What To Do If My Pet Dies At Home

What to do when your dog dies

It may not be something that you want to think about, but there will come a time when you need to say the final farewell to your beloved pet. While that oftentimes will take place at your trusted veterinarian’s office, there are times your pet dies at home. At Pet Cremation Services we are here to support you and strive to make such a difficult time just a little easier. 

If your pet is under the care of a veterinarian at the time of his or her passing, he or she can guide you through the next steps. However, if your pet dies in your home, there are options to consider. Whether you simply want the body to be removed from your home, or you wish to permanently memorialize your pet in some special way, the choice is yours.

If your pet does die at home, there are a few things that every pet parent or owner should know:

Ensure your pet is deceased

It is not uncommon for ailing and elderly pets to breathe very shallowly and lie still or sleep for long periods of time, particularly if they are transitioning and death is near.

Place your pet on a towel or blanket

As the pet’s muscles begin to relax, their body may begin to expel fluids, which may cause stains. Ideally, move your pet’s body to a cold stone floor like a garage floor, as this will keep it cool.

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Position your pet

To make moving, transportation, and burial easier, gently tuck your pet’s legs into their body before stiffening sets in, which typically occurs 3 to 4 hours after death. Particularly if your pet is large, it may be difficult to move alone. 

Let other pets smell your deceased pet

By allowing the pet to sniff their friend’s body, it will help them to understand what has happened and they can start to grieve.

Prepare for the final goodbye

Upon your pet’s passing, contact Pet Cremation Services directly or ask your veterinarian to do so, and we will send a member of our care team to pick up your pet following our trustworthy and established process that we have relied on for over 25 years.

Keep your pet’s body cool

While you are waiting for the PCS Care Team to pick up your pet’s body or before you take it to the veterinarian’s office, keep it cool. If possible, wrap the pet in a couple of plastic bags and move it to a cool, dry place such as a garage.

Pet Cremation Services is with you every step of the way. You can learn more about our process, find resources to help you deal with your grief, review our Frequently Asked Questions, shop our memorial products to help you celebrate the life you shared with your pet.

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About the Author: Tung Chi