How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down?

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet can be one of the hardest things a pet owner has to face. If you find yourself in this position, you will need all the help you can get. This article will examine the costs of euthanasia and pet cremation services

Read on to find out how much it may cost to put your dog down and cremate them.

Key Takeaways

  • Euthanasia fees vary according to who administers the operation, where you live, and what services are included in your charge.
  • Putting your dog to sleep should be considered when the dog exhibits a persistent and irreversible inability to eat, vomits, displays signs of pain, anxiety, or discomfort, or has trouble breathing.
  • Cremating your dog will cost between $50 and $250, depending on the size of your dog.

An Overview Table Summarizing the cost of Euthanasia

 Euthanasia OnlyEuthanasia (Group Cremation)Euthanasia (Individual Cremation)
Humane Society$35 to $145$75 to $190$130 to $270
Vet Office$80 to $195$130 to $350$230 to $550
At Home Vet Visit$240 to $375$320 to $650$420 to $800

Factors That Affect the Cost of Putting a Dog Down

Many factors affect the cost of putting a dog down, which include the following:

  • Location

Location is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of putting a dog to sleep. In rural areas, the price is often lower than in urban areas. This is because there are fewer options for veterinarians and animal hospitals in rural areas. Additionally, the overhead costs are often lower in rural areas as well.

  • Size of the Dog

The size of a dog can significantly impact the cost of putting the animal down. Generally, larger dogs will cost more to euthanize than smaller dogs, as they require more medication and sometimes special equipment. 

  • Type of Euthanasia

The cost of putting a dog down can be affected by the type of euthanasia used. If a dog is healthy and only needs to be put down because of behavioral issues, consider the cheaper option of intravenous injection. However, if a dog is sick and in pain, choose inhalation anesthesia, which is more expensive, to help the dog feel less pain.

  • Additional Services

Many people are unaware of the additional costs of putting a dog down. Most assume that the only cost is the fee to have the procedure done. However, there are often other fees associated with this process. For example, many vets will charge an additional fee for sedation or pain medication. 

This is because these drugs need to be administered by a professional, and they add to the overall cost of the procedure. Additionally, some vets will require that the body be disposed of in a certain way. This typically costs more than simply taking the body to a local landfill.

Related: A Vet Explains Preventive Care & Medical Costs for a Dog

Cost Breakdown of Putting a Dog Down

Here is the cost breakdown to factor before putting your dog down;

  • Cost of The Euthanasia Procedure

Euthanasia often costs $50. If you ask a veterinarian to do the procedure at your home, the price may increase to $100 or more. Additional expenses, such as cremation, are frequently charged separately.

  • Cost of Additional Services

The average cost of cremating a small dog is between $75 and $250, while the average price of cremating a large dog is between $600 and $1,500. Keeping your dog’s ashes will cost you an additional $25 to $100. Further, memorial keepsakes cost an additional $25 to $200.

Cost of Disposal of Remains

The average cost of burying a small dog is between $50 and $200, while the average cost of burying a large dog is between $500 and $1,000.

Examples of the Cost of Putting a Dog Down

Here are the examples you need to know about the cost of putting a dog down.

1: Small Dog in a Rural Area

The average cost of putting a small dog down in a rural area is between $50 and $150. This includes the fee for the veterinarian, the euthanasia medication, and the disposal of the body. The exact cost will vary depending on the individual circumstances. 

For example, the price will be higher if the dog is very sick and needs to be seen by a veterinarian before being put down. The cost will be lower if the dog is healthy and does not need to see a veterinarian beforehand.

2: Large Dog in an Urban Area

The average cost of euthanasia for a large dog in an urban area is between $200 and $300. This does not include the cost of cremation, which can add another $100 or more to the total. Other costs include boarding the dog while you make arrangements or having someone come to your home to euthanize the dog. 

Sometimes, you may also need to pay for a pet insurance policy covering euthanasia.

3: Additional Services Included

The cost of putting your dog down can vary greatly depending on your chosen services. Here are some other services you might want to think about and how much they cost. 

For example, many pet owners opt for private euthanasia, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $200. The cremation of a dog will cost between $50 and $250, depending on the size of your dog. 

If you wish to keep your dog’s ashes, you’ll need to pay an additional fee of $25 to $100. And finally, if you want a paw print or other memorial keepsake of your pet, expect to pay an additional $25 to $200.

Ways to Reduce the Cost of Putting a Dog Down

There are several ways to reduce the cost of putting a dog down, including the following:

  • Shop Around for Pricing

Different veterinarians and animal hospitals charge different prices for this service, so it pays to do research and compare costs. Another way to reduce the cost is to ask if the facility offers discounts for those who cannot pay the total price. Many facilities offer a sliding-scale fee based on income, so inquire about this option.

  • Consider Alternative Options for Disposal of Remains

Cremation, which is often less expensive than burial, is one way to get rid of your dog’s remains. Several companies offer pet cremation services at reasonable prices. Another option is to donate the body to a veterinary school or research facility, which may be willing to cover the disposal cost.

Also, many animal shelters and rescue groups offer low-cost or free euthanasia for pets whose owners can’t pay the full price.

  • Seek Financial Assistance From Animal Welfare Organizations

Several animal welfare organizations can provide financial assistance to help offset the cost of putting a dog down. These organizations typically work with low-income families and offer a variety of programs to help make pet ownership more affordable. Seeking financial assistance from one of these organizations can significantly reduce the cost of putting a dog down.

Related: Should You Get Dog Insurance? 4 Simple Steps to Decide

Where to Euthanize a Dog for Free?

If you cannot afford to pay for an euthanasia procedure, a few options are available. The first option is to contact your local humane society or animal shelter. Many of these organizations offer low-cost or even free euthanasia services. Another option is to contact your veterinarian.

If the owner can’t afford to pay the full price, some vets will do the procedure for free or at a lower price. Finally, a few private companies offer low-cost or free euthanasia services. Most of the time, these businesses are in bigger cities, and you may need to make an appointment ahead of time.

How to Put a Dog Down at Home?

If you have decided euthanasia is the best option for your dog, you can do a few things to make the process as smooth and painless as possible. First, find a veterinarian willing to perform the procedure in your home. This can be difficult, as many veterinarians prefer euthanasia in their offices or clinics.

Once you have found a vet willing to come to your home, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary supplies on hand. These include a syringe for administering the lethal injection, cotton balls or gauze for wiping away any excess medication, and a towel or blanket for wrapping up your pet’s body afterward.

Preparing emotionally and mentally for what is about to happen is essential when the time comes. You may want to say goodbye to your dog in private before the vet arrives, and it is also helpful to have another person with you during the procedure if possible. The vet will usually start by giving your dog a sedative injection to help them relax before performing the euthanasia.

Signs to Put Dog to Sleep

Vomiting, signs of pain, misery, or discomfort, or trouble breathing are all signs that your dog needs to be put down. Try to make an informed decision on your dog’s quality of life because you and your family are the ones who truly know them.

When Should a Dog Be Put Down?

A dog should be put down when it is suffering from a terminal illness and can no longer enjoy a good quality of life. The decision to put a dog down is never easy, but it is sometimes the kindest thing you can do. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you are unsure whether your dog should be put down.

Can You Put a Dog Down Yourself?

No, it’s not allowed since there is no humane way of putting dogs to sleep within homes. In virtually all jurisdictions, it is illegal for you to put your dog to sleep by yourself unless you have received the appropriate training and certification. Additionally, the drugs used to put dogs to sleep are controlled substances that only veterinarians have access to.

It would be best to organize with a veterinarian when you want to put your dog down, who will finalize the plans with a cremation service provider.

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down? FAQs

Q: Is It Ethical to Euthanize Your Dog?

A: Dog euthanasia can be ethical, but you should only do it after careful consideration and consultation with trusted professionals. It’s important to understand that putting your pet down seems like the kindest thing to do now, but that doesn’t mean it will be the best solution for all involved. Therefore, seek other options, such as medical intervention or hospice care, before deciding.

Q: What Is the Cheapest Way to Put a Dog Down?

A: The cheapest way will depend on the circumstances. If the dog is healthy and needs to be euthanized, the most affordable option would be to have the procedure done for free at a shelter by a humane society or a veterinarian.

Q: Will a Vet Put My Dog Down if I Ask?

A: Yes, if you request a veterinarian to put your pet to sleep, it is known as “owner-requested euthanasia” or “convenience euthanasia.” A healthy animal may be put to sleep by your veterinarian if it fails in behavioral rehabilitation, poses a threat, or exhibits problematic conduct.


Putting a dog down and cremating it is an emotional and expensive process. While the cost of putting a pet to sleep will vary depending on several factors, including location and age, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500 for euthanasia services alone. When considering the final costs of saying goodbye to your beloved companion, remember that valuable resources like pet insurance programs or charities may help offset some expenses.


Johann Chapuis

Johann Chapuis has assembled a fantastic team of licensed veterinarians, animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and walkers to write every article and offer the most accurate content on Being a pet lover and owner himself, Johann is sharing his experiences and his financial aptitude cultivated during his MBA with a specialization in finance and the numerous years he spent working as a business manager and entrepreneur.

Recent Posts