Pentobarbital is an anesthetic drug that’s primarily used to euthanize pets. It’s most commonly given to dogs and cats, although it can also be used on other animals. Pentobarbital sodium might be available over the counter in some states, but only with a prescription in others. Read on to learn more about where you can buy it, what it costs, and if there are any side effects of using pentobarbital sodium as a pet sedative.

What is Pentobarbital?

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate sedative that’s used on humans and animals. It’s primarily used as a euthanasia drug and to sedate animals before surgical procedures. It’s mostly used on dogs and cats, but can also be used on rabbits, birds, ferrets, rodents, and reptiles.

When veterinarians use pentobarbital to euthanize pets, it’s injected into an animal’s bloodstream. It’s absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which leads to sedation followed by a loss of consciousness and death. Pentobarbital is used to euthanize animals that are feral, aggressive, or suffering from a terminal illness.

How is Pentobarbital Used for Pets?

Veterinarians may prescribe pentobarbital sodium for dogs experiencing anxiety, such as during thunderstorms or fireworks. It’s also used to calm pets before taking them to the vet, during boarding, and when traveling by air. Pets can also be given pentobarbital sodium before a surgical procedure.

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Pentobarbital sodium is usually given as an injection, but it may also be offered in an oral solution as well. The solution is usually flavored, making it more palatable to pets. Pentobarbital is often used in combination with other drugs, such as acepromazine, to calm pets before taking them to the vet.

Where to Buy Pentobarbital Sodium for Pets

Because pentobarbital sodium is used for euthanasia, it’s technically only legal for veterinarians to purchase and use. You may be able to buy pentobarbital sodium from a pharmacy, but you’ll need to have a prescription from your veterinarian.

Pentobarbital is also available online, but it’s important to only buy from a licensed pharmacy. Be wary of online pet pharmacies that are not regulated or licensed by the FDA.

How Much Does Pentobarbital Cost?

Pentobarbital costs about $20 for 50 milligrams, making it one of the least expensive pet sedatives on the market. It’s usually more expensive to purchase pentobarbital sodium online than it is at a local pharmacy. The price can also vary depending on the quantity you buy.

Keep in mind that pentobarbital sodium is used for more than just calming pets. It’s also used to euthanize animals, so your veterinarian will probably only prescribe it to be used as a sedative. If you have a pet that needs to be euthanized, it may be cheaper to purchase pentobarbital sodium online.

Side Effects of Pentobarbital in Pets

Some side effects may be seen in pets after receiving pentobarbital, but they are not common. Some dogs may show drowsiness, lethargy, or excessive drooling after receiving a pentobarbital injection or oral solution.

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For pets being euthanized, pentobarbital is a very humane drug. Death is painless and can be seen as peaceful. However, euthanizing animals with pentobarbital is legal only under certain circumstances. It’s important to check with your local law enforcement to see if they have any restrictions.

Is It Legal to Buy Pentobarbital for Dogs?


Pentobarbital can be used to euthanize dogs, so it’s only legal for veterinarians to buy pentobarbital for dogs. You can only buy pentobarbital for your pets if you have a prescription from your veterinarian.

If you have an aggressive dog that may bite someone, your veterinarian may suggest euthanizing the dog. Before doing so, they will likely prescribe pentobarbital to calm the dog before being euthanized.

Final Words

Pentobarbital is an effective dog and cat sedative that’s primarily used to euthanize pets. It’s most commonly given to dogs and cats, although it can also be used on other animals.

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate drug, and it’s most commonly given as an injection, followed by a flavored oral solution. It’s usually more expensive to purchase pentobarbital online than it is at a local pharmacy, although prices vary depending on the quantity you buy.


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