Last updated on September 17th, 2023 at 07:03 am
When hamsters are sick, the moment comes when we think about whether they should be euthanized. We love our pets, but sometimes we can no longer watch them suffer and get pain due to a certain disease.
As difficult as it is for us, euthanasia of hamsters is sometimes the best solution to reduce their suffering.
How can we humanely euthanize a hamster if we cannot take it to the vet at the moment for various reasons?
Of course, when we perform euthanasia on our own beloved pet, it is difficult, it is not the same as when it is done by a veterinarian.
No matter how strong we make ourselves, the feelings persist and it is really very difficult.
How to humanely euthanize a hamster at home? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the best and most painless way to euthanize a hamster is to expose it to large amounts of carbon dioxide CO2, generated from a solution of baking soda and vinegar.
Shoeboxes can serve as gas chambers where indoor hamsters will inhale CO2 until they die in minutes.
As much as we don’t want to euthanize the hamsters, unfortunately, there is no other way to relieve them of pain, sometimes it is the right choice.
How to humanely euthanize a hamster at home?
As we said at the beginning, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the CO2 method is the best way to euthanize hamsters at home.
An improvised gas chamber appears to be the most painless way to end a hamster’s life.
Although this article is very difficult for me to write, let’s start with the necessary things to perform euthanasia:
- 1-gallon size shoe box
- 1-gallon jar
- a 16-ounce glass
- a toy for the hamster
- some cage litter
- 0.5-inch diameter plastic hose
- twist tie
- vinegar 1 gallon
- baking soda 1 pound
Method of euthanization
Now it’s time to tell you how to euthanize a hamster at home.
First, open the jar and put inside the waste from the cage and the toy for the hamster, all in order to provide more comfort to our pet before we start the euthanasia.
We need to make a hole inside the jar and then cover the jar with a cloth so that the hamster cannot move much in the last moments of its life.
It is very important that the covering cloth has two holes, one for the hose, and the other for air to escape while CO2 enters the jar.
The next thing is to suck the air through the hose that is connected to the bag containing baking soda and vinegar, then you put the hose inside the jar or euthanasia chamber.
Next comes the hardest part: putting the hamster inside the jar with the hose extended about 2 inches into the chamber and opening the container, leaving a small opening for air to escape through the container.
Using the cup, pour half a gallon of vinegar into the baking soda through the plastic bag, and this should take 1 minute.
Carbon dioxide will begin to fill the atmosphere as it passes through the hose and the euthanasia chamber. The hose should stay in place and not fall into the liquid.
You should gradually increase the CO2 concentration as the gas mixes with the air in the euthanasia chamber to prevent the gas from falling through the chamber.
In those moments, in 2 minutes, the hamster should fall asleep and start breathing hard due to the anesthesia to which it is exposed.
At the end of the euthanasia push the hose closer to the bottom of the cage and add the rest of the vinegar to the bag.
Squeeze the bag to release the remaining carbon dioxide in the chamber, causing the hamster to die within seconds from too much CO2.
Do not open the chamber and leave it closed for another half hour, then you can open it and find that your pet is dead.
Studies done posthumously show that the hamsters showed no signs of stress before their death. You can do this euthanasia method yourself, but my personal recommendation is to have it done by a veterinarian.
How to euthanize a hamster with Tylenol?
Yes, it is possible to euthanize a hamster with Tylenol, but this process is still quite slow and painful for your pet.
4-10 Tylenol tablets will do the trick but expect your hamster to be disoriented for a few hours from these drugs.
At the same time, the hamster will have several hours of pain before it dies, even in some cases, it can survive.
How to euthanize a hamster with sleeping pills?
You can also use sleeping pills to euthanize your hamster with Pentobarbital and benzodiazepines.
Pentobarbital is also known by the name Beuthanasia-D Special and is used as a quick method of euthanizing a hamster as this drug renders the hamster unconscious and stops their heart within minutes.
If you decide to use benzodiazepines, this includes midazolam and diazepam, which can also put the hamster to sleep because they contain codeine or morphine, which in larger doses can euthanize the hamster.
To euthanize the hamster with pills, you need to break the pills and mix them with water, and then give them to the hamsters with a dropper.
Once you give sleeping pills orally, the hamsters will fall asleep and not wake up.
How to euthanize a hamster with Benadryl?
Benadryl is an anti-allergy drug that can be used to euthanize a hamster because it causes respiratory arrest in hamsters.
To put your pet to sleep you need to mix one milligram of Benadryl with a small amount of water.
Then with a dropper or syringe, you should give it to your pet for 10 hours, which will cause it to fall asleep and euthanize it.
Is the euthanasia of hamsters a justified solution?
Euthanasia in hamsters is a justified solution only when the hamster is in such a bad condition that it simply can no longer tolerate pain and difficulties in its daily life.
Before deciding on such a step, a conversation with a veterinarian is the best solution to determine whether the hamster is really in such a serious condition that you decide on euthanasia.
Here are some reasons why euthanasia is the best and most painless solution for your pet:
- when the hamster is struggling to breathe
- when the hamster is in pain non-stop without stopping
- when the hamster does not eat or drink water at all, which leads to dehydration, which will kill the hamster in 3-4 days.
- when the hamster cannot pee or poop normally.
- when it doesn’t move or doesn’t have the strength to move at all
- when the hamster has cancer in an advanced stage and is in great pain due to this disease.
How to say goodbye to a hamster in its last moments before euthanasia?
Probably the hardest moment for all of us is when we have to see our furry pet for the last time.
You can pet him or give him some of his favorite food if he can still eat.
Although the separation process is best done quickly, it is still not as easy as we say with words.
Is it legal to euthanize a hamster?
Whether it is legal to euthanize hamsters is variable, that is, in different countries, there are different laws governing the euthanasia of animals.
In some countries, guidelines have been adopted on how the euthanasia of animals should be carried out at home.
For example, in California, it is forbidden to breed hamsters at home, which automatically means that euthanasia is not legal and must not be done in this state.
What kills hamsters fastest?
Hamsters die the fastest when exposed to high concentrations of CO2 because it will kill them in seconds.
Another way for hamsters to die quickly is cervical dislocation, that is, dislocation of their spinal column from the brain, as well as by pressure on the neck, which is a popular method.
There are other ways to quickly kill a hamster, but they all have certain degrees of pain before they die.
Killing them by hitting them with a heavy object is also a quick but brutal way to kill hamsters.
Can vets euthanize a hamster?
Yes, veterinarians can euthanize a hamster, but they do it in the fastest and most painless way, so it is best to do this process with them.
Of course, before euthanizing, consent is signed so that veterinarians have the right to perform the entire process on your pet.
Some vets also offer a service such as having euthanasia performed by them at your home, but not all vets offer that service.
How much does it cost to euthanize a hamster?
There is no strictly determined price for the euthanasia of a hamster, it varies and can range from 50 to 500 dollars.
It depends more on the location, the veterinarian himself, and the type of service he offers.
Here is a more detailed look at how and why the price of the service, i.e. euthanasia for hamsters, varies.
The cost of euthanasia is determined depending on the location.
For example, in some locations or larger cities, it will certainly be much more expensive than in a small town where the price will be cheaper.
The type of service
Depending on the service, the price for euthanasia varies.
For example, standard euthanasia costs less, unlike the one performed in your home by a veterinarian.
Of course, the distance from where the veterinarian comes will affect the price, if it is closer it will be cheaper, while if it comes from further away, the costs of its arrival will understandably be higher.
The professionalism of a veterinarian
The price for euthanasia will also depend on the expertise of the veterinarian.
If he is more experienced then the price will be more expensive, unlike someone who does not have such great skill in this procedure.
Price of services
If you request additional services such as burial or cremation of the hamster then this will be an additional cost.
For example, a hamster crematorium can cost an additional $700 for cremation.
In any case, there are different prices depending on the service you choose to send your pet.
What to do with the body of a dead hamster?
When your hamster’s life is over, whether you euthanize it at a vet or at home, you then need to claim its body and care for it yourself.
Here are some ways of what to do with a dead hamster’s body.
The easiest way to bury a hamster at home is to dig a 1-2 meter deep hole in your yard.
Then you put the body of the hamster inside the hole and put the earth back again, that is, you bury it.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to check the laws in your state to see if everything complies with pet burial laws.
Some cities also have pet crematoria after you euthanize your pet.
Cremation of a hamster costs from 150 to 800 dollars depending on the location and the full services you require for cremation.
Cremation can be done either on the same day the hamster died, or it can be done a few days later.
Some owners simply throw the hamsters in the dumpster.
Although it is not very humanistic, some people decide on this step.
However, even if you want to throw a hamster in a container, you should first see if it is allowed in your state.
Hamsters can be humanely euthanized at home using carbon dioxide.
Concentrated carbon dioxide first knocks the hamster unconscious, and then kills it in a very short time when the concentration of CO2 becomes higher.
There are other methods like Tylenol overdose or cervical dislocation.
However, the best way is to use carbon dioxide to end the life of our furry friend.
If you cannot do it yourself then a vet can do the euthanasia process.
Read more: Do Hamsters Get Cataracts? (Find Out Now)