Losing a dog is like losing a family member. Many people experience these types of losses, although no two pet bereavements will ever be the same. Remember, no two pets are the same, no two situations are the same and no two responses will ever be the same. You need to take your time and make informed decisions about the best options for the next step to benefit your pet, yourself and those others involved. Below we will discuss options to discuss and think about when, sadly, your dog is no longer with you.

Following the passing of your pet, you need to decide what you would like to do with your pet’s body. If this decision is going to take more than a few hours, we highly recommend you taking your pet to the vets, so they can keep your pet in a cool space. Your veterinary practice has special rooms designed to do this, helping to preserve the body while you decide.

Informing your veterinary practice is important too, as they may be able to provide further advice on local services of your benefit. They will also register the death of your pet preventing any further medical reminders being sent out to you.

Decisions on what to do next…

The three options you have following the passing of your loved furry friend include:

1. Burying your pet at home

This is the cheapest option but it does take time. There are certain rules that must be adhered to regarding the depth of the hole, ownership of the land and how close it is to a water supply. You can find these rules on the government website.

2. Communal cremation 

An option which means your pet is cremated with lots of other animals. You are not able to obtain the ashes following this procedure, but there are many other keepsakes you can obtain which will be discussed below. 

3. Individual cremation 

Allowing you to have your pet cremated but also obtain the ashes back. You can then scatter the ashes or keep them in an enclosed pot. There are many different scatter tubes, pillows and caskets that can be chosen from helping to personalise the ashes. Your local crematorium will have booklets with the options in allowing you to take them away to make a decision with the help from others should you wish. This is the most expensive of the 3 options.


Keepsakes are brilliant ways of remembering your pet. Paw prints can be taken either in ink or in foam. These are very personal and look great when framed. You could even ask your veterinary professional to do nose prints. Furthermore, fur clippings, memory books and pictures are options. If you receive the ashes back, jewellery can be made from them. Speaking to your local cremation centre will give you plenty of ideas as to how to make the best keepsake memorials for your pet.

Pet funerals are of growing popularity

These funerals run very similar to human funerals and can be personalised as you wish. You can meet your funeral lead prior to the big day and ensure you are happy with their attitude and demeanour. Selecting readings and poems are advised to make your final goodbye as memorable as possible.

If you have any other pets in your house, they may mourn

Sometimes, your pet seeing the body of their passed companion, may help them to understand. The grieving will get better with time. Your pet may show signs of lethargy and inappetence during their grieving process. Try to keep them company as much as possible and maintain a routine. 

Take your time when your pet dies

It can often come as such a shock and you can not predict how you will react. Telling your loved ones what has happened may help you to accept it and will also allow others to know to check in with you. Ensure people who care about your pet know about their passing, otherwise they may send you messages asking about them which could upset you if you are not ready to chat. Speaking to other people who have recently been through a similar situation can help and you can receive advice directly regarding what they did following the passing. There are a number helplines you can call for advice if you are feeling low:

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