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What to do if your dog dies?

Updated on July 6, 2009

Dogs are as important as any family member so that when the pet dies the family is overwhelmed with grief. It would be doubly hard if the dog is the first pet of the child as the parents would be in for some hard explaining and placating. The family that is struggling to cope with the death of the pet has to make the necessary arrangement to dispose of the body.  It would always be hard to dispose the body of a dog that has been the faithful and loving friend of the family for years.  

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The body can not remain in your home as it would take approximately six hours before it will begin to smell. There are several ways by which you can dispose the body of the dog but you need to clean the body of the dog first. When a dog dies, the muscle relaxes resulting to the leaking of body fluids thus the anal and genital areas as well as the mouth have to be wiped clean. If stiffening has not yet set in it would be best to tuck in the legs as if the dog is all curled up. Wrap the body with a blanket and place in a large plastic garbage bag. Tie the bag tightly.

You can call the vet and arrange for the body to be picked up. You can ask the vet to make the necessary cremation arrangement and return the ashes to you afterwards or you can simply call the local animal control and have the dog’s body disposed. You can book an appointment with a pet crematorium and you can bring the body yourself to have it cremated. Similar to the arrangements made before a human is cremated, the crematorium staff will prepare the body for viewing before the cremation takes place. Urns are commonly purchased so that the ashes of the pet can be taken home. The pet can also be buried in the yard if space is available. This can be a good opportunity for the child to say goodbye to the pet. This will also provide the child with a closure to the bonding, to the wonderful experiences and most importantly to the sad experience. If a garden burial is not possible because of limited space you can have the dog rest in a pet cemetery. Most pet crematorium offer plots where you can bury your pet.

A pet dog will never be “just a dog”. Grieve and cry if you must to ease the pain of losing a loyal and faithful friend.

Pet cemetary

In Memory of my Dog - (1/2) Final moments before Cremation

In Memory of my Dog - (2/2) Final moments before Cremation


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      Rosie 5 years ago

      I cannot begin to tell you how heartbreaking it is to lose your companion of 14-1/2 years. Dottie was her name and we just lost her a week ago yesterday. She was the best dog a family could ever hope to have. I will miss her dearly, but I do believe in the Rainbow Bridge and that there is a heaven for dogs! I love you forever, my sweet Dottie Mae!!

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      BODYLEVIVE 5 years ago from Alabama, USA

      When we lived in Florida, there were pet cemetarys but here in Alabama I have yet to see one. Yes, the loss of a pet is devastating and we've had to teal with that more than several times. But it's like anything else, you must move on and not dwell but keep memories.