Q:

Can I put my dog to sleep myself?

A:

Veterinarians and the ASPCA both strongly speak out against do-it-yourself pet euthanasia, emphasizing the need for training and experience as well as a backup method. Stephen Zawistowski of the APSCA cautions that in certain states, these DIY euthanasia experiments can qualify as animal cruelty, especially since inexperienced owners have to rely on a trial and error method. He recommends home euthanasia with a vet as an alternative.

Although not all vets offer home euthanizing services, Zawistowski says they should be able to recommend a mobile vet or euthanasia specialty vet who aids pets in their passing. Home euthanasia is considered less stressful for pets, allows for owners to make their pets' last moments as comfortable and peaceful as possible, and allows pet owners to grieve in private, explains For Dummies. If there are other pets to consider, the presence of the body may help them to cope with and understand the dog's death.

If cost is an issue, USA Today notes that humane societies and animal shelters offer euthanizing services at affordable rates. Attempting to euthanize an animal on one's own may result in brain damage rather than death, says Miami veterinarian Patty Khuly. Age, size, health and breed all factor into the pet's reaction to the drugs in ways that may not be immediately obvious, elaborates Zawistowski.

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