What To Do When Your Dog Dies

When we lose our beloved canines, we can be at a loss of what to do next.

The death of a furry friend is one of the most challenging experiences to go through, especially when we have to make quick decisions after the fact.

To help you be better prepared for this unfortunate situation, let’s discuss the steps of what to do when your dog passes away.

We will dive into the details of proper burial for your furry friend and the after care options that will be available to you. 

How To Know If My Dog Died

What To Do When Your Dog Dies

Before we dive into the details of what to do when your dog dies, it’s important to first discuss how to know when your dog has actually passed.

Though this may seem self explanatory for some, it’s not as clear as you may think.

If a dog suddenly looks as if they have passed away, it’s best to seek the advice of a veterinarian immediately.

Some conditions can cause our dogs to fall unconscious, often appearing as if they have already passed.

There are signs your dog is dying that you should be aware of before the time comes.

If you are ever unsure of if your dog is actually gone, it’s best to have a local veterinarian make the final call for you.

Your veterinarian can check for the presence of a pulse or heart beat, and can offer an accurate answer of whether your dog is still alive.

How To Bury A Dog

Once you know that your dog has died, you may wonder what to do with the body.

Home burials are one of the most common options in terms of remembering your pet, but many dog owners are unaware of how to offer a proper burial.

First, it is important to be aware of the pet burial laws in your state and specific county.

Some states do not allow pet owners to bury their animals on their property, or they require a list of recommendations to do so.

In order to make sure you are abiding by your city’s requirements, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian about the local laws.

Next, you will need to find a suitable “coffin” for your canine companion to rest.

With our pups being buried in the ground, it’s always ideal to find a biodegradable option. Since any type of plastic can take years to decompose, wood or cardboard is usually best.

The next factor to consider is how deep your furry friend will need to be buried.

If your dog is not buried deep enough in the soil, scavengers can be drawn to your dog’s grave site.

To ward off critters from your pet’s resting place, their grave should be at least 3-5 feet deep. This is also helpful if the area experiences flooding.

Your local burial laws will give you some insight on how deep they require your pet to be buried.

States or local areas that allow backyard burials will give you a guide on how deep you need to go.

Where To Bury A Dog

If you are burying a dog, you may be questioning the best spots to lay them to rest.

While each state will have their own specific requirements, there are usually a few general rules to follow.

To ensure the safety of your dog’s burial site, let’s dive into a few tips.

First, it’s important to make sure that your dog’s burial site is not close to a body of water.

This is not only important to prevent flooding in their grave, but it is also a common law in many states.

Since many states consider this a possibility of water contamination, it is always best to be aware of this when burying your dog.

Another factor to keep in mind is how easily accessible the burial spot is.

We may want to visit our pet’s grave occasionally, so make sure it’s in an area that can be easily maintained and accessible.

You also want to respect your dog’s grave and keeping the area maintained is a way to do that.

Other Burial Options And Services

Not everyone has an area to safely bury their dog, leading them to explore different options.

To ensure that you have all the information available to you, let’s discuss a few common options for canine after care.

Pet Cemeteries

If you like the idea of your dog being buried, you can always explore the option of a pet cemetery.

Many cities have public pet cemeteries that allow you to bury your furry friend for a fee and visit them whenever you would like.

If you are interested in this option, your veterinarian should be aware of pet cemeteries in your area.

Cremation Services

Most veterinary clinics work with a cremation service that offers after care for a pet that passes.

Just keep in mind that pet cremations cost more than a burial, especially if that burial is in your backyard.

These cremation services can either spread the ashes for you in their pet cemetery, or return the ashes to you in a special urn.

If you are interested in cremation options, be sure to speak to your veterinarian about their options. 

Remembrance Plaques

Remembrance plaques are another way to keep your pet’s memory alive in your home.

They can be created with your dog’s ashes infused into the item, allowing you to have your pet’s ashes without the urn.

Remembrance plaques can be in the form of stones, crystals, necklaces, keychains, and more. 

When dealing with the loss of your beloved companion, having options for their after care is always ideal.

Be sure to review the information we discussed above and you will have a better idea of the best after care choice for your furry friend.

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