How Much Does It Cost to Euthanize a Dog or Cat?

Written by: Staff

Pet euthanasia is the act of putting an animal to death painlessly, and this procedure is commonly done when an animal is no longer comfortable with life.

The cost of pet euthanasia is going to vary depending on the shelter/vet performing the procedure, the geographical location, the size of the animal and if they have to come to you.

Sad Mumby by angela n., on Flickr
Sad Mumby” (CC BY 2.0) by angela n.

How much does pet euthanasia cost?

On average, the cost of euthanasia can cost anywhere from $25 to $350.  If you take the body home, which some shelters allow, the costs can be $25 to $70.  If you want a general cremation with no ashes returned, then the costs can be in the $100 to $150 range.  For those who want the body cremated, the costs will depend on how what kind of cremation you want:  either shared or individually.  Depending on your preferences, this option can cost $150 to $350, plus the cost of a memorable item.

Euthanasia performed at a local shelter or in a veterinarian office can cost $25 to $150, while an at-home procedure can cost $225 to $350.

For example, the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota charges anywhere from $10 to as much as $85 depending on the animal that is being put down, while in Miami, Florida, the county offers to put down animals that are ill for a flat fee of $25.

According to a forum thread on, forum members claimed that they had paid anywhere from $50 to as much as $200.  For a basic euthanasia, this would be done in the vet’s office, but for those who are requesting the ashes back in an urn, the costs will almost double.

On, they broke down a cremation bill someone had received.  After the office call, IV catheter, sedation, euthanasia solution and private cremation, the grand total was $645. says the average cost of clinical euthanasia will cost $75 to $350, depending on where you live, and the cost of at-home euthanasia can cost $300 to $800, depending on what kind of services you choose.

Pet euthanasia overview

During the procedure, the vet may administer a tranquilizer to help relax the pet.  Once the tranquilizer has kicked in, the second one will be applied that will cause the heart to stop, and once the heart has stopped, the vet will then transport the body according to your wishes.  This may include cremation with the ashes returned to you, or in some cases, the body will be returned to be buried at an approved location.  If you do plan on burying your pet, however, check with local ordinances to make sure it’s allowed.

The process can either be done at your vet’s office or in the comfort of your own home, and you can stay in the room while the tranquilizer is administered.  The at-home method is ideal for those who either have a pet that’s too sick to travel or for pets that get very anxious when going to the vet.  It also puts you, the pet owner, in control of the situation since it will be done in comfortable surroundings.

What are the extra costs?

As noted in the PetMD source we mentioned earlier, additional fees may show up on your itemized vet bill.  This may include fees for IV catheters, the disposal of needles and/or an office examination fee.  This will all depend on the vet you go to, so it’s important to talk with the office to know exactly what you’re going to pay.

Cremation can cost anywhere from $125 to $300 depending on the size of the animal and type of cremation you choose.  For instance, a group cremation where your pet is cremated with others will cost about $100, while an individual cremation can cost closer to $300.  Once created, you can then choose to purchase an urn or vase to store the ashes.  Depending on your preference, it can cost anywhere from as little as $30 to more than $150.  Other memorialization options include a garden stone or a locket jewelry.

To have the animal buried in the local cemetery, the fees can cost $300 to $800 for the plot.  Headstones can cost extra depending on what type of headstone is purchased, and this is going to vary depending on the size of the animal.

Some vets can come directly to the home.  If the vet is required to come to the home directly, most will charge anywhere from $50 to as much as $200 extra do so.  This will greatly depend on the distance they have to travel and where you live.

Tips to know

Most vets will not put down an animal that is not ill.  If the animal is healthy and does not have and behavioral problems, there is a good chance vets will reject your request.

Those who have had to put their animals down recommend paying ahead of time so that it’s one less thing to worry about when you arrive at the vet’s office.

How can I save money?

Consider taking the animal to a local vet.  At home services are going to cost significantly more since they have to come to you.  After the procedure is done, consider buying a small memorial stone for your home rather than getting a cemetery plot or having your pet cremated.

Consider taking the animal to the local Humane Society or the local county if you can’t afford the procedure.  These non-profit organizations are cheaper than a for-profit vet office.

Low-income options may be available for those who may not be able to afford the cremation.  Check with the local animal shelter in your city to see what options you may have.

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