What To Do If My Pet Dies At Home

What to do if my pet dies at home.

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. Verify signs of life by assessing for a pulse and listening attentively for any signs of breathing.

Call your vet.

Take a moment to compose yourself, and then call your veterinarian to inform them your pet has passed. If you’re away from home, your vet’s office is closed, or you lack a regular vet, promptly contact the nearest emergency clinic. Expert guidance will ease the situation, particularly as you move forward to attend to your dog’s remains and prepare for the final goodbye.

Consider your options for handling your pet’s remains.

When you call your vet, they may ask what you would like to do with your beloved pet’s remains. While no hard decisions need to be made immediately, your vet will likely be able to contact a cremation or burial service provider on your behalf, taking additional stress off your plate. Depending on your local regulations, available options typically include a backyard burial, burial in a pet cemetery, a private cremation, or a communal cremation. 

Contact PCS.

If you know you would like your pet cremated, contact Pet Cremation Services  directly after your pet’s passing if you haven’t already asked your veterinarian to do so. 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.

Place your pet on a towel or blanket.

When your pet dies, physical changes begin immediately. 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.

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.

Take a moment to allow your other pets to sniff their friend’s body, as it will help them to understand what has happened and they can start to grieve.

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.

Memorialize your pet.

After your pet has passed, you might wonder how you can memorialize your companion. Now, this may be too difficult for you to consider during this time and that is ok. Whenever you are ready, our website offers memorial products for you to view. If you have questions, please contact our team and we can walk you through the process.

Allow yourself to grieve.

No matter if your pet’s death was planned or sudden, the loss is still felt, and it hurts. Our pets are beloved members of our family and the void they leave is hard to fill. Give yourself the time to grieve the loss. Surround yourself with friends and family who will wrap you in sympathy and support.

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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