What To Do When Your Dog Dies & How To Honor His Memory

what to do with deceased dog

Like numerous pet guardians, you probably recoil at the idea of losing your dog to death. However, considering that dogs do not live as long as humans do, it’s essential for pet caregivers to prepare themselves for the unavoidable grief that comes with the departure of their beloved pet. This loss can be incredibly hard to bear, as pets are frequently regarded as cherished friends or family members by their human counterparts, who have invested significant time and effort in nurturing them and providing them with affection and care.

However, discussing the loss of a pet is rare among pet owners, especially the actions they need to take when this happens. This is because they may still be trying to cope up with the pain of losing their pets.

Veterinarians are all medically equipped to do many wonderful things for pets but can only administer euthanasia when pets become too ill. This euthanasia procedure allows the animal to sleep and die peacefully with no pain.

Pets as Friend and Family

Pet owners accept their adopted pet as part of the family because they have learned to love them. Pets such as dogs or cats can provide unconditional companionship and emotional support to their pet owners. Some pet owners even often celebrate the birthday of their pets while others carry photos of them in their wallets. Thus, pet owners would naturally feel overwhelming sorrow when their pet dies.

The Relationship Between Dogs and Dog Owners

There is always a special bond between dogs and their owners. Most consider dogs as the most faithful animals demonstrated by how they show unconditional love to their owners. This is because dogs consider their owners as the alpha member of their pack. So, it’s not surprising why dog owners experience much pain when they know they will lose the most trusted member of their family.

Symptoms that May Signal Your Dog’s Passing

There are things you, as a dog owner, should know about the health condition of your dog.

Dogs may show signs they are dying, whether of old age or a terminal illness. As a dog owner, you must recognize these signs so that you can make final arrangements for your beloved dog. Here are five signs that your dog is ready to pass.

Loss of Interest

Dogs may begin to lose interest in things and people, especially when they are about to die. They may even lose interest in people they previously showed signs of affection toward or their favorite treats. The major reason is that the dog’s brain shuts down and may cause mental confusion. Therefore, you must understand that the love of your dog does not fade even though he has no interest in anything anymore.

Extreme Fatigue

Severe loss of energy of a dog is one symptom that your dog is dying. There are many factors why your dog has not been moving around very much. These factors could be that the dog is ancient or has a chronic illness. It is essential that you, as a dog owner, can discuss your dog’s behavior with your vet.

Loss of Bladder and Bowel Control

Did you know your dog may experience irregular peeing or bowel movement when he is dying? Yes, your dog can lose control of these primary instincts because most of his organs are shutting down. Your dog may not have the energy to get up and relieve himself even though he is very well-trained. Thus, it would help if you practiced good nursing to keep your dog as healthy as he can be.

Loss of Appetite

It is noticeable that every dog loves to eat food, especially dog treats. However, a dying dog will lose his appetite entirely since his digestive organs are not operating well anymore. You may observe some weight loss because a dying dog will not experience hunger or thirst anymore. Also, your dog may become dehydrated since he cannot drink water anymore.

Odd Breathing

Are you noticing an uneven breathing pattern in your dog? Weird breathing is a sign that a dog is dying. However, you must consult your vet again if your dog is young and is showing this symptom. The vet can assess the health of your dog without performing any laboratory tests.

But What to Do When Your Dog Dies?

First, you must consult your dog’s veterinarian to discuss the health condition of your dog. This dialogue can help you prepare for the worst about the future of your dog. You and your dog’s vet can openly discuss whether to go through the process of euthanasia. Your dog’s veterinarian may also have connections with companies that provide services such as burial or private cremation.

Next, spend more quality time with your dying pet dog. Do the things your dog loves to do, like fetching a ball or walking around the neighborhood. You can improvise his regular activities to suit your dog’s health condition better. Cherish the moments you have with your dogs because time is very much a limited resource.

When your dog dies, one thing to do is bring the remains directly to a pet cemetery or a crematorium. As a pet owner, consult your pet’s veterinarian about what local legislation mandates regarding your circumstance, and whether you can have your dog’s remains cremated or buried at a pet cemetery. You can transport the remains of your dog to veterinary facilities. However, you can also opt for communal cremation if you can’t afford the services of these facilities.

Going through burying a pet, especially a beloved dog, is painful and stressful. Dog owners must give themselves time to grieve for their beloved pet. They must understand that it is perfectly normal to mourn for a family member. It is also important that dog owners take their time to undergo a healing process.

Lastly, pet owners can create a lasting keepsake to remember their beloved pet. They can get ideas from the Internet to determine the best option for them and their pets. You, as a dog owner, can either keep your dog’s ashes in an urn or commission artwork. You can also hang photos of your dog.

How To Cope With The Death of a Dog

Coping with the death of a pet may be the most complex challenge a pet owner has to face. Pet owners may experience loneliness and depression because they are so used to their dog’s presence. It may take time for pet owners to accept the fact that their beloved pet has already departed from this world. However, here are some suggestions that may help you as a dog owner in coping with your dog’s loss.

The first step is to acknowledge the grief you are facing and express it. Second, you can try reaching out to people who are also grieving the loss of their pet. You can try to research online to look for resources and support groups. Lastly, you can express your painful feelings by writing a poem, an essay, or a short story.

There are still many ways you can do to cope with your grief. You can hold a funeral with your family members and friends. You can never replace your beloved pet with any other things. You can only keep the memories of your deceased pet in your heart.

Dogs are very much the best friend of many dog owners. They consider them as family, and losing a family member is a harrowing experience. You may wish that all animals will not die, however death is a part of life. Coping with the pain will take a lot of time, but it is essential to make that first step towards healing.


Do dogs know they are dying?

Most veterinarians believe that whether dogs can sense that they are dying is impossible.

How do I honor my dead dog?

There are a lot of ways to memorialize the death of your dog. You may place a garden stone, give a donation, or have a funeral. You may also make him a dog tag key chain, plant a tree, and spend more time with him.

How do I help my child grieve the loss of a pet?

Allow your child to work through his grief, explaining to him/her about the death. Make a vivid explanation about death’s permanency. Also, refrain from saying ambiguous words like “put to sleep” and “God took the pet” just to avoid a lengthy discussion.

How long after a dog dies does it go stiff?

When a dog dies, his joints typically stiff up within 10 minutes to three hours and may even last up to 72 hours.

Is it OK to bury a dog in your garden?

Although backyard burial can be the easiest way for your pet’s remains, it is still dangerous to the wildlife. A disease might spread to people and other animals.

Taking care of your dog’s death is critical and should not be taken lightly. Be extra cautious in doing so. The steps and tips given above would be helpful.

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