prolonged pain in the end of their life. 

You want to make sure that you use enough to bring a quick end. Tylenol PM is the most used over the counter medication to euthanize pets at home. It is generally recommended that you give 5 to 6 tablets of Tylenol PM to be sure you’ve administered enough to humanely dispatch your dog.

sad dog

You can mix these pills into some milk if you can get him to lap it up on his own or use a syringe or eyedropper to place it in his mouth yourself.

The Tylenol PM will slowly put him into a deep sleep, from which he’ll fall into a coma and simply stop breathing. It is a peaceful ending as long as you use enough of the Tylenol to make it happen quickly.

While some people won’t agree with euthanizing at home in this manner, it truly is the best option for some people and it does the job. It also allows you to do what is best for your dog when finances prevent you from paying for the service.

You’ll also be able to bury your dog at home if you choose to and say goodbye to him on your own terms, in the way you feel is most meaningful. Some people will choose to create an elaborate ceremony while others will be happy with a simple goodbye and burial.

No matter which way you choose to send your furry family member off, it will be a way that is most personal and best for your family. It’s your decision. You may also wish to consult with your veterinary clinic for disposal of the body if you don’t wish to bury at home or can’t due to restrictions.

You can also drop him off for cremation and have his ashes sent back to you. Again, totally your choice and your terms but it may be cost prohibitive for some.


What is Best

Only you really know what is best for yourself and your dog. As long as your decisions are guided by love and your compassion for his pain and dignity, you’ll make the right choices. There really is not a wrong choice to make, just mistakes that can happen so be careful to plan well.

Allow yourself compassion as well. It’s a hard duty to carry out, but it is also the one final act of love that you can share with your dog. Holding him in his final moments as he crosses the rainbow bridge will bring you a sense of gratitude for the time you’ve had together and it will also probably bring you great pain. Be kind to yourself in these moments. You can also Euthanize a Cat at Home by your own.

Read about why you should never do this on your own.


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