How Much Do Pet Euthanasia and Cremation Cost?

We all wish our pets would be there for us our whole life, but truthfully, their time on earth is quicker than half of ours. Dogs, on average, live for 10-13 years, while cats last for up to 20 years old.

Senior animals are more prone to diseases such as arthritis and cancer. Sadly, some are unable to beat their illnesses, leaving them with a few months or weeks left. Situations like this make owners who don’t want to prolong their pets’ suffering consider euthanasia.

Euthanasia is often associated with negative and sorrowful acts, but in reality, it is an act of compassion. It’s the final resort for when you would rather let your pet have a restful sleep than have it go through agony just so you could be at ease knowing it’s alive.

illustration of dead pet

Cost of Pet Euthanasia

But before considering this option, there is a ton of information you would first want to know. What is the cost to put down a dog?

Does disposal also come with a fee? How do you know it is finally time? What are the methods you can choose from?

  • In-Home Euthanasia

Some organizations or veterinary hospitals offer home service euthanasia. This is suitable for you if you want the final moments of your pet to be in a familiar place to avoid anxiety. Some also prefer in-home services for pets that can no longer walk and are too heavy to be carried.

Furthermore, you might also want your other pets to bid farewell, although this is usually not recommended by veterinarians as it causes distress among them. They suggest performing it out of sight or hearing of fellow animals.

As for the costs, Happy Endings Pet Euthanasia in Arizona offers in-home euthanasia for $305 as a starting fee. Additional charges vary depending on distance.

  • Euthanasia in the clinic

On the other hand, the cost to put down a dog in the clinic is more affordable. Some prefer to have the procedure done here because they don’t want their house to be a reminder of loss and death.

Other pet owners might not have the option to perform the procedure at home due to their area, or the pet might already be located at the clinic.

SPCA bases euthanasia fees on whether it is scheduled or not, and whether the owner wants to be in the room during the last minutes or not.

Rushed euthanasia costs $50 for when the owner would rather not stay by the pet’s side and $100 if they want to be present. Lastly, scheduled euthanasia costs $110.

veterinarian is drawing medicine into syringe for euthanasia

Cost of Body Disposal

After the euthanasia, comes the disposal of the body. There are numerous selections you may want to consider such as burial, cremation with a site, mass cremation or cremation with an urn you can keep.

Your choice will depend on your financial considerations, local public acceptance, and the number of animals handled.

  • Pet Cremation

Pet cremation cost is cheaper than burials in pet cemeteries if you would rather keep the urn than display it in a site. For instance, Happy Endings offers $205 for pet cremation, and it is already inclusive of the delivery of ashes to your home.

It also offers packages with urn inclusions, depending on the design of your preference. Happy Endings gives you the option of having the ashes placed in a plain rosewood urn, one with a framed photo of your pet or an elegant vase with the engraved name and paw print of your dog or cat. The prices range from $590 – $715.

Meanwhile, Sacramento SPCA bases its pet cremation fees on the weight of your pet. Newborn kittens or puppies are usually valued $130, while large breed dogs can amount up to $305.

The price of its urns depends on the number of lines that will be engraved at $15 each.

  • Pet Columbarium

Pet columbarium is another option to choose from if you want a special spot for your pet’s remains. Forest Run Pet Tributes offers a space in its area for $150, exclusive of the letterings on the door which is $4 each and the setup fee which costs $37.50.

For those who would rather purchase communal cremation service, Petland Cemetery Inc. in Washington has a price range of $25 – $110 based on the pet’s weight. If your pet is over 300 pounds, cremation is at $0.75 per pound.

Equine non-private cremation is more expensive, given that horses take up more space. Its prices range from $400 – $850.

  • Keepsake and Memorial Lockets

Mass cremation may not be as special as other services, but you can always commemorate your pet by keeping a locket of its ashes or hair. Prices vary according to design which usually ranges from $50 – $500.

  • Pet Burial

You may want to consider pet funeral and burial just like the Forest Run Pet Tributes’ cemetery lots which cost $500 for a 30×54 plot. Of course, you can also bury your pet in your backyard for free.

The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories can aid in finding the perfect company you can trust with your pet’s solemn death.

  • Donation

The least common way of disposing of your dead pet’s body is by donating it to veterinary students. It’s absolutely free and can help pets live longer, happier lives in the future.

A dead dog lying

When is the Right Time for Euthanasia?

Various illnesses are common among pets such as liver disease, pancreatitis, lymphoma, and skin cancer. Seeing euthanasia as an option shows a humane act of valuing animals’ welfare.

One should understand that animals, like humans, also have their own personal interests that would guarantee their comfort.

Dr. Danu McVety, in an article by Greenwood, discusses that there is no specific set of criteria that will determine if a pet is subject to euthanasia. This is why the owner should have the utmost discernment about the matter. After all, we, humans, are the only ones capable of reasoning.

No actual occurrence can prove an animal’s need for euthanasia since every situation is unique. All you have to do is trust your instincts and realize that, as a responsible owner, you know what should be best for your dog, cat, etc.

Some think it is a practical solution when one cannot afford treatment anymore. It is also helpful when your pet is causing other animals’ and humans’ health to be at risk.

Furthermore, some just cannot stand the idea of sudden death among sick dear pets, so they have it planned by appointed euthanasia.

If you’re considering euthanasia, it is likely the right decision for your pet. Statistically, most pet owners euthanize their pets too late rather than too early.

To help you, veterinarians can provide an assessment of your pet and help you decide whether euthanasia is the final solution or not.

What Happens During Euthanasia?

Before the shots are given, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This may leave you anxious and may even allow you to have second thoughts, so make sure you are emotionally prepared to make a big decision for your pet.

Once everything is set, technicians usually offer sedatives to dogs that are unable to relax. Some doctors like to shave a portion of hair for them to easily locate the vein. As much as possible, though, this situation is avoided to reduce stress among animals.

Basically, two shots will be done during the procedure. The first shot, which is usually barbituric acid like sodium pentobarbital will put the pet into a deep sleep which slowly makes it unconscious. The dosage for the first shot depends on the animal weight.

A slight pinch, like an ant bite, is all that your pet will feel and the drug is purely harmless unless administered improperly. This could cause high abuse, as told by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

All this happens in 5-10 minutes. Next comes the second shot, which is the actual time to say goodbye.

This hurtful part will slowly slow the heartbeat until it finally stops. Signs of death include reflex muscle movement and gasps, but doctors will verify death by using the stethoscope.

Moreover, some think it’s miraculous when their pets suddenly wake up, but it’s not. It’s merely a sign of a failed euthanasia.

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