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Abyssmanaut's avatar

What do you do with your dead cat or dog's body?

Asked by Abyssmanaut (70 points ) February 1st, 2010

I’ve been around pets all my life, so I’ve seen several go. As a kid, I remember burying our family pets in the back yard, or back behind the (rural) family business. I’ve had my current dog the whole time I’ve been an adult, roughly 10 years or so. As a city apartment deweller now, I don’t really have those burial options. So when it’s bigger than a goldfish and smaller than a horse, what do you with your pet when it dies?

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36 Answers

janbb's avatar

I had my dog cremated by the vet and picked up his ashes. They are in a box in the closet. I had planned to bury the ashes in the yard but haven’t done it yet.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m fortunate in this case that my mom has a small farm. When my kitty died in November, my step-father buried her on the farm (taking steps to keep other animals out of the grave) so that we could visit her whenever we liked.

MissAusten's avatar

When my dad’s dog died recently, he had her cremated like @janbb described. I think he kept the ashes but I’m not too sure about that. I’m sure your vet could give you a couple of options for taking care of the pet’s remains.

When I was a kid, small pets like hamsters or guinea pigs were buried in the yard. I think we only buried one dog, and at that point we lived in a rural area with several acres. He was the only dog to die at home. The others had to be put down due to extreme old age or cancer, and in those cases the vet took care of the remains.

Fred931's avatar

Flush it down th- Oh crap, that ain’t a goldfish…

jbfletcherfan's avatar

When I had to have my beloved cat of 10 years put down, I bought a Rubbermaid box. There’s a blanket & her food bowls in with her. My husband buried her in a corner of the back yard.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Fred931 !!!!!!!!!!!!!. Be nice! LOL

chyna's avatar

My town has a pet cemetery and I have buried one of my dogs there.

Fred931's avatar

@jbfletcherfan Weirdly, our family buried our goldfish when it died. Partly because it’s hard for me to become depressed at funerals and that we were burying something less than 2” in length, I almost started laughing. The “funeral” was to appease my younger, more sensitive-hearted siblings, though, so I tried my best not to piss anyone off.

Fred931's avatar

I’m absolutely awful when it comes to death, aren’t I?

Spinel's avatar

My family has been here since oh…late 18something. Because of that there’s a patch of graveyard containing most of my American ancestors back in the Midwest. I remember watching my favorite cat get buried there when I was younger.

FlutherMe's avatar

Give it to my asian friend. He can cook it!!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Fred931 That made me laugh out loud. You’ve done it again! LOL

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

Pet Cemetery… only way to go! Let them be with their own.

Fred931's avatar

@Holden_Caulfield It’s spelled ‘cemetery.’

chyna's avatar

@Fred931 Not if you are talking about the Stephen King book/movie, which @Holden_Caulfield probably is in this instance.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

@Fred931 thanks! Hen pecking on the keyboard has it’s disadvantages!!

Fred931's avatar

@chyna HA! you owe me a quarter.

chyna's avatar

@Fred931 I believe I do. I did think he was referring to Stephen King’s book though.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

Yes! Bad habit of an avid reader… But I do stand corrected in a grammatical sense…

suncatnin's avatar

I’m not sure. My family has traditionally buried them in the pet cemetery of our backyard, but I’m a fan of cremation in general. Unfortunately, my first job was at a vet’s office that offered cremation and the process undergone when people wanted the ashes back squicked me a bit. It was one of the few things I absolutely refused to do, so I may end up going with cremation-no ashes returned if my dog isn’t buried in my parents’ backyard.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I allow the vet to take care of disposal of the pet’s body.

I adore my dogs and treasure every minute they share with me during their lives. I remember them fondly decades after they die. I don’t need to be involved in the disposal of their remains to do that.

faye's avatar

We have buried one lovely dog and several lovely cats beside our house. Rose bush planted on my lovely dog.

alldacatsmama5's avatar

when my 19yr old Buffy died I called the pet cremation service. They picked Buff up and brought her back in a nifty little “to go” container. When we evacuate for hurricanes ( we live in New Orleans) she comes with me.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Any chance you can drive to your childhood home and bury it there with your childhood pets? I feel like current residents would be understanding about that.

tedibear's avatar

I’ve only been through this once, with a cat that I dearly loved. I had her cremated and got her remains back in a very pretty sealed tin. It sits on a bookshelf with a picture of her and a little glass sleeping cat statue. There’s nothing creepy about it to me as the tin is quite decorative.

slick44's avatar

take it to the humane society

Leanne1986's avatar

My grandmother has eight dogs buried in her garden dating back to the first, Oscar who was buried in the 70’s and the last, DeeDee who was buried in 2009. My grandmother insists on bringing the dogs home if they have been put to sleep at the vets clinic and burying them in the garden (yes, she has a very big garden!) because she wants their final resting place to be the same place that they spent the majority of their lives. When I have a place of my own rather than renting, I will probably do the same but for now, any dogs of mine that pass away will also be buried in my grandmothers garden!

slick44's avatar

thats is a grand idea about the garden. sounds lovely. but she said she lives in an apartment. thats a tough one.

Leanne1986's avatar

@slick44 So do I which is why I said at the end that all my animals are buried in my Grandmothers garden until I get a place of my own.

slick44's avatar

my bad sorry.

Buttonstc's avatar

If I lived in a rural area conducive to burial, that’s what I would do. However, I’ve lived in the city all my life.

My mementos of my kittys who have died in the past are the photos and memories I have of them. The ashes of a cremated pet would be meaningless for me personally, but I can understand why others would choose this.

However, there should be an awareness of the realities involved. Most places give the option of a portion of the ashes of pets cremated in groups or a single cremation for your pet alone which costs considerably more. But according to several vet techs to whom I have spoken, most places do a mass cremation once a week or so (depending upon traffic flow) of all the pets stored in the freezer. All you really pay extra for is the illusion that the ashes you receive belong ONLY to your pet.

There may be a few places which really do separate single cremation, but it is not the norm. Not trying to burst anyone’s bubble or anything, but…...

My personal viewpoint on all of this is that the physical body of any living thing, people or animals, is merely a container (or “overcoat” or “suit of clothing”, if you will) for the essence of the living being. That which makes them uniquely who they are. Their personality, mind, emotions, and will. What some would call the soul.

I’ve been with each of my kittys, but one, when they were given that final injection and you can see the difference once the soul has gone.

What’s left is literally the remains. A lifeless container which only looks peripherally like the pet you knew. The light is gone from the eyes and the external body is all that is left. It’s just the container, now an empty shell.

Personally that doesn’t have enough meaning for me to pay money to keep any part of it, even ashes. I’d rather spend the money at a shelter and vet care for a new living companion whenever I’m ready to consider a new kitty.

But that’s just what works for me personally and the exigencies of city living. I let the Vet’s office handle the disposal. It’s more important for me to, if possible, be with them at the end, while they still have consciousness.

joshgrabs's avatar

I know that there are pet cemeteries which you can bury your pet, but i do not know how much that would cost. You can get your pet cremated at the Vet though, just a decision of where you want to bury it. Sorry i wish i knew more on the subject.

LadyMmaLover's avatar

I have cremated all my pets that have passed away. The vet usually offers resale of this service or knows of some place that just does it. I usually put their ashes in a pretty jar or urn. There are some companies that can turn you’re pet’s ashes into some sort of ornament. There are also pet cemetaries, I know many cities have laws prohibiting from burrying dead animals in a yard. You can also have the animal stuffed, it will preserve the animal in its animal like form.

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