What To Do If Your Dog Dies At Home

There are few things in life that can compare to the pain and shock that comes from losing a beloved dog. Unfortunately, there is a big chance that it may happen in your home whether it is due to old age or some accident like poisoning.

So what do you do if your dog dies at home? First off, you may need to call a vet to confirm that the dog is actually beyond resuscitation.

In the sections below we shall answer this question in greater detail including who you should call and how to make funeral arrangements. That way, if you are met with this tragedy you will know exactly what needs to be done.

What To Do With A Dog That Died At Home?

If your dog unfortunately dies at home, the first thing you need to do is actually confirm that the dog is actually beyond the point where they can be resuscitated. This may involve getting a vet to come over.

Here is more on this and other actions you can take when your dog dies in your home.

Call Your Vet

A vet can help in very many ways if you think your dog is dead. The first and most important thing they will do is actually confirm that the dog is dead. And if the pooch isn’t dead, they will be in the best position to apply resuscitation and stabilization measures.

If, unfortunately, your dog is really dead, the vet may shed some light on the cause of death. This is important not only for closure but also for the safety of other pets in your home.

Store The Body Properly

It is also very important that you store the body properly. This is to prevent contamination of your home by fluids from the deceased dog’s body. These could include the residues of the poisons responsible for the death or fluids containing the microorganisms responsible.

The best way to store the dog is in a watertight and airtight bag like a polyethene trash bag. If you happen to have a large and empty freezer, you could also store the dog there as long as they are completely sealed to avoid contaminating the freezer. 

Make Arrangements For Burial Or Disposal Of The Body

As soon as you can, start to make arrangements for either burial or cremation of the dog’s body. So who do you call when a pet dies at home for body collection and disposal? Well, you have a few options.

These include vets who offer cremation services, dedicated pet crematoriums, pet cemeteries, or your local pet and animal control authority.

These groups will pick up your dog’s body and relieve you of the stress of having to figure out the actual disposal of the body.

Image from Instagram:@polyyblank

Why You Shouldn’t Bury Your Pet In The Backyard?

Burying your dog in your backyard may seem like the right choice for convenience and access but it could actually cause you a lot of trouble.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t bury your dog in your backyard.

You May Lose The Dog Twice

Whether or not you own the property, burying your dog in your backyard is a bad idea as it exposes you to the risk of losing your dog twice. You could lose your physical attachment to them if you happen to move or if a natural disaster compromises the burial site.

With this in mind, it is best to have your dog cremated and have their ashes preserved so you can take better care of them and move with them if you need to.

It May Be Against The Law

In some states and smaller jurisdictions, it is illegal to bury a pet in a property that isn’t licensed as a pet burial site. This includes your own personal property. To avoid getting into trouble with the law, it is best to explore alternatives like registered pet cemeteries or cremation.

It May Be Against Rental Or Lease Agreements

Even in the many states where burying pets in the backyard is legal, you could still get into legal problems for doing this if it is prohibited in your property rental or lease agreements.

In these cases, the property owner could pursue legal action against you for a breach of contract.

It Is A Health Hazard For Children And Other Pets

Finally, you should consider alternatives to backyard burials for your dog to avoid health hazards to your kids and to other pets in the home.

This is because there is always the risk of pets digging up the remains and being exposed to the toxins of microorganisms that killed your dog.

Natural occurrences like heavy rain and wind could also erode the surface and expose it. This leaves them accessible to children who may not only get traumatized but also be exposed to harmful germs and toxin residues.

Image from Instagram:@ningpisamai

Should A Child See A Dead Pet?

It is actually a good idea for a child to see the dead family pet. This helps them learn about death while also providing them with closure for the loss.

However, there are a few but very important conditions on how to tell your kids their pet died and when it is appropriate to show your child the body of the dead pet.

First off, you should only show your child the dead pet if the physical condition of the deceased animal is uncompromised.

The pet should look like they are just peacefully napping. If there are gruesome injuries or disfigurement from decomposition, it is best to keep kids away to avoid long-term psychological trauma.

You should also be very careful about what information you choose to tell the child. While it is important to be frank about the fact that the pet is dead, potentially traumatizing details should actually be left out.

In fact, feel free to sugar-coat the cause of death and minimize the seriousness to something like the dog died of old age or that they died peacefully in their sleep.

Children usually have very active imaginations and any vivid descriptions will cause as much trauma as showing them the deformed dog’s body.

Image from Instagram:@chihuahua_rocky16
Avatar photo
Pete Decker