How to Euthanize a Dog With Over-Counter Drugs

Euthanizing a beloved pet is a difficult and heartbreaking decision that many pet owners may have to face. While most people choose to have their dog euthanized by a veterinarian, some may prefer to euthanize their dog at home for personal or financial reasons.

If a pet owner chooses to euthanize their dog at home, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a painless and completely safe method. However, it is possible to use over-the-counter drugs to euthanize a dog at home.

In this article, we will discuss the steps and important considerations for euthanizing a dog with over-the-counter drugs.

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How to Euthanize a Dog With Over-Counter DrugsHow to Euthanize a Dog With Over-Counter Drugs

If you’re seeking information on using over-the-counter drugs to humanely euthanize a dog, you can consider options such as Aspirin, Benadryl, Valium, Phenobarbital, or sleeping pills for this purpose.

These over-the-counter drugs mentioned above are available at various stores offering food, pet supplies, and grooming products. It’s essential to carefully review the product labels to ensure their suitability for the humane euthanasia of pets.


The dosage of aspirin needed to euthanize a dog will vary depending on the dog’s weight. A general guideline for aspirin dosage for euthanasia is 150-200 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for the correct dosage based on the size and health of the individual dog.

Aspirin can be given to the dog in several ways. The easiest way is to hide the aspirin in a favorite treat. However, if the dog is not eating or refusing treats, the aspirin can be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water or food and syringed into the dog’s mouth.


It is important to note that while Benadryl can cause sedation and reduce pain and anxiety, it is not a commonly used euthanasia drug and may not be effective in all cases. The recommended dosage for euthanasia with Benadryl is 1-2 mg per pound of body weight, however, this can vary depending on the dog’s health and condition.

Administer the appropriate dosage of Benadryl to the dog. This can be done by crushing the tablets and mixing them with a small amount of soft food or by giving it through a syringe.

How Much Benadryl Will Overdose a Dog?

The amount of Benadryl needed to overdose a dog depends on the dog’s weight and overall health. However, the recommended dose of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight, given every 8-12 hours.


The recommended dose of Valium for dogs is 1-2 mg per pound of body weight, given orally. However, the exact dosage may vary depending on the size, breed, and health condition of the dog.

Valium is typically available in tablet form and can be given to the dog by mouth. However, if the dog is unable to swallow, the tablets can be crushed and mixed with a small amount of food such as wet dog food or peanut butter. This will help the dog to swallow the medication more easily.

Valium works by calming the nervous system and may cause the dog to become drowsy and relaxed. This can lead to difficulty breathing and heart rate changes.


Using over-the-counter drugs, such as Phenobarbital, is an option for euthanasia in some cases. Phenobarbital can come in different forms, such as tablets or liquids. Follow the instructions provided on the medication label to prepare the correct dosage. It is important to be precise with the dosage to ensure a painless and successful euthanasia.

There are several ways to administer Phenobarbital, such as orally or via injection. It is crucial to administer the full dosage to ensure the desired effects.

Sleeping pills

Only certain types of sleeping pills, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can potentially be used for euthanasia. It is important to choose a pill that contains only one active ingredient, as combination medications can be dangerous.

The dosage of sleeping pills for euthanasia will depend on various factors such as the weight and health of your dog. The general recommended dosage is 5-7 mg per pound of body weight.

What Does Dog Euthanasia Mean?

Dog euthanasia is the process of ending a dog’s life in a humane and painless way. It is usually carried out by a veterinarian, who will administer a lethal injection of medication to the dog. Euthanasia is often carried out when a dog is suffering from a terminal illness or is in extreme pain, and when it is felt that it is in the dog’s best interest to end their life. It is a very difficult and emotional decision to make, but it is often done out of compassion for the dog. 

How to Euthanize a Dog With Melatonin

Melatonin can typically be purchased over the counter at most drugstores. It is available in tablet form and dosage may vary depending on the brand.

The dosage of melatonin needed for euthanasia will depend on the size and weight of the dog. It is important to follow the dosing instructions carefully to avoid complications. Once the correct dosage has been determined, the melatonin should be administered to the dog. It can be given orally or mixed with food to make it easier for the dog to consume.

How to Euthanize a Dog with Tylenol PM

The recommended dosage is 5-15mg of Tylenol PM per pound of body weight. So, for example, if a dog weighs 50 pounds, the dosage would be between 250mg and 750mg.

To administer the drug, the Tylenol PM tablets should be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water or food to make it easier for the dog to consume.

After the drug is given, the dog will generally become drowsy within 20-30 minutes and will eventually fall into a deep sleep. Death usually occurs within a few hours.

Dog Euthanasia MedicinesSHE 1

  1. Pentobarbital: This barbiturate medication is commonly used for the humane euthanasia of dogs. It works by slowing down the central nervous system and ultimately stopping the heart and breathing.
  2. Tiletamine/zolazepam: This combination of drugs, also known as Telazol, is often used for euthanasia in dogs. It is a dissociative anesthetic that can induce unconsciousness and muscle relaxation.
  3. Propofol: This short-acting anesthetic can be used for euthanasia as it causes rapid loss of consciousness and collapse of the circulatory system.
  4. Succinylcholine: This muscle relaxant is often used in combination with other euthanasia drugs to prevent any voluntary movements or spasms.
  5. Chloroquine: This drug is used to induce anesthesia and muscle relaxation before administering another euthanasia drug. It can also help prevent adverse reactions to other medications.
  6. Ketamine: This anesthetic is used to induce unconsciousness and can also be used as an adjunct to other euthanasia drugs to prevent pain and discomfort.

Benefits Of Euthanizing Dog With Over The Counter Drugs

Here are a few of the potential benefits of using Over-Counter Drugs for euthanasia:

Convenience and Privacy:
For some pet owners, being able to euthanize their dog at home can provide a sense of privacy and a more intimate setting for saying goodbye. It can also be more convenient, as it eliminates the need for transportation to a veterinarian and waiting for an appointment.

Euthanizing a pet at a veterinarian’s office can be quite expensive, which can be a barrier for some pet owners. Using OTC drugs can be a more affordable option for those on a tight budget.

Controlled Environment:
Many dogs may become anxious or stressed when visiting the veterinarian’s office. Euthanizing at home allows for a more familiar and comfortable environment for the dog, which can help to reduce their stress and anxiety during their final moments.

Emotional Comfort:
For some pet owners, being present during the euthanasia process is important for their emotional healing. Euthanizing at home allows for this opportunity and can provide a sense of closure and peace for the owner.

Is It Possible to Humanely Euthanize a Dog at Home?

Yes, although it is not recommended to euthanize a dog at home without the assistance of a veterinarian. Euthanasia is a medical procedure and should be performed by a trained professional in a controlled and sterile environment. Additionally, administering the necessary drugs for euthanasia can be dangerous and potentially harmful if not done correctly. It is important to seek the guidance and support of a veterinarian during this difficult process.

How Can CBD Oil Help When Euthanizing Dog at Home?

CBD oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a natural pain reliever. By giving your dog CBD oil before the euthanasia process, you can help ease any pain and discomfort they may be experiencing.

When To Euthanize A Dog?

Here are some factors to consider when making the decision to euthanize a dog:

  • Quality of Life: One of the main considerations when deciding whether it is time to euthanize a dog is their quality of life. Is the dog experiencing more pain and suffering than pleasure in their daily life? Are they able to do the things they used to enjoy, like playing, going for walks, or eating? If the dog’s quality of life has decreased significantly and there is little hope for improvement, euthanasia may be a compassionate choice.
  • Terminal Illness or Serious Injury: If a dog has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or has suffered a serious injury that cannot be treated and will result in a poor quality of life, euthanasia may be the most humane option. This is especially true if the dog is experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort.
  • Consideration of the Dog’s Age: Older dogs may have more health issues and a reduced quality of life compared to younger dogs. However, age alone should not be the deciding factor when it comes to euthanasia. Many senior dogs can still have a good quality of life and bring joy to their families.
  • Treatment Options: When a dog becomes ill or injured, it is important to consider the available treatment options. Some treatments may be very costly, painful, or have a low success rate. It is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks of treatment and determine if it is in the best interest of the dog.
  • Emotional and Financial Impact: Euthanasia can be a difficult decision, emotionally and financially. It is important to consider how the dog’s euthanasia will affect you and your family, as well as any financial considerations. However, these should not be the primary determining factors in the decision-making process.

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Q. What medication can I use to put my dog to sleep?

A. You can use over-the-counter drugs like Aspirin, Benadryl, Valium, or Phenobarbital to put a dog to sleep.

Q. Is there a pill to euthanize dogs?

A. Yes, the euthanasia medication most vets use is pentobarbital, a seizure medication.

Q. How Much Does it Cost to Euthanize a Dog at Home?

A. To euthanize a dog at home, it costs anywhere between $300 to $450.

Q. Are you Allowed to Euthanize a Dog at Home?

A. Yes, in-home euthanasia has now become an option in most cities.


Although euthanizing a dog with over-the-counter drugs is not recommended as it can be unsafe and unreliable with the above-mentioned over-the-counter drugs you are sure to put your dog to sleep in a peaceful way. 

The best and most humane way to euthanize a dog is by seeking the assistance of a licensed veterinarian. They have the expertise and proper medications to ensure a peaceful and painless passing for your beloved pet. Euthanasia is a difficult decision to make, but it is important to prioritize your dog’s comfort and well-being in their final moments. Please consult with a veterinarian for guidance and support during this difficult time.

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