Putting a dog "to sleep" usually involves a lethal injection of a barbiturate drug, such as sodium pentobarbital. This process should only be performed by a trained veterinarian.
- Determine where to perform the procedure
Choose whether to have the procedure done in a private setting or at a veterinary facility. Some vets offer to perform the procedure in your home or another relaxing place. This can reduce your dog's stress in it's final moments. Having your pet's body at home also helps other pets process the death.
- Have supplies ready
If you're doing it at home, prepare the environment before the veterinarian arrives. Make sure your pet is comfortable. Have the dog's favorite food handy, and give it treats as the sedative is given. Arrange for paw prints to be taken or fur clippings to be gathered as mementos.
- Make final arrangements
Your veterinarian may be able to have your pet cremated. If not, make arrangements with a specialist to have this task completed.
- Know what to expect
Once arrangements have been made, prepare yourself for the procedure. Ask your veterinarian what happens before and after.
- Don't try to perform the task yourself
In most areas, it is illegal for pet owners to attempt euthanasia themselves. Make sure the person you choose is legally authorized to perform the procedure.