Every pet owner in the world acknowledges the fact that humans naturally have 10 to 12 times the lifespan of their beloved dogs. Therefore, the death of their short-lived four-legged child/friend is a sad reality one must contend with.
The United States, as well as other developed countries in the world, has an entire industry catering to the painless procedure of assisting the dog’s impending departure. Similar to the concept of palliative care among human patients (whether done at home or at the hospital), the objective of veterinary euthanasia is to provide a comfortable medical service to a dying animal.
When it comes to the average cost of putting a dog to sleep, pet owners are looking at somewhere between $50 and $100. This price range usually reflects the standard vet clinic arrangement. The overall coverage of the services paid depends on the veterinary clinic.
If one should opt for a more intimate special care at home, the average cost to put a dog down is around $295 to $400. A higher premium since it entails veterinarians to travel to the patient’s residence, therefore prompting him/her to cancel other appointments. Nonetheless, the pet owners who usually opt for this arrangement are those who plan on burying their pet in the backyard.
For a full complimentary coverage that includes the post-care services like cleansing the corpse and transportation of the remains to the crematorium, pet owners are looking at around $400 to $800 overall cost.
Dog Funeral Outlay
Most pet owners who arranged for the clinical procedure of assisting the dog’s death do not simply stop there. As a gesture of devotion, some of them even arrange funeral services for their beloved four-legged kids/friends. Nonetheless, this part of the article only concerns those who genuinely wish to honor the memory of their animal companion.
Excluding the average cost to put a dog down, some pet owners would pay around $500 to $700 for an honorary cemetery internment. Most homeowners, however, would opt to only spend $90 to $145 for a casket and bury their late four-legged child/friend at their backyard.
For those who prefer cremation, burning the individual remains is costlier than arranging a group cremation. Those who prefer an entire furnace exclusively for their pets, the cost could reach around $280. Crematoriums usually charge about $125 if pet owners decide on sharing a furnace with other dead animals.
The price range for the urns usually cost between $25 and $200 depending on the material – whether it is a simple wooden pot or a creative ceramic jewelry. Apparently, all these optional expenses are excluded from the overall cost of putting a dog to sleep.
Humane Euthanasia Protocol
Anyone willing to pay for the proper handling of their pet dog during the last few minutes of their twilight lifespan must know that there is a proper method recognized worldwide by veterinarians and animal concerns organizations around the world. This summarized code of behavior is called the Humane Euthanasia Protocol. This document highlights the specific steps that a veterinarian must follow in order to successfully follow a 100% painless mercy killing.
Here are the verbatim provisions of the protocol:
- To eliminate distress or pain, the animal is tranquilized, given sedative or sedated (typical medications used are acepromazine, butorphanol, Buprenex, or morphine)
- An intravenous catheter (ICV) is secured in place in the pet’s forelimb and then flushed with heparanized saline. This is usually done in the treatment room by the technician.
- The pet is brought back to the exam room, to spend a few minutes alone with those humans and other pets in attendance. This is the quiet time when you say good-bye.
- The veterinarian enters the room and administers a sedative first (usually a diazepam or Propoflo) immediately followed by the euthanasia solution.
It is important to secure a copy of the HEP and present it to the veterinarian prior to arranging the euthanasia procedure. Some vets may not acknowledge the document’s provision and insist on using methods otherwise classified as cruel.
The average cost to put a dog down without following the HEP is fractionally lower, regardless of its moral consequences. A subsequent decision on the matter is best left to the pet owner’s discretion.
When To Say Goodbye: Quality Of Life Assessment
Before considering the cost of putting a dog to sleep, it is important for pet owners to be able to assess the condition of their beloved pets. Although a more conclusive diagnosis would come from the veterinarian, homeowners who can assess the symptoms already saved $45 to $55 worth of annual check-up.
The Quality Life Assessment is a formula proposed by the same veterinary experts who outlines the HEP. This quantitative survey will enable pet owners to make an accurate guess and determine whether or not it is already time to say goodbye.
Here is how one can calculate the average result, with the highest number of the scales representing the lowest chances of survival:
8 means the dog is lying immobile throughout the day. 3 means the dog only walks to eat, drink and go to the toilet. 1 means the dog can walk but unable to run.
8 means the dog is unable to stand on four legs without assistance. 3 means the dog is able to stand yet slowly and/or stiffly.
- Feeding habit:
8 means the dog is no longer eating or drinking. 5 means the dog still eats or drinks but looks too dehydrated and/or emaciated.
3 means the dog absolutely dislikes playing. 1 means the dog lacks interest and responds very poorly to the pet owner’s invitation to play.
8 means the dog already defecates/urinates on itself or experiencing chronically painful bowel movement. 3 means the dog is unable to hold its bladder and accidentally pees or poops indoors.
5 means the dog gets violent (e.g. growling) at the slightest approach. 3 means the dog does not respond positively to tender petting or rubbing. 1 means the dog only shows warmth when lying down.
- Artificial Life Prolongation (ALP):
This is usually rated by a licensed veterinarian. 8 means that the veterinarian designates 3+ ALP measures. 5 means the dog is rated under 2 ALP. 3 means the dog only falls under 1 ALP.
- Verdict based on total score:
If the average has exceeded 8 points, it is highly recommended that the dog is already prepped for euthanasia since the chances of survival are already practically nil.