When your pet dies at home

In some instances, a pet may die at home, for instance, after a long term illness, following palliative care or suddenly without warning. This brings with it a whole host of emotions and questions on what you should do, as well as having to deal with the upset and possible shock. 

If you live alone, it is a good idea to call a family member or friend who can come and support you and help with whatever decisions you go on to make. You will find more information on options for after-life body care here.

As well as having the support from a friend or family member, it can also be helpful to call your veterinary practice. They can help you talk through your next options, and give you advice on what is best for you to do in your individual circumstances. Note that you don’t have to make decisions straight away, if you’d prefer to give yourself more time. Your veterinary practice will be able to hold your pet’s body for you while you decide on burial or cremation. Note though that this will be in cold storage. 

Some veterinary practices will pick up your pet’s body from your home and arrange the cremation for you. You can also take your pet directly to a crematorium, and arrange everything yourself. Your veterinary practice will be able to tell you where the nearest one is to where you live or you can find one online. Ask friends and family, for their recommendations too. 

Remember that if your pet has died at home, you should inform your veterinary practice so they can note this in your pet’s records, so that you don’t receive any potentially upsetting communications, such as vaccination or worming reminders.