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Pet Euthanasia

How Do I Prepare My Dog for Euthanasia?

If you have made the difficult decision to euthanize your pet, you may be wondering how to ensure the experience is as peaceful as possible. Here are some tips.

Dr. Bethany Hsia

April 17, 2023

Making the decision to euthanize your pet can be difficult. Although this is sure to be an emotional time, and you're bound to have a million questions running through your head, peaceful euthanasia is the final gift of love you can give to your best friend if they are suffering from a terminal illness or injury, or are experiencing extreme pain or discomfort.

If you've already scheduled a euthanasia appointment, you can focus on making your animal feel safe, comfortable, and loved. Continue reading to learn how to prepare your dog for euthanasia and make the process as peaceful as possible.

How to Make Euthanasia a Peaceful Process for Your Dog

If your dog is suffering from a terminal illness or their quality of life is negatively impacted, euthanasia may be the kindest and most compassionate choice you can make for your furry friend. By opting for euthanasia, you can ensure that your dog is not experiencing unnecessary pain and suffering.

There are a few options when it comes to pet euthanasia. Bringing your pet to your veterinarian's clinic is the most common. However, many people don't know that in-home pet euthanasia is also available to them. 

In addition to the convenience of having a licensed veterinarian come to your home, at-home euthanasia allows your pet to spend their final moments in a familiar and comfortable environment surrounded by loved ones. This can be especially beneficial for pets who may be anxious at the vet clinic or are unable to be transported due to size or discomfort. By choosing to euthanize your dog at home, you can provide them with a peaceful and private passing in a place where they feel safe and secure.

Once you've decided to move forward with dog euthanasia, consider the following options for preparing you and your pet for the day of their euthanasia procedure.

Make the Very Best Out of the Remaining Days

Saying goodbye to your best friend can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. To make the most of your remaining time together, try to create special memories you can cherish, such as snuggling on the couch or soaking up the sunshine outdoors.

If your dog is feeling up for it, you can also do some of their favorite activities, like hiking, going to the beach, or playing fetch. However, it's also important to respect your dog's wishes and allow them to relax and rest if that's what they need. Above all, give your pet your time and presence. They will appreciate the love and comfort you provide during this difficult time.

Related content: 12 Pet Memorial Ideas to Honor a Deceased Pet

Let Your Dog Enjoy Their Favorite Treats, but Keep Portions Smaller

When preparing your dog for euthanasia, you can let them enjoy their favorite treats in moderation. Occasionally, the medications make animals nauseated, and they may vomit or retch. Know that this is entirely normal, and your vet will help you handle it if it happens.

Still, it is beneficial to speak with your vet before giving your pet anything out of the ordinary to reduce the chances of causing any discomfort to your furry friend. The vet can adjust your pet's medications depending on the amount, timing, and type of treats you offer.

Have Your Other Pets or Family Members Close By

Having your pet's favorite human and animal companions nearby during the euthanasia process can significantly reduce stress. In addition, it can be helpful for children and other animals to be a part of the process to understand what has happened and help them process their loss.

Dogs have been known to grieve for as long as six months after one of their canine companions passes away, so allowing them to be there may help them in their grieving process.

However, being present will depend on the ability of your other pets to remain calm. We recommend letting other pets come in once the process has been completed.

Keep Your Dog Comfortable and Surrounded by Their Favorite Things

One of the best parts of opting for in-home euthanasia is that you can reduce stressors from the last moments of your dog's life. In-home euthanasia is typically less stressful for pet parents, so dogs are less likely to pick up additional anxiety. Plus, you ensure your pet is surrounded by familiar smells and all their favorite blankets, toys, and people when they say goodbye.

At-home euthanasia also offers a compassionate solution for pets that get anxious in cars, pet parents that don't own a car, large pets who have lost mobility, or pets that might feel uncomfortable making the trip to the nearest vet clinic.

At CodaPet, we believe euthanasia is a gift we can give beloved pets to provide a peaceful, pain-free transition.

Decide on the Right Aftercare Option Ahead of Time

Euthanizing your dog can be emotionally taxing. By planning for aftercare ahead of time, you can take the time to make a well-informed decision about how you want to honor your pet's life and have the freedom to focus on loving and caring for them in their final moments. 

CodaPet offers cremation services allowing you to plan for your pet's euthanasia and aftercare needs simultaneously. By taking care of these practicalities in advance, you can focus on spending quality time with your pet and making the most of your remaining time together.

plan for your pet's euthanasia

Providing Your Pets With the Gentlest End-of-Life Care

You may be asking yourself, "How do I prepare my dog for euthanasia?" The simplest answer is to spend time with them, keep them comfortable and lavish them with your love. Take comfort in knowing that your presence is the best gift you can give your dog, especially during their last days.

If you’ve decided that euthanasia is the right option for your pet and need assistance, CodaPet is here to support you and your pet every step of the way.


Dr. Bethany graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After graduation, she moved west. Dr. Bethany spent a year at a small animal exclusive practice in Washington state, where she was first introduced to in-home euthanasia.  Read More

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