The Rat Fan Club

Feedback on the Home Euthanasia Method


Updated 5/3/17


Just wanted to tell you that the euthanasia using your method went smoothly, and I will be forever grateful to you for sharing that information on your site. Going to the vet to have my rats pts gave me the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had in my life, and was bad for the rat too. My vet is 2.5 hours away, but I’ll never have to go through that again...Thank you so so so much. It couldn't have been more peaceful; he was laying on his blankets relaxing with a treat.




We have years of experience with ratties and we successfully did our first home euthanasia with our dear little guy Lookout a few weeks ago. It was so peaceful...don’t know if we will ever let a vet do it anymore.




Dear Debbie, thank you so much for your detailed description of how to gently euthanize a rat.  My daughter’s lovely old rat Hugo has been failing for weeks and had finally reached a point where it was obvious his suffering was significant and his quality of life very low.  Without your simple and excellent instructions I would never have done it, but as it was, little Hugo slipped into sleep peacefully while my daughter petted him and was gone within 15 minutes.  Thanks so much for your wisdom and love for these sweet little beings. 




Hansel lived for months with a growing, inoperable tumor. We washed him, fed him by hand, changed his bedding twice a day once he couldn’t walk. Despite limitations, he enjoyed his life with his cagemate and son, Max, for many months. Two days ago, Hansel would no longer lick his sweetened water. Now he was different ... restless ... behaving in the way a rat does when it is ready to move on.  I petted and talked to him while I poured in the 2 cups of vinegar. I saw him become unconscious within a minute. Some minutes later, still petting and talking to him, I added the last cup of vinegar. More minutes passed and I covered the tank with a towel.

  My dear rat died quietly at home without fear or discomfort. I am thankful to have learned how to do this from your website! I let Max spend some time with the body before I buried it.  Max covered his dad with some scraps of tissues.  Max knew the score, and he did what he could for his dad.  Rats are smart, wonderful, and absolutely amazing!

Thx for reading,




I decided to put her down today. The vinegar and baking soda method went well, Thank You! After pouring 1 cup of vinegar, she curled up and went to sleep in 5-10 seconds, and she hardly got agitated or freaked out. She was soon out cold and did not respond to the blinking test. After gradually pouring all the vinegar and the entire container of baking soda, (which was open already for a few weeks), 5 minutes later she was still making small gasps (I knew all this was normal from reading your instructions). I ran to the store to get more baking soda/vinegar, and 10 seconds after putting in the new baking soda she was breathing through her nose, and soon after she expired. I think that the gas anesthetic that is common at the vet, where the rat breathes through the mask for about 10 minutes is more stressful than this. 

Thank you very much for saving me the trip to the vet, and for helping her out.




Thank you for posting the method of euthanizing a pet rat. My old lady Onyx was 5 years old. She lost most of the use her back legs a long time ago but she learned to adapt to that super well still climbing her cage and running around my house when out for play time. She still had no problem terrorizing my dogs ;)  Over the last 4 days she has become increasingly more sick. Her belly had swelled very large she could no longer move herself around. She was still eating and drinking but I had to keep her bowl next to her. 

Enough was enough. I couldn’t get a vet appointment until Monday to euthanaze her but I didn’t want to make her suffer for that long. The method worked really well. She had a little struggle towards the end where she was going to sleep but she was fairly calm and I got to feed her treats. She didn’t have to endure the car ride or being taken away into a strange smelling  place to be put to sleep. It was so much nicer than taking her to the vets for it. Thank you for posting that method. You made my and my girl’s last moments together much nicer, on my kitchen table where she used to steal the fruit instead of in the vets. Thanks again.




I ended up using your baking soda method of euthanasia with my cat who was only four pounds at the time of her death. It worked very well and very fast and she did not suffer at all. She was extremely sick and if I were to try to take her out of the house it would have been WAY worse for her. So thank you very much for the information! If I had to take her to the vet it would have caused her so much more grief and stress she did not need. She was 18 years old when she passed.




Hi Ms. Ducommun,

I just wanted to say how grateful I am for this article you wrote. My little girl rat had had a tumor for a couple of months now and it was becoming bigger and bigger until it became so big she could hardly move around her cage. Then her quality of life vanished completely. I wanted her to pass away at her own pace, but it was killing me to see her like that. So I search online for a way to humanely do it myself, not expecting to find one. But I found your article and instantly trusted the information you were giving. I was really nervous, wanting this to happen in the most respectful way, and I’m happy to say it did.


We put our little rat girl to sleep this afternoon and I was so relieved to see that she just went to sleep peacefully. When the bubble sound started, she became scared a little, but I was scratching her neck the whole time so she calmed down. I’m really sad, but at the same time so happy that it happened peacefully and that she didn’t have the stress to go to the vet before passing out and that I could be with her the whole time. I can’t thank you enough!  


On the technical side, we did it in a 10 gallon cooler because we didn't had an aquarium and it worked perfectly.

Thank you again,



Debbie, just wanted to thank you for posting instructions on the home euthanasia method. I used it tonight to help my sweet Spirit pass. He was suffering all today and couldn’t breathe it was absolutely awful to see. He was fairly old and plagued with tumors and suffering greatly. I appreciate you helping me to make it easy for him to cross over. He’s not in any more pain now.




I just wanted to say thank you for providing clear, caring and humane instructions on how to euthanize. My little lady rat had developed a large tumor on the under side of her back leg. She started being unable to walk and her quality of life went down hill fairly fast. Her partner had passed away months before. Shadow was just over three, still energetic in spite of the tumor. It broke my heart to see her like this. We live in a pretty remote location and taking her to the vet wasn’t an option. I knew for quite awhile something was going to have to be done, but could not stand the thought of her passing in way that would be traumatizing. Anyway, your site provided the best method for the situation. It went smoothly and now she is at peace and free from the discomfort.
Thanks again for caring so much



Hello Debbie, on the weekend I euthanized my beautiful old girl Jammy. I used your method to the letter & it was thankfully very fast. Even though I’m shattered & heartbroken, I’m relieved I was able to help her out of her suffering. She’d had a stroke & was really tough. I vowed I’d do it myself for her when she was little as I’d been disappointed by vets in the past. So I just wanted to give you feedback as requested in your Rat Health Care booklet.




Dear Ratlady,

Thank you very much for posting instructions on how to euthanize small rodents. My husband and I watched our first gerbil suffer and die because no vet’s office was open on the weekend near us, and when our second gerbil became very ill this weekend, we knew we were in for the same horrible fate. Fortunately, we found your website and followed your instructions exactly. Our little man went unconscious very quickly with only a few labored breaths, and he is now at peace. We are so grateful to you for posting these instructions! We cannot thank you enough.


Lara and Virgil



I followed your process last night, including extra vinegar and baking soda, since my rat was about 1.5 lbs. t was horribly hard (emotionally, not physically) to hold her still. Her little face and eyes were just innocently looking up at me and she wanted to come out and I just had to keep telling her that she was going to heaven and she was going to feel so much better and see her buddy again, etc. As extremely hard as it was for me, I think for her sake, it was better done at home like that then bringing her to a foreign place (the vets office) with foreign people. Thank you.

Kristen Bordanea



My rat is very old and sick. I decided euthanasia is the best option for her, and I tried your method and it did not work. I am not sure what wrong.  I went and got a setup like yours in the photo. I bought two fresh boxes of baking soda and new vinegar and followed the instructions and it is not working. She woke up the first time. I tried again shortly after and she is currently unconscious but still breathing. It has been 25 minutes or so. I really don’t know what to do.


After sending this email, she called me on the phone, and told me she had tried it twice with 2 different boxes of baking soda.  I told her to add the amounts again, and then she sent me this:


I thought I should send an update since my previous email, as we spoke earlier on the phone. I wanted to thank you for answering your phone and for helping me.  I did as you suggested and it worked without any further complication.

Sorry for being such a mess on the phone. I know I did what was best for my rat, and I really appreciate that you were there to guide me through when I needed it. I will miss her dearly, but I am glad she is no longer suffering.

Thank you again.



Hi there Rat Lady,

I just wanted to thank you for your article on at-home rat euthanasia using CO2 and report that the method worked very well. My dear 3-year-old girl was suffering from pneumonia and a cancerous growth; antibiotics had staved off the respiratory issues for a while, but they were starting to return, and the tumor was starting to interfere with her movement. I am very grateful that when the day came, I did not need to wait for a vet appointment and make that long drive to the vet’s office (and then become a sobbing mess in front of all the vet techs, which is what happened last time I had to do this). She fell asleep in less than a minute after I put the vinegar in and although I could see the unconscious gasps for breath that you described, it seemed to me an extremely peaceful passing. This is never easy and I hate that rats have such short lives, but thank you for making it easier for me. I will definitely be using your method in the future when my rats reach this point. 





I used this method for our sweet Lil Annabelle today. She had several aggressive tumors taking over. She has handled them remarkably tho over the months remaining very strong, climbing, playing, eating good, drinking & climbing all over our dogs…until yesterday. Once I knew this tumor was growing, I knew I would need to use this method. I bookmarked your site & today, I used it. She went so peacefully. Her eyes opened & her body relaxed as all pain just floated away. When I increased the dosage, she departed quickly & quietly. I was able to talk to her & pet her through it all.
So, thank you for taking time breaking it down. I thought your method even better than the suggestions from the previous website you mentioned. She was special. Again, thank you. It's a beautiful sunny day & I'm going through all my pictures of her. She was fun.



My Dear Ms. Ducommun,

   The first rat book I ever bought was yours and it was ever so helpful.  Subsequently, with ANY questions, I google or just go to your website!


Today I found myself googling “humane home euthanasia for pet rodents” and, thankfully I again came to one of your articles.  I have had two “mice girls” for over three years now.  Got them as weanlings who were destined as feeders.  They were delightful and recently began their predictable decline. Today I got my courage up and decided that as a loving, responsible caretaker of these beloved little creatures, I was failing by allowing them to linger.  Your “recipe” for creating CO2 was the courage I needed.


I did the candle test first and it worked perfectly so with that encouragement, I proceeded to select a container and alter the “recipe” to allow for the size of the mice and smaller container.  I will tell you that I am now at peace just as they are.  It was NOT a scene of panic but rather one of peace and gentle passing.  I cannot thank you enough for the good things you have taught me about keeping my ratties happy and healthy but even more on this day you have given me relief and a sense of peace knowing that I have done the right thing and was able to do it here at home.

My heartfelt thanks,




Hi Deb,

Our last rat, Canada, passed this morning.  I used vinegar and baking soda per your instructions for both her and her sister Cinder, who died four months ago.  I am sending you reports to enhance your understanding of this method of euthanasia. Cinder, toward the end of her life in April, was uncomfortable and refused to eat her medicines, so her breathing worsened progressively over about a week until she was struggling to breathe and we had to put her down. Hers was the most peaceful euthanasia I have seen (I have euthanized 8 of our 12 rats). I put her down in the aquarium, I added the vinegar, and she just relaxed and went to sleep.  It was very quick.  It was gratifying to feel that I had relieved her suffering so quickly.


Canada is the only rat who has reached this point with absolutely no respiratory problems.  We celebrated her third birthday two days ago, so we recognize that we were fortunate to have a long time with her.  We loved her dearly, and held/petted her most of every day after she lost her two sisters. She developed a very aggressive, fast-growing, very hard tumor, got so big it blocked her elimination.  We knew things would not get any better.


We petted her and talked to her for an hour.  She was so awake and aware. I gave her avocado, one of her favorite treats, in the aquarium.  As soon as the vinegar went in, though, she sensed something was wrong and started trying to scramble up my arm. After about 30-60 seconds of scrambling, she lay down.  She was still breathing, deeper and slower than usual, but didn’t seem at all distressed. I kept checking her inner eyelid and she kept blinking. After each blink, I stirred up the baking soda, then added a little more vinegar, then put towels over the top while still petting her and talking to her. After some time it dawned on me that her repeated clambering up my arm probably pushed a bunch of CO2 out of the aquarium.  So I added more baking soda and more vinegar and stirred it up, and finally she lost consciousness.  I am very sad, and it seemed to take so very long.  It seemed like she lay there breathing slowly, presumably listening to me and feeling my touch, thinking who-knows-what, for five or ten minutes. But other than her panic about wanting to escape the weirdness (knowing Canada, it might have been the fizzing sound that terrified her), she didn't seem to suffer.  I just wish it would have gone faster.


I want to tell you, so you can tell other people, if the rat moves around a lot inside the aquarium, tries to run up the person's arm, please be prepared to add extra vinegar and maybe extra baking soda, to replace lost CO2. (Rat Lady’s note: At this time I did add this info to the webpage.)


Thank you very much for all your help and support over the years.  Your Rat Health Care books, in particular, have been a godsend.  Our children are grown now, and we have determined not to adopt any more pet rats.  They are the most adorable and loving and wonderful pets imaginable, but I hate the medical challenges, particularly mycoplasma and tumors.


I wish you, your pet rats, and your rat community all the best.





Hi, Just wanted to thank you. It came time and I need to put Hope to sleep and it went exactly the way you detailed. It was quick and peaceful.




Thank you so very much for the info you posted about how to euthanize our rat at home.  We had already spent $150 on vet and Rx and couldn’t spend any more.  The Humane Society was dinking us around and we didn’t want our poor baby to suffer another 24 hours while the HSUS decided if they would handle her.  Your method worked and she’s no longer suffering.

Thank you again so much!




Thank you for providing the information and links about euthanization in a humane manner on your website. I followed the instructions closely and put my poor Lovie the rat down last night. I do not believe I could have asked for a more humane and peaceful way for her to go.  It seemed to work well, and I am thankful that there was a manner to end her pain from cancer. 




I recently came across your page while looking for the kindest method of euthanasia for a mouse. Sadly my last mouse developed a large tumour that had grown bigger than her. She was still eating and drinking but I felt it wasn’t fair on her any longer. I want to say thank you for the method you posted as it was so quick and painless. Within a minute she was gone and did not look like she suffered. 




I have had many rats as pets over the years. They are WONDERFUL. One of my old male rats, Jack, has been dying of what I believe to be old age, however it has been almost 2 weeks since he got sick. He was wasting away and I could tell he was in pain. I have had rats put down in the past by my local vet. They are not compassionate there and they use an injection in the heart. I used your CO2 method this evening. It was a very peaceful passing for him. I am very thankful for your advice. I just have to come to terms with the fact that I took a life this evening. But I am glad he is no longer suffering.
Thank you.



I attempted your method tonight. The CO2 knocked my rat out immediately. I stayed for another couple of minutes, covered the tank, and then waited about 30 minutes. I came back to her still breathing. I waited another 30 minutes, still breathing. I then decided to attempt to add additional baking soda/vinegar. Same deal. I just pulled her out, so we’ll see how she is in the morning. What went wrong? Fresh baking soda, fresh distilled white vinegar, fizzing, waiting. I don’t understand.



Rat Lady’s note: This was before I changed the design to put the vinegar/baking soda in the milk jug. Before, you mixed it in the aquarium with the rat in a small cage.

After I emailed him, he replied:

I tried again after cleaning the vinegar/baking soda up, this time with a smaller cage inside the tank. It worked fine. I think the culprit was most likely simply not enough floor space in the aquarium for the reaction to occur.

Thank you.



Thank you for the home euthanasia post. What a lovely way for my girl to go



I have to thank you from the very bottom of my heart. My partner and I had to put Reggie to sleep after he suffered a stroke and your advice was invaluable. Thank you so much for letting my lovely boy have a dignified ending.



Hi Debbie,
I followed your instructions in Rat Health Care for humane home euthanasia. It was peaceful; my precious rat appeared to relax and fall into gentle unconsciousness. After I added the rest of the vinegar he stayed asleep, & eventually his heart stopped. It was a humane success, & I was able to be present in his last moments. Thank you for your help to end my beloved 2-year-old’s suffering with the ease and dignity he deserves.



Hi Deb, We ordered your book Rat Health Care along with others a while back and have found them very useful.  Back in February we noticed a lump on one of our rats. When it came time to let her go, to say the very least we were frustrated with the lack of vets available in our area.  By the time we were able get an appointment to have her checked and were told the cost and all the things that go with it, we choose to keep her at home and take care of her ourselves.  Well yesterday was Mattie's last day with us...we used the method in your book.  There were two of us present, we had everything ready - said our goodbyes and started the process.  She weighed 6 oz short of 2 lbs, so I used an extra cup of vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons soda.  I’m sure she sensed what was happening.  I added the soda and vinegar, we gently held her there and talked to her - she wiggled, cried out once, took two big breaths and was gone. She never went unconscious. The recipe did the job, but wow what an experience.  We have lost a total of 3 now, one pituitary tumor, one to mycoplasma (we think) and one mammary tumor, took in one rescue and have six total at the moment. We love them all as individuals cause no two are alike.  Thanks for your help with everything you have shared over time.  

Teresa & Dave



Hi Debbie,
My rat had a respiratory problem and was getting increasingly worse despite my attempts to nurse her back to health. I decided that I needed to put her down because she was suffering so much, so I tried this method of euthanasia. Thank you so much. The whole process worked exactly as described, despite some initial panic my rat experienced at being in an unfamiliar place (I don’t think she panicked because she couldn’t breathe). She almost immediately fell asleep and looked more at peace than she had in days. I think this is the best method of euthanasia I could have chosen; I took a previous rat (also with myco) to the vet to be put down and that was a much more stressful experience for her and me, for one because I could hear her shriek as she was given the shots. I really appreciate that you put this up on your website. It gives me great comfort to know that my rat could die in as much peace as she did.
PS - I have often consulted your website and books over the years to learn more about my rats and treat their medical problems. You have been a great help to me in more than one way.


Thank you for your instructions on home euthanasia.
I used a 15 gallon plastic storage container and adjusted the baking soda and vinegar amounts. It was easy and worked quickly.
Thanks again.



The home euthanasia worked. While I am heart broken and devastated by loss, I would actually recommend this method. Certainly in this situation. Was quick for her and didn’t seem to cause her much discomfort. Also was much better than letting her suffer.




Hi, Debbie-

Tonight for the first time I used your method of home euthanasia, and wanted to let you know that it was a very calm, peaceful process and proceeded exactly as you described it in the Rat Health Care booklet. Dorothy was 32 months old and I had opted not to have her mammary tumors removed due to her frailty, so I knew this day would come. The idea of putting her in a carrier, taking her for a drive and making her deal with all the handling at the vet’s office was terrible to me and would have been terrifying for her. She fell asleep quite quickly - in about 2 minutes, give or take a few seconds. After I added the last of the vinegar and covered the tank, I checked on her at about 10 minutes and she was still breathing, though slowly. I didn’t check again for about an hour, so I don't know exactly at what point she went to the bridge.  Thanks to this method she was able to go right here at home, with her belly full of her favorite meal, peacefully and without undue stress or fear. I’m so very grateful for the information you share.  




Thank you for your help, ratfanclub.  Our area veterinarians will not care for rats.  The home method of euthanasia worked very well.  Our pet rat did not suffer using this method.  Our family is much happier now that our friend’s suffering has ended.  The entire process took about 2 minutes and we could not be happier than to be with Clusters during his last moments.  We really appreciate all of the great information your site provides to pet rat owners. 

Thanks again,



Dear Ms. Ducommun,
My husband and I only started adopting rats a couple years ago. When we started, your books were recommended to us and we read them with joy. We also came across several articles published by you, and in a way you have been a fairly constant presence to us as rat-caretakers. I wanted to send you a thank you because tonight you have once again been a huge help and comfort to us.

Recently, one of our rats,
Tara, developed the signs of a pituitary tumor. Like many, we have fallen on some very hard times. When we first adopted our mischief, we had a vet fund set aside that we regularly added to. Then it got depleted, and we knew we would be unable to afford a vet for Tara. I kept hoping that she would pass peacefully in her sleep, but she has always been energetic. I started to look for home methods of euthanasia, in order to be prepared for the inevitable. And the time came (earlier today) when we discovered that our sweet little girl could no longer walk or see. I had come across your article on at-home euthanasia. I was very skeptical at first, but when I saw that the method had been authored by you, I decided to trust it. I have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry so even though I didn't have a 10-gallon aquarium, I knew I could do the math needed for the 12-gallon container that we have. I recalculated the ratios needed and my husband and I set about putting our rat to sleep.

I cannot tell you how strange it feels to be comforted by the manner of my pet’s death, but being able to sit and talk to her, watch over her, and see with my own eyes that she simply fell unconscious and slipped away - all while not having to add to her trauma
AND our stress by taking her to a vet’s office and paying the fee - was more of a comfort than I could have possibly imagined. It was so hard to let her go, but the manner in which we put her to sleep was not part of that hardship.

My husband and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us continue to be the best caretakers that we can. Thank you so much. Thank you.
Colleen and Kyle



Dear Debbie:
I just wanted to thank you for posting the instructions for euthanizing rats.  My daughter’s pet hoodie had a tumor that had abscessed and the little guy needed to be put down.  I found your site via google, followed the procedure, and it was very sad, but he went very peacefully.  It’s sad to lose a pet, but it was good to be able to do it so gently and know he’s not suffering anymore. 
-Bill, Semper Rodentia


Hi Debbie,
I talked to you yesterday about using the aquarium and my failed attempt.  I had an old box of baking soda in the cupboard dated 2013 and went through the steps without Nemo inside and the candle went out immediately.  I will always check first if I face this again.  I repeated the steps with him inside, and he was asleep in literally seconds and never moved again.  Can’t imagine what would be different with the new box dated 2015 that didn’t work.

Thank you so much for passing this valuable information along to all of us that love rats.  It was such a peaceful and quick way to help him on his way over. I was able to pet him the entire time and know he is at peace and healthy and happy again. Thank you for taking the time to help us through this. I’m so very grateful.



Thank you so much for the information. We just put my daughter’s little guy down. All the vet offices were closed and it is a holiday weekend. Your information about CO2 was a godsend. Gizmo is resting in peace and my daughter’s mind is now ease.  Thank you so much!



Dear Debbie,
Thank you so much for posting the protocol on euthanizing pet rats at home with CO2. We used this simple method to euthanize dear Peanut, who had two mammary tumors and a respiratory illness. The vet said their was nothing he could do for her so we waited until she no longer had good days and was clearly suffering and we put her to sleep. It was very peaceful and she didn’t appear to suffer. It was much easier for all of us that way, and nice to be able to do it at home. The information on your website is so useful. We are really grateful to you.
Best wishes,



I recently attempted to humanely euthanize my rat using the method on your website. Unfortunately it didn’t work. She has a fairly advanced mammary tumor that has caused her to begin to lose interest in her normal ratty activities and I felt it was time. I followed the steps as well as I could but she did not lose consciousness, her breathing did become labored but she never fell asleep. Did I not use enough for her weight, or the wrong ratio?



Rat Lady’s note: I sent Katherine the following email: I suggest you buy fresh baking soda if you want to try it again. And after you have put in all the vinegar, stir the mixture up to release more CO2.

Katherine emailed back the next day:


We tried again tonight with fresh baking soda, it worked. I just wanted to thank you for your help and having the information for a peaceful passing on your site. It saved my girl from suffering, which I’m very grateful for.



Dear Debbie,
Thank you for creating the instructions for humane home euthanasia. I was able to euthanize my rat today (she was in severe respiratory distress), and I’m glad I was able to end her suffering in a peaceful way. Before I found your instructions, I had no idea what to do.
Thank you.



The humane CO2 euthanasia on your website worked so well for our pet, Peep. Thank you so much.



Debbie, I want to thank you for the how-to information regarding euthanizing at home. I knew the time had come to say good-bye to Dottie when Dixie stayed at the bottom of the cage with her rather than climb into their hanging basket. I used your CO2 method and this morning Dotty went peacefully - eating a blueberry and licking my hand. I am very sad but I know it was the right time to do the right thing.




I just wanted to thank you for posting the page. As much as it hurts right now, at least I know I put my rat Mila down as humanely as I possibly could. She seemed to have some bad cancer/tumor issue and it got really bad. I’m on a strict budget and my wages are being garnished for my own medical bills so there was no way to afford to take her to the vet. I was stressing out so much but I found your humane home method and I went to the store got the stuff and had to carry it out a few hours ago. Hardest thing I ever had to do, but I just had to keep telling myself it was the best thing so she didn’t suffer anymore. Without that knowledge you provided I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you for giving me the knowledge to put her down with the least pain for her as possible. 




Thank you so much for your article on humane euthanasia. My daughter’s and my rat, Melody, was about 18 months old. My daughter noticed a lump on her side about two months ago or so. I talked to the vet about surgery and they didn’t sound very encouraging or optimistic. And I couldn’t afford the $500+ it would cost. She had been doing relatively well up until today. The tumor had grown to be about the size of her normal body. So I decided to use your method to put a peaceful and humane end to her life.


I didn’t have a 10 gallon aquarium so I used a plastic tub and adjusted the amounts. I petted her and soothed her and as you stated, within 2 minutes she was unconscious. I was very anxious about doing this procedure, but now that it’s done, I’m glad I did and very glad to have found your site and the information you so kindly shared.

Peace and Love,





I had to euthanize my rat today because she was suffering and beyond help, and your website really helped me find a good at-home method. It was so peaceful. I think it was the best way for her to go. Thank you so much.



5/3/12 Posted on Rat Enthusiasts

I had to help my old rat Nimee last month with her exit. It was the first time I’ve ever had to euthanize a rat, and it was a wrenching decision. I didn’t want her to go through the stress of an unfamiliar place, so I used Deb’s home euthanasia method. I was surprised at what an incredibly gentle passing it turned out to be. I spent a lot of time with Nimee beforehand just reassuring her and holding her close. When the time came, it was very quick, and I could detect neither fear nor pain. It was a very loving experience. I just wanted to repost the link for others who might be faced with this and who might want to do it at home.




Hi Debbie,
Just wanted to thank you for all your good work towards pet rat care. Our family just used your home euthanasia method (found via the internet) on our beloved
Ping and he went out very gently. I’ve had pet rats on and off my whole adult life and with your very well-researched method, I am no longer afraid of the potential vet bills. Thus more happiness for me, my family and some special little rats.
Thanks again!



Thank you for your information on how to painlessly kill a rat. Our old guy has been around for about 3 ½ years and has been failing badly for about a month now. We have been hand feeding him to keep him alive.  He suffered a massive stroke today and we were going to take him into the vet tomorrow to be put down. However, all the vets in our area do the intercardiac needle. I had to take one in a few years ago and it wasn’t pleasant. Anyhow, Oreo fell asleep quietly and peacefully with the baking soda and vinegar and now my 12-year-old daughter doesn’t have to go through the vet thing tomorrow.  She was insisting on taking him in as it was her baby.  End of life care is important.  Thank you for taking the time to post the information.




Hello Debbie,
I'd like to say thank you for advice on euthanasia. When I came back home tonight I found my little sick angel agonizing and decided not to wait any longer. Following your instructions it was possible for me to put her into unconsciousness first and then to everlasting sleep without suffering.
God bless you.
Paolo (



One week ago we found one of our older four brothers in the cage in the evening, laying on the cage floor. He continued declining, his appetite became very bad and he was getting thinner very quickly. We decided to no longer let him suffer, and we have used your method for euthanasia to help him. I am very happy with this method, within a few seconds he relaxed, and when we added the final amount he was almost immediately deceased. He has had no stress because he was at home, and he had no pain. In the past we have rats put to sleep at the vets, but this was often accompanied by a lot of stress due to travel there, and the injection was not entirely painless for them. I find your method much more humane, and if I ever have to make this decision again I will use this method instead of bringing them to the vets.
I’m much more in peace with the euthanasia now I have used this method, thank you for that!

Vera, Netherlands




    I am writing to let you know how it went with helping Hairy to pass with love. I did follow the instructions on the web site.  Hairy passed quickly and seemed peaceful. It was hard for me, but I find comfort knowing he was not scared or stressed by taking him to a veterinarian that didn’t love him. I gave him an M&M before I let him go. Again thank you and God bless you for being so wonderful. You are doing God’s work by helping so many to care for God’s creatures.




Dear Debbie,

My girlfriend and I lost our rat tonight, and we wanted to thank you for the information we found on your website that allowed us to end her suffering (being unable to take her in on a Sunday night). With the information we found we were able to put her down with CO2 euthanasia. We followed the exact instructions and the process worked for us. We wanted to thank you for keeping your site up and having such great information for people who care about their rats.


Tyler and Jen



I wanted to let you know, we used the home method on your website to euthanize a couple of our previous elderly rats after we had a bad experience with another rat at our then local vet. It was an emotionally difficult experience, but worked quite well, just as you had described, with only slight gasping at the end. We did weigh them, and one was quite heavy due to many mammary tumors that had immediately appeared and accumulated after 3 previous surgeries to remove mammary tumors (by a more experienced vet we had travelled to), so we increased the dose as directed for weight, and it seemed to go pretty smoothly. Overall, I believe it was much less stressful for the rats than the alternative given the situation. It was over a year after that before we decided to adopt Lydia (the new mommy,) and we now live closer to our more experienced/cleaner/gentler veterinarian.




I read your post online for how to humanly euthanize a family pet rat.
Sadly, 3 days ago today one of our loved pet rats fell sick suddenly.
Fine one day, the next morning Blanca was just laying at the bottom of
the cage.
We had 2 successful surgeries to remove tumors from her
tummy last year. We luckily got more time with her. However, she is
now 3 years old and I didn’t have the money to do this again know that
she is just very old for a rat. She was 1 of our 3 granny rats. My vet
quoted me $75 dollars to put her to sleep. I live in
Alaska and
everything is much more expensive here then anywhere else. I used your
method, I gave Blanca a Valium and used the vinegar and baking soda
and in less then 60 second she was peacefully, painlessly sleeping.
Thank You very much for your information.



I did a google search on pet rat home euthanasia when our 3 year old sisters developed cancer with skin lesions.

I followed the information on your site for each of our rats, about 30 days apart.

I had good success both times following your instructions.

Our pets seemed to go peacefully (and we saved about $150 over quoted vet fees).  Thanks for posting the info.

Scott, Seattle


Hi! I just wanted to email you simply to say thank you! Your website was the only one I found with a humane way to euthanize my pet rat, Cotton. Two weeks ago his “brother” Levi got extremely sick and it progressed very quickly. I was at a complete loss as to what to do since I couldn’t afford the vet. Before I was able to find anything to help him he had passed. It was very sad. Then two days ago Cotton started behaving the same way almost like he had dementia. I’ve only had them for 2 yrs and was very loving towards them so it broke my heart and I couldn’t allow him to go the same way Levi did. Long story short, I went with the method you had posted about the co2 chamber. Let me just say yours is by far the most humane, one of the alternative methods literally made me vomit from just reading so cruel! I followed all the instructions to a t. I got nervous though because towards the end of the last 20 minute span he was still breathing very very lightly, but as soon as I made up more mix he passed. Seriously, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! He was able to pass at home where he was comfortable, without pain, and surrounded by everyone who loved him (my roommates, boyfriend and I). I still cried like a baby but I’m very glad knowing I did the right thing and he didn’t have to suffer!

(Rat Lady’s note: Sounds like Cotton had a pituitary tumor.)



I followed the instructions on the website. My poor little girl has a huge tumor that is now becoming infected with sores.  She is too old to have the tumor removed.  I used the method, bawling my eyes out the whole time.  After I came back to the tank about half an hour later, she had moved, and her eyes were closed instead of open like before.  She was awake.  I pulled her out of the tank and she is now groggy and sitting in my lap.  I am worried about the damage I have done and am scared to try the procedure again.  I would appreciate any suggestions :(

- Michelle


Rat Lady’s note: I emailed Michelle back and learned she was not using an aquarium, but another container. I recommending increasing the amounts of vinegar and baking soda, and she replied:


Smooth sailing the second time.  It doesn’t feel great but at least Ethel is resting peacefully now.  Thank you so much for the support.



Thank you so much for your informative and helpful article on rat euthanasia. I have never experienced owning a rat before we got little Pee Wei, a cute baby dumbo rat. She was remarkably mellow and loving. Unfortunately I only had the pleasure of owning her for a couple months before her cage was left open - thus allowing her to eat a dose of my dog’s Frontline. Convulsions persisted for a few hours, so I had no choice but to put her out of her misery. Your instructions were very effective. She was unconscious after a couple small grunts. I plan on getting another one, but will wait awhile since she just died yesterday. Thanks again for your help.



I just wanted to let you know that I had to put one of my beloved pet rats to sleep today. Her breathing problems just got too bad & she was older. I used the euthanasia method (with vinegar and baking soda) described in your handbook. I was really sad to have to let her go, but I felt like I was doing the right thing. The method worked well, and she fell asleep as I was petting her. I really don't have a lot of money right now, so I really appreciated the information you provided.  Also, I was glad to be able to end her suffering at home, so she wasn’t in a foreign environment and scared. Rats are great pets, and I just wanted to say thank you for all the information & support!

--Jessi, Melbourne, FL



I had to put my little Louise down today after she took a turn for the worse yesterday. The euthanasia section of your website provided me with everything I needed to know. I had no problems (well, except dealing with losing Louise and having to put her down) and Louise went very peacefully. She is now resting in my rose garden. Stephanie survives so I am looking at getting her two young companions sometime next week.
P. P.,
Dover, PA



Hi Debbie,

Something horrible has happened. I woke up at 4 AM ET this morning to find Dixie gasping for air and wheezing...which is bizarre because she was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor (she had all the symptoms). It looks like she had a respiratory thing going on too. Porphryin was coming from her eyes and nose. She was CLEARLY in distress, but I couldn’t get to the vet that early, and couldn’t get a hold of anyone to drive me even if I could (I don’t know how to drive/don’t own a car).


I realized I was going to have to use the euthanasia method you give in your book, so I did. It went off quickly and without any complications, I wanted you to know that. THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving the method, or Dixie would have suffered terribly for many hours until the vet opened and I could find someone to drive me (he is an hour away, no vets near me treat rats.)


Friends are telling me I spared Dixie suffering, but the truth is YOU did, because without that method I would not have known what to do and both Dixie and I would have suffered terribly for many hours. Thank you for everything you do to help ratties you have not even met. Someday Dixie will get to thank you when you meet her in Heaven. God bless you!




Yesterday I had to put my 4 year old rattie, Cinder, to sleep.  I used your home euthanasia method and was very pleased with the peaceful way Cinder crossed the rainbow bridge.  She was munching on her favorite treat and content with me petting and talking to her as she drifted off.  I only wish my last two little ladyies could have gone this way as well. 

Thanks again,

Julia, Orange County, CA



Hi Ratlady,

Just wanted to thank you for helping me say goodbye to my little friend Cashew. Your method was spot-on, I followed it to the letter, now Cashew has joined her sister Peanut.

Many thanks,

Brad (New Zealand)



Hi Deb,

My son figured out I had used too big of an aquarium the first time.  :-(  We have too many aquariums in our house, with so many cold-blooded critters.  I tried again with a 10-gallon.  That was so hard to do!  (tears)  I believe she is gone.  She’s in there with towels on top of the aquarium now, not moving.  So I can tell you how it went. She was sleeping in my son’s bed. We did our best not to really rouse her, just petted her gently to carry her to the aquarium.  Put her in the cage, petting and talking to her. Very soon I added the 2 cups vinegar.  In about 15 seconds, she lifted her head and started circling around, like something was wrong, like she was looking for something.  After maybe 10 seconds she lay down on her side. When the bubbling slowed I added one more cup of vinegar. I kept petting her and talking to her.  


I euthanized three rats via CO2 cartridge and they all fought/struggled—I suspect they felt burning in the eyes and maybe lungs.  I think this was much more peaceful.  I just wish I’d have used the right aquarium from the start. Thank you very much for your help and support. I do think this aquarium euthanasia is a good way to go.  I’d be less scared about doing it again than I am about the CO2 cartridge.  I used a brand new box of baking soda and even a brand new bottle of vinegar.  I tested it with the candle and it worked, but it had also worked when I had the wrong size aquarium.

Thank you.




While looking for a humane way to put my rat down I found your website and your prescribed method of home euthanasia. I used this method to the proverbial T and my little girl went peacefully and fast. God bless you and thank you so much for your website sharing this method to release my little darling from her suffering.




I just wanted to let you know that I used the vinegar/baking soda method described here to euthanize one of my pet rats. The poor thing had a massive tumour. The method worked really well. My little girl was a bit startled by the “fizzing” sound but then settled right down, allowed me to pet her, even had a few bites of her treat. She completely relaxed and became unconscious quite quickly.

While it was so sad to have to take this action, it was wonderful to know (and see) that she never showed any signs of distress or discomfort.  I have had several other little ratties that have passed on their own but for many of them the last few days have not been all that pleasant. Thanks for putting this info out there. I hope that others find it as helpful as I did




I had a ~3 y/o female rat with mammary cancer whose condition had taken a turn for the worse. I called my veterinary office and their small animal vet was on vacation all week! I didn’t want her to have to wait in discomfort for that long, so turned to the internet to see what could be done for her at home. I found your site, and used your CO2 method of euthanasia. She showed signs of respiratory distress (squirming, gasping for air) about 30 seconds after adding the first 2 cups of vinegar, but was unconscious by one minute.  At twenty minutes there was no sign of heart beat.  I wanted to thank you for providing the resources you do in caring for these awesome animals.  She’ll be missed, but it was the best thing for her.  



I used the CO2 method for my beloved Lily, who was suffering horribly from congestive heart failure and had trouble breathing. I used a 3 gal bucket (I adjusted amounts accordingly). The fizzing scared her but she soon calmed down when I pet her and then went peacefully, I think.



My two white rats, Pinkie and Brownie (as named by my kids for the color of their eyes) were getting old and having a hard time breathing, and Pinkie especially looked like she had a ragged coat, as if she was unable to groom. I saw her sort of fall from the middle level to the floor of her cage, where in good health they were very athletic at leaping around. It seemed that they were in a significant amount of discomfort.


I read the website article and used the baking soda and vinegar method. The two rats seemed a little concerned at the noise made by the fizzing, but aside from that, seemed calm enough. They each picked a place to lay down, Pinkie under the towel and Brownie to the side. Their breathing was happening at fairly long intervals, several seconds, and I assume that they were unconscious at this point and dreaming about whatever rats dream about. Then the breathing stopped. The whole process took about five minutes and worked pretty much as advertised. Then I left the towel on the aquarium for the 20 minutes and then we buried them in the back yard. They were great pets and we will miss them.


I just wanted to thank you for the useful article. I doubt that they would have had a more pleasant experience in transporting them in the car to a veterinarian and being in a room that was strange to them. And I'll admit that I wasn’t really wanting to pay a vet, so that was a factor as well.




Things were looking especially grim for my rat Tinkles. He had to be held constantly or he went flailing and spasming all over the place. He couldn’t feed himself or hold himself up. We feared leaving him alone for any more long nights of flailing around. Due to the high concern for his safety and a grim outlook for his future, we decided to do at home euthanasia.

We are feeling a bit troubled because it was so hard to watch. He was very sleepy inside the aquarium and lay calmly before we began. Shortly after pouring the 2 cups of vinegar he spasmed and reached out with his mouth open. My boyfriend had been petting him but panicked so I reached in and held Tinkles. Immediately after he laid back down and quickly fell unconscious. We progressively poured the remaining vinegar as instructed and he seemed to pass quickly. We placed him in the cage with his brother. His brother looked him over for a
while and seemed to understand. Tinkles will be buried today up in the mountains. We truly feel this was the right thing to do, and are also anxious about the moment Tinkles reacted strongly in the aquarium. We hope that this was the best decision.
Thanks Debbie



I thought I would let you know that after researching many options, I felt this method would be safe, effective, and gentle for our beloved little furry angel, Turbo. We have had her for over three years and really don’t know how old she was. Overall, Turbo was very healthy for her whole life and only started to decline about a month ago. Once we had said our goodbyes and placed her in the tank, I added the vinegar and she very peacefully became unconscious within 20 seconds. Within about 60 seconds, her breathing stopped and she very obviously was gone. A few twitches of her foot and about 3 involuntary gasps were all that I noted. At no time did she struggle or appear uncomfortable. I do think the fizzing of the mixture was concerning for her for a few seconds. The measurements and instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I am so thankful that we could do this at home with such comforting results. I will definitely feel comfortable helping my pets at their end at home now. I can’t thank you enough for the information. Please find attached a picture in loving memory of Turbo.




Hi Debbie,

One of my rats was very sick so my boyfriend and i were going to take her to the vet to put her to sleep.  we ended up using the baking soda and vinegar to put her to sleep.  zoey fell asleep right away and she didn’t suffer at all during the process.  thank you for posting it online.




Thanks for posting that method of euthanasia. I just put down our geriatric rat.  I didn’t quite have the proportions right, the rat was in a 30 gallon plastic tub so I went a little heavy with the mix. This caused him a little distress and he was trying to fix his situation by trying to climb out. This lasted only a short time and he went very peacefully in the end. Thanks again.  That’s a wonderful tool to have for these inevitable moments.



My rat Hades had had cancer for awhile but was not yet suffering. Tonight, however, when I got home she had had a stroke and was most definitely suffering. I unfortunately had no money at the moment to take her to be euthanized. I read your article and put my faith in it. I have to thank you. It was much less traumatic than your typical vet euthanasia. She was unconscious within ten seconds and slowly died over the next five minutes, peacefully, painlessly and in my hand. Thank you so much for giving me the information to help me end her pain. Because of you she’s where ever our little critters go when they are done in this world, pain free and out of her misery. She was a rescue, doomed to be dissected for a science project and we didn’t have her long, but we had her long enough to love her very much and do the kindest thing for her. Thank you again.




I tried your method for home euthanasia. It worked well. Evelyn had gotten a case of pneumonia and the meds seemed to have been working, then I tried to give her a dose and she panicked all of a sudden. She tried to bite at me, so I put her back in her cage so she would calm down. She just ran around, biting at everything and started bleeding from her nose and mouth. Once she finally calmed down a bit, she started gasping and choking. Then she just sat in her tube, occasionally gasping. I couldn’t afford to take her to the vet again but I couldn’t just sit idly by and watch her suffer. I cuddled her for a bit and said my goodbyes. I tried to feed her a little cheese. She always loved cheddar the best. But she wouldn’t take any; just looked at it.

Then I started the procedure. At first, she seemed scared. She started twirling around and trying to get out. After a few moments, she just kind of slumped. I added the rest of the vinegar and watched until she drew her last breath. I hate that it happened, that I had to do it at all. Even so, I owe you some gratitude. I wanted her exit to be humane and comfortable and you made that possible. Thank you.




Hi Debbie,

I ordered your Rat Health Care booklet recently and already you have helped me so much.  One thing I wanted to write you about was my experience with the home euthanasia. This was a two year old neutered male rat from a rescue situation so I do not know his background for the first 6 months. He was always very healthy but over the last part of his life he had a tumor that grew very large, very quickly.  The last few weeks I had been hand feeding him since he was not able to stand up by himself. Finally I realized it was just time. I just knew. Of course I had never done anything like this but for some reason I was confident and felt it would be ok. It could not have gone any better considering the situation.  He very quietly went out, no jerking or anything. It was peaceful and I’m extremely grateful for that.


I know, considering his fragile state, that had I taken him to a vet it would have been a traumatic experience for him. Plus my regular vet is 100 miles away. The local vet will not let me be in the same room so I do not go there. I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you do and know you are truly appreciated.




Greetings Debbie

I want to thank you for providing me with the information on how to perform a peaceful euthanasia on my rat  With regret and much sadness, but accepting the inevitable would occur without my assistance, I set up what you recommended to perform the task & am relieved to report it went exactly as it was intended.

My experience was this:

I first administered an Ativan dissolved in water orally by syringe, waited about a half hour, then proceeded with the CO2. She was only slightly concerned at the fizzing I think, as once I was able to stroke her & calm her she settled & accepted the gas with some minor gasping. Not once did she struggle or seem at all uncomfortable or in pain. She became unconscious within minutes and had completely passed shortly after I had covered the container.  Thank you for this knowledge. I was able to help her pass at home, quietly and in what appeared to be no pain, unlike if I had to leave her to let nature take its course.

Now if I can only stop crying because I miss her...

Yours Sincerely,




Hi Debbie,
I want to thank you for posting the home euthanasia instructions. My rat appeared to have had a stroke a number of weeks ago. He could no longer take care of himself; had stopped taking food and water from me; and, in the last few days, seemed to be in lots of pain. My family thought I was crazy not to take him to the vet and have her administer the euthanasia. But my little guy had given me so much pleasure and joy over the years that, given a compassionate way to end his suffering at home, I felt like I had to do so. It worked exactly as you said – he became unconscious and then quietly passed away, looking peaceful for the first time in a long while.
All the best,



i just want you to know ... i tried your method of euthanasia with the 10 gallon tank. my rat suffered. she didnt die. i followed your steps exactly. i had to put her down another way that i am not happy about or proud of. i cried for hours and i will be posting very negative feedback online about this 


I have just tried out your method suggested on your site for euthanasia beause my girl Clover was always terrified of other people, and she developed a zymbals gland tumour which had misaligned her teeth so I felt it was time to say goodbye. At first I didn’t think I could face stroking her as she went so I put her in her box and started to pour the vinegar in and she freaked out. So much so that she almost got away. I had to grab her and hold her in which she didn’t like one bit which obviously distressed me for a bit but within about a minute I felt her fade away and take a few last breaths and she was gone. Is it common for a rat to freak out like that, and if I ever need to do it again is there anything I can do to make it easier for the ratty? I was glad it was quick and I think it seemed longer at the time then it actually was. Still a little stunned from the experience and in denial that she’s gone but I guess that will disappear after I’ve waited half an hour to check on her. Have you ever experienced a rat that when unconscious didn't go on to die? If so what happened? Thanks for your website it was of great help
Take care



Dear Debbie,
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.  I have the 14th edition of your Rat Health Care booklet and was extremely grateful for the instructions on euthanasia, as I had to part with my pet rat, Toffee, a 3-year-old female, last Thursday.  Your instructions were very easy to follow and my dear girl wasn’t frightened at all, she just laid down and was gone in a few minutes.  I used a foam cooler that held 10 gallons.

All my rats are rescues and some are very frightened to leave their cages and find travel in a car to the vet very stressful.  I was dreading having Toffee’ last memories be of a terrifying car trip when she was weak and wheezing (she had severe mycoplasmosis).  Your method was very easy (for both of us) and she was not frightened at the end of her life as she would have been at the vet’s office.  Thank you for making the hardest pet-owner’s decision a little easier.




I recently had to put my childs pet white rat to sleep. She was getting older and was very sick and disoriented. I used your method (which is much less complicated than other CO2 methods on the web), and it went very well. It was of course a sad thing to do, but being able to stroke the animal and talk to it while it passed away made it seem very humane.
Thanks again for your efforts.
Lenny B.



I had to euthanize our rat due to excessive tumors. She’d been a feeder rat so I’m guessing she was the product of inbreeding. I never saw a rat with so many tumors that were so aggressive. The baking soda and vinager method was very humane. Her last conscious thought was “look honey chex!” before she lost consciousness. I didn’t want to take her to the vet because the last one I took got a phenobarb shot in the heart. Your site was correct. It was totally inhumane. The Dr. said her jerk and loud scream were “reflexes”. I’m a hospice nurse by trade. Those were NOT reflexes. She died in pain and I felt awful. I was looking for a supply of dry ice to euthanize this rat to make sure she died peacefully, when I found your site. I really can’t thank you enough.

Thank you,




I want to thank you for the information you have on this website. It gave my daughter and I great information on how we should euthanize her pet rat. For the past few months her rat had developed some tumors in the rear section of her body. Then she got to the point where she was laboring to breathe. My daughter had talked to her vet about the procedure they use to put down. Once they told her that it was an injection to the heart we knew that was not the direction we should go. So we used the 10 gallon tank method you have posted. It was the best decision we made. Her rat went fast asleep relaxed and was gone in what seem to be about 20 seconds or less. My daughter still feels down about her pet being gone but she knows she made the right decision.

Thanks again,




Good morning, Debbie

Cee-Cee had been having seizures, but trying to administer medication was not an option; even approaching him with an oral syringe caused spasms. When he weakened, lost most of his motor control, and showed little interest in food I knew it was time. Of course, it was also a weekend, and getting assistance from a vet would be difficult (if not impossible) until Monday. I followed your instructions, and his passage was quick and seemed to be painless. Thank you for providing this information. It was invaluable. 




Hi, Debbie the Rat Lady,
I used your carbon dioxide method of euthanasia on a sweet little rat of mine, and I am sooooooo grateful to you for posting that information!  I used a five-gallon bucket instead of an aquarium, and scaled down the amounts according to the size of the bucket, and followed the directions.  She coughed a strange barking cough that I’ve never heard from her (although I did hear that cough from the rat who had pneumonia) a few times.  Other than that, she appeared to pass very peacefully out of consciousness, just as you described.  Thank you so much for posting that page!  What a relief it was to be able not only to give her a peaceful death, but even to do it at home, not having to pack up the poor little thing and drag her to the vet’s.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!



I just wanted to thank you for the information on your web page about the humane way to euthanize a rat at home with CO2.  I’ve had a mouse that was sick for over 2 months.  I tried different things to try and help her get better, but nothing would work and she was getting worse and worse and suffering all day and all night.  I didn’t know what to do.  Then I found your web page and decided it was time to end her suffering.  I was upset during and after, but she went quickly and now she is finally at peace. 

Thank you again.




I am writing because we had been pondering for a while about the end of our rattie’s life.  Our 2 ¾-year-old black & white hooded rat, Padfoot, had been living with 2 large tumours for the past 8 months, and was beginning to increasingly show that she had no energy left.  Tonight, she would hardly move from her bed.  We found your Home Euthanasia instructions about a week ago, and used them tonight in the hopes that it would be the most comfortable solution.  Our Padfoot fell asleep peacefully and in the comfort of her own bed with friendly voices around her, about an hour ago.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information.  We followed your instructions closely, and are thankful that it went so well.

Kindest regards,

Claudia, Ontario, Canada



Dear Rat Lady -
Thank you for the page on euthanasia. We have had two pet rats that recently became very ill - large tumors, etc. Your method worked very well. The first time we tried it, we didn’t have the right size container, and it didn’t work. But we obtained a better container - and it worked as you said in 2 minutes. It was a very humane way to say good-bye to our little friends - and end their suffering.
Thanks again.



I have just euthanized a rat using the directions you publish.  This is the second time I have had to use them, and it went OK.  It’s a terrible thing to have to do, but it is still far better for both me and the rat than any alternative I have available.  Thanks again for publishing it.




Hello Dear Rat Lady,

 Thank you so much for your detailed instructions on putting a pet rat to sleep with CO2. We have had many little ratties over the years and this is the 2nd time that I’ve made the unhappy decision to euthanize one. The last time was about 3 years ago and I was very uninformed on the subject. My husband and I took Kusinagi to a local vet and had her put to sleep by injection and it absolutely tore my heart out. I cried for so many days over that decision.


Even now I had waited too long to ease Svedka's suffering, but we had to be sure that ending her life was absolutely necessary. I followed your instructions to the letter and even though it was painful for me to do this, I know it wasn’t painful for her. She became groggy, laid down and fell asleep just as you described. Thank you for this gentle alternative. I can’t express my gratitude enough.



I just euthanized my pet rat Nelly using your baking soda and vinegar method.  I did not have an aquarium so I used a cooler. It worked perfectly, and was the best advice I had found on the internet on how to humanely euthanize a rat.  She had a large tumor removed earlier in the year, and had developed another one under her armpit.  She had lost a lot of weight and I had opted not to have it removed because of her age.  She was 2.5 years old.  I’m just glad I used this method instead of taking her to the vet, where they would probably have used a needle or some other painful way to kill her.  I was able to pet her and watch her peacefully fall asleep.  She seemed to experience no pain.  I just wanted to share my experience with you; thanks again!
-Ryan C.



Thank you for sharing your information on euthanizing rats at home. I have successfully followed the procedure you described, and I found it to be a much better experience for everyone involved.  The method is far more humane than the ones used by my local Humane Society and vets. I had a rat named Monkey who had taken very poorly, and was suffering due to being unable to eat and drink properly.  It was not really an emergency situation, but having tried every other option available with previous rats, I felt I had no other acceptable method available to me except to attempt to euthanize her myself. If your instructions were not available, the both of us would have had to bear a great deal more pain

When the time came I assembled everything in a very familiar out-of-cage area and set out a clock where I could easily read it at
21:47.  I picked her up and she bit me in that harmless but firm and sustained way that means, “please don’t touch me.”  I placed her in the used cloth bedding in the aquarium.  She was a little upset, but I sat and chatted with her until she calmed down. At 21:50 I poured the first 2 cups of vinegar.  Monkey reacted with alarm at first, but she quickly relaxed and stretched out, looking much more comfortable than she had in weeks (having been a bit stroked out and unable to extend her body properly). She placed her chin on her paws and began breathing very deeply and quickly. After another two minutes, I poured a third cup in. Things happened quickly then.  My notes read:

At 21:54, I noticed that she appeared to be slipping under; she twitched like a human does when falling asleep.  But her eyes remained open, which was confusing.  A short time later I noted that her deep rapid breathing had become gasping gulps that moved her whole body.  It was upsetting to see, but I realized she was probably already completely anesthetized.  I tested her eye, got no response, and proceeded to add the final cup of vinegar, mixing thoroughly. At
21:56, I covered everything with a heavy towel doubled over several times.  She was still gasping weakly.  When I checked at 21:59, she was still.  I left her for another 20 minutes. It was a huge relief when it was over.  I was so glad this method worked.  It was completely painless, except for a little handling, which of course would have been much worse any other way.




I logged onto your website for instructions on how to euthanize our precious rat, Sweetie.  I had to ask my husband to do it while I was out.  He followed your advice using the CO2 method you described on your website.  Thank you for offering that wonderful advice.  She quietly fell asleep and passed away.  She was suffering greatly, after a large tumor growth and tremendous weight loss.  It was so hard to say goodbye, but I knew we must.  Again thank you for your valuable and caring advice.




I just wanted to say thank you for posting a humane way to euthanize pet rats. One of my rats recently developed stomach tumors, and we had to put her down. My wife and I agonized over various options until we found the baking soda and vinegar instructions on your website. Though it was a sad day, Olive went peacefully and we were thankful we didn’t have to make her suffer. Thank you again,
St. Louis MO



You asked for feedback from anyone who had used the home euthanasia method that involves making CO2 with baking soda and vinegar. I now use this method and have found it to work well and to be humane. Very few rats show any sign of distress. When they do, I blow gently at their faces, which clears the gas away a little, before continuing to pour more vinegar. I have seen that most rats are not rendered unconscious with the first infusion of gas (the first 2 cups of vinegar poured out ) though they do get sleepy. It sometimes takes all four cups of the vinegar to be poured out before a rat completely “settles.” I do feel this method is very humane or else I could not bring myself to use it at all.


We used the euthanasia method that you described for our beloved rat last night.  She got to take her last breath surrounded by our family with my daughter petting her.  Thank you so much.  It was time and we wanted to make it easy for her.  And you allowed us to do that.  What a gift.


I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for your article on euthanizing rats. We had an older rat with ulcerous tumors who was not going to get better and was miserable, and we were fretting over the most painless way to end her life. I came across your article and did exactly what is said with wonderful results! She seemed a little confused for about 5 seconds and then simply fell asleep. It was such a relief to our family - thanks again!
Best wishes,



Earlier, last November, one of my old ladies had a tumor, and she was put to sleep at the veterinary, with the anesthetic gas. But I wasn’t allowed to be there beside her, only look thru the window, and they used the injection after the rat was unconscious. I found that a terrible choice of euthanasia. That dear rat, my friend, struggled in panic in that small jar where the vet let the gas in. It surely was a question of seconds, but they were too much for me, seemed like a lightyear. And I’m definitely not going there again. I felt so bad for letting her down and letting her die like that.

Now, this time I had vinegar and baking soda, a tube and a bucket and I followed the instructions you gave in the booklet. My rat was showing no distress and he was near me in the peace of our home, and he fell asleep so peacefully, and I could pet him, and there were no struggling at all, only a sleep that got deeper. I’m very thankful for the advice You have given in the booklet!
With kindest regards
Porvoo, Finland



just wanted you to know that i just used the vinegar and baking soda method on a very ill pet rat we’ve enjoyed for almost 4 years now, Minroe...  it went exactly as you said it would...the best part was... Minroe  seemed to go very peacefully, without distress...i really hope she is  in a better place now. thank you for making this experience a less painful one.



Hello, I just wanted to let you know about my experience trying your method of euthanasia on my rat. I just could not get it to work for me. Now I feel awful putting her through that. I tried for 5 hours total and it just wouldn't work. I followed the directions perfectly. I'm not sure why it didn't work. After 3 hours I finally got her to lay down after putting more and more vinegar and then more baking soda. I gave up when she perked right back up again. I went through three quarters of a gallon of vinegar and half a box of baking soda.

Anyways, I took her directly to the vet after my failed attempt. Maybe she’ a super rat or something. Like I said, I’m not sure why it didn’t work because everything totally makes sense with the CO2. Just thought I’d let you know how it went. Thanks for the help, though.


Last night, we euthanized our beloved Dumbo rat Star following the combined guidance on your webpage and one other web site. Overall, the experience went as expected and we greatly appreciated the ability to choose the time and place to help Star end his battle with lung cancer and related respiratory distress.  Thank you for providing the information.  We had initially planned to take Star to the vet on Monday afternoon but his condition went downhill rapidly across Saturday evening and Sunday.  He had bounced back a bit from his previous two low points at various times during the last three weeks, but he seemed increasingly exhausted from weeks of not breathing easily. 

In the 10gal tank with the first bit of CO2, however, he walked more purposefully and was exploring and reaching towards the top.  Our 12 y.o. daughter said “Daddy, he wants out!”  We reassured her that he wasn’t accustomed to his tank anymore since he’s lived in a wire rat “apartment” for a year, and was checking things out. I secretly wasn’t so sure.  He was much more energetic than he’s been in weeks, for about 20 seconds. It almost seemed like Star felt better for a few moments, though that wouldn’t be difficult since he was clinically lethargic Sunday evening - which is why we didn't want to wait any longer.  I wonder if the analgesic effect of the CO2 could give a rat a brief perking up.  In my own experience, a good pain med has made me feel more lively when post-surgical pain was blocked.  If a rat friend might perk up, it would be good to be forewarned so as to avoid needless interruptions of euthanasia. He settled down a bit and then fell to a lying position. From there, we waited for him to become unconscious - just 10-15 seconds and checked his blink reflex.  With the second container of vinegar, he stopped breathing quickly.


I apologize for the length of this report.  Honestly, part of this writing effort is therapy for me.  I hope we did OK for Star and didn’t add much distress. I know that waiting would have allowed too much continued suffering from respiratory distress and lack of strength to move about.  Finally, reading various internet postings and articles over the weekend made me less sure I wanted our vet to be the one to euthanize him.  The doc described the procedure to me without mentioning sedation, gas, etc. but just a body cavity injection that would be effective in about 5 minutes.
All the best,
Ben and 1 surviving blue rex rat,
San Antonio, Texas



You asked for feedback on home euthanasia for rats. I used the baking soda vinegar method and it worked well. My sweet rat didn't seem in distress and passed quickly. I wanted to watch it to make sure she wouldn’t suffer. The only hard thing to see was the brief labored breathing but she was already unconscious. I have prepared them for this by cleaning their cage with vinegar so they would be used to the smell. The tank has been put on its side in their cage and they sleep in it. Kinda morbid idea but that way she wasn't stressed in a new environment before she passed on. Thanks for putting this info on internet.
Another rat and mouse lady



I just wanted to thank you for the rat euthanasia method you showed on your website. I too didn't agree with how they do it at the vet's office so I did it at home. I just wanted to let you know that my rat fell asleep, than peacefully drifted away. once again thank you for having this method on your website. I hope more people will consider this method rather than letting a vet stab their rat in the heart or stomach.



I just put my 9 year old daughters beloved pet Daisy to rest. She was suffering with a mammary tumor and respiratory issues. She was very loved and will be very missed. I want to thank you for your method of euthanising. I did a combination between yours and the other site you mentioned. It worked beautifully and she went with what I believe to be no pain. My only concern is when my daughter sees her. Daisy died with her eyes open. Again I appreciate your site. We have been agonizing for weeks on what we were going to do. I dreaded having to take her to the vet. It seemed so cruel to take her out of her home for her last breaths.



I had a rat with a large cancerous tumor that was starting to break through the skin. Seeing as she was almost at the 2 year mark, I googled “rat euthanasia” and your website was the first one that popped up.  Lucky! Anyway, I read the method, glad that I could find a way to do it with household appliances. I called the animal hospital and was shocked to hear that not only did they not want me to be with my rat, but they wanted to inject her heart!  For 50 dollars!

My dad and I used your method, in a smaller container.  My rat tried to climb out and panicked at first, and then she calmed down and was sedated. I just wanted to thank you.  It wasn’t easy to do, but I think it’s a lot better than having her suffer from that tumor.  It was so big that she couldn’t walk. I left the container covered with a towel for about half an hour after we had finished, and I peeked in to make sure she wasn’t breathing before I uncovered it.  Then I put her body in a small box. She will be buried next to my other rats who have died of old age. Thank you again, for showing me a painless and humane way to help my rat stop suffering.



I want to thank you for providing the information and online instructions for euthanizing rats. I used this method tonight to put my daughter’s rat to sleep. It had a tumor about the size of a tangerine that kept growing. It got so bad that one of her hind legs couldn't touch the ground anymore. I’m sure she was suffering. She fell from the top of her 3-tier cage tonight and started bleeding so I knew I had to do something soon. I found your web page and followed the steps and she seemed to pass quietly.

Thanks again,




we have had a rat that has been suffering quite badly from mycoplasma, so we decided to try your method with vinegar and CO2. I just wanted to say thank you as this was the most humane way for this animal to die. My wife held the rat whilst I mixed the Vinegar with the baking soda. She slowly relaxed her body, and then her head... she was unconscious in about 2 minutes, and had passed in 10. I know that this sounds weird but she looked more at peace than she has for a long time.
Thanks for the tip.



Dear RatLady,

 I just wanted to let you know that we euthanized our pet rat with your CO2 method this afternoon.  We previously had a rat put to sleep at the vet’s office.  It was a horrible experience.  He wouldn’t let us stay with her, and only afterward did he tell me that they can’t tap a vein in a rat so the injection had to be administered directly into her heart.  The vet didn’t even do it, a vet tech did.  I left sobbing.  I swore I would never do that again. 


This time it was MUCH better.  Wrinkles was with us for almost 4 years.  She had developed a tumor and was no longer eating.  Her death was just as you described it.  She fell asleep after about a minute and a half, and stopped breathing after about 3 minutes.  It seemed very peaceful for her. Thank you for providing this information for rat lovers.  It has proven invaluable.




You don't know me but I wanted to thank you for your help in a very difficult situation.  Our 3 year old rat Lucy suddenly fell over on her side, and when I picked her up she bit me.  I knew something was very wrong as she had never done that in her life.  Then she started chewing her hind legs right down to the bone.  This being after midnite, I didn’t have much choice except to help her pass on. After I found your page, I followed the procedure as described and it worked exactly as you said.  She fell asleep and eventually took her last breath.  It took about 5 minutes and my only comfort was that she seemed peaceful. She lived a long and happy life, and was healthy right up to her last few hours, which, of course, seemed like an eternity to me.

Thanks again for your help.




Hi Debbie
I used a combination of your euthanasia advice, along with the info found on the link in your article, on one of our rats last night. The method worked very well; I was able to have my hand in there to pet her, although it would have helped to have a third hand!  Pouring out that 1st cup of vinegar slowly is difficult when one hand is occupied comforting your pet.

I used a plastic container (like a Rubbermaid only clear) as the “death chamber”; its capacity was about seven gallons, so I modified the amounts of baking soda and vinegar accordingly.  Inducing anesthesia was fairly quick, within 90 seconds, and then death occurred in about another 2 minutes.  I left her in the container another ten minutes, just to be sure, then checked her thoroughly with a stethoscope. Practicing the whole procedure first helped me to understand how simple it really is; I practiced twice before the actual event.

Sadie passed away fairly quickly, and quite peacefully. It was quite sad, though, to look at her deflated little body.  I will miss her, she was one of my favorites (we have 13 rats now, which is a low number for us). Thank you for posting the information on euthanasia.
-- Dave



Dear Debbie,
Using your article on Euthanasia that I downloaded from the web, I was able to euthanize one of my rats.  First of all, thank you for posting the information. I was greatly relieved to be able to use this method given that it was late on Friday night and there were few options. I followed the instructions exactly, although the method took two tries. The first time he didn’t die. He became unconscious within a minute and I finished the procedure.  He went through a phase of labored breathing, and the breathing become quite shallow.  I left him, and came back about 20 minutes later, and he was still alive, and was conscious again.

I then mixed up another batch, and I rechecked all my connections.  I repeated the steps - he lost consciousness
within a minute, and then died within the 20 minutes. So, I’m wondering if I should change something given that he
weighed close to 700 grams. This is the first time I've used this method, although I’ve had rats for the last 12 years.  I’d like to use it again if necessary - I think it is preferable to taking them to the vet, especially if it’s painless.
Hayley Hesseln


(Rat Lady’s note: This is when I added the note to the website about using extra vinegar and baking soda for extra large rats.)




Just a short note to thank you for the very informative article on rat euthanasia on your website.  We recently had the sad eventuality of having to euthanize our little ratty girl (she had suffered a huge brain hemorrhage). After reading a lot of information about the pros and cons etc about using a vet we decided that using a vet was not a suitable option for us (or her) and decided to use your method.


We chose your method after we had taken her to the vets a week earlier after her stroke, and she had two injections which for her was extremely distressing. She had never ever bitten and used all of her strength she had to try to bite and protect herself. It was so distressful for us, I can’t even imagine how she must have felt, and of course we didn’t want her last moments to be in so much fear. Your method was so peaceful she wasn’t restless in the slightest and dozed off easily (whilst eating her favourite food). She was even smiling as she passed away.


We are very for humane ways of euthanasia and also of natural ways of medicine etc (including for little ratty) and you really made our distressful time as easy as it could be and for that we just wanted to thank you so so much for the information.

Jenny and Adam



Just a note of thanks for your article.  Hera went very peacefully in her house with her family around her.  This is the kindest way. Thank you very much.

Chris & Kathleen


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