What to Do with a Deceased Pet

Our pets are more important to our lives than ever before and are an important part of the family. Losing a pet is difficult in any circumstances, you will likely be grief-stricken, and quite possibly confused about your next steps. This is quite normal as you have suffered a very difficult loss. While it is important to be efficient when you discover your pet has passed, it is also important to be compassionate toward yourself and honor your own grief.

How to Respectfully Handle Remains

If your pet dies at home, it is important to know what to do with their body so that you are properly following safety measures as well as laws in your area. The first thing to do is to assure that your pet has actually died. Sometimes pet owners get confused when elderly pets are sleeping very soundly. They may be breathing very slow and shallow. You can try to find a pulse, or you can take your pet to a veterinarian in order to get help.

If your pet is just hanging on, you may want to consider euthanasia to help ease further suffering. Most veterinarians will allow you to stay with your pet as they pass and ease their suffering as they go.

Even if your pet has died, your veterinarian can be a good source of assistance and support as you make your plans on how to handle the remains. For some, preserving their pet’s body or ashes is not a high priority and they may want to simply call animal control in order to get help removing the body from their home.

If you are choosing to either bury, cremate, or preserve your pet through taxidermy services, a bit more involvement will be needed. If you are alone, it is a good time to call a friend or family member that understands how much your pet meant to you and can offer support. If your pet was on the larger side, you should find someone who can physically handle moving your pet.

Clean your pet’s backside a bit. If they have not done a last elimination, that could still happen. Put newspaper, an old towel, or a potty pad under them to catch anything that may come out. Their face may also need a bit of cleaning up as well.

Put them on a blanket, and position the body so they are somewhat curled up. This will better prepare them to be put into a container to stay preserved until you make your final decision on what you want to do. If there are other pets in the home, allow them to smell their friend, so they have an understanding that they have died so they can process in their own way.

Since your pets’ joints stiffen several hours after death and there is the possibility that they could decompose, you will want them to be stored somewhere safe and preferably cool where insects can’t get them. If your vet is open, they will often store for a short period while you finish making long term preparations.

Compassionate Pet Preservation Techniques

While some would like to bury their pet in the back yard, this isn’t an option for everyone. If you are renting, it is likely forbidden, and if you don’t intend on staying in your home a long time, it may not make sense to lay your pet to rest in a place you will ultimately leave. There may also be city ordinances against digging or burying an animal.

At Animal Family Advanced Pet Preservation, we can compassionately discuss the options of burial, cremation, and taxidermy. Having your pet buried means they will be in a dedicated pet cemetery where you can visit their memorial. No matter what you decide we are here to honor your choice and ease your pain as much as we can.

Those who chose cremation services can have it done at Animal Family for a reasonable fee, and have a pet urn to keep with them. Some pet owners want even more. They want to keep their pet with them long term, and choose a pet taxidermist. If taxidermy is your choice, do not let anyone criticize your choice. It is your pet and your grief to process in your own way. We use a freeze-drying technique that leaves your pet looking like they are sleeping, and we are able to position them, so it appears your companion is not far away.

While it is best to have friends and family that can help you through your grief, they may not always understand exactly what your pet meant to you. At Animal Family Pet Preservation, we offer grief counseling to help you process and start moving forward with your life.

To learn more about how we can help you memorialize your pet and move on, contact us today.

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