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Caring For Your Pet After Death

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When a beloved pet dies, whether you have a pet funeral plan or not, it can be an incredibly sad time for owners, and it can be difficult to know what to do. Make sure you're prepared during this upsetting time by using this guide.

Whether your pet dies naturally at home or is put to sleep at the vets, it’s always a stressful and upsetting time. What often adds to the trauma of a pet’s death is the uncertainty of how to handle their remains. Take some of the stress out of this period with this guide on how to care for your pet after death.


What to do when your pet dies

When a pet dies, their body may still show signs of what can look like life, such as twitching and releasing air or gas. Do not worry they are simply the natural bodily functions and what happens when a pet dies. If you have any doubt as to whether your pet has passed away or not, it is best to take them to the nearest Vets. If this happens outside of your usual Vets opening hours, there should be an Emergency Vets near you which you can contact.



Looking after your pet after passing

As unpleasant as it is to talk about, if your pet does die during the weekend or overnight, it is important to store your pet properly until we can get there to pick them up. Below are a few simple steps in order to look after your pet in the best way until either your veterinary practice open.....

  • Wear rubber gloves while handling your pet.

  • You may wish to clean specific areas around your dog's body if you notice fluid or waste. Additionally bodily fluid and/or waste might be released when the body is moved. Wipe up any fluids from the body and the surrounding area and disinfect accordingly.

  • Obtain a blanket, towel or bed sheet that is large enough to wrap around your pet. Also, get a heavy-duty plastic bin bag (you may wish to double the bags up).

  • Place your pet on the blanket, towel or sheet on its side in a curled-up position, as if sleeping. This may offer a sense of peace and also make it easier to handle the body.

  • Tightly wrap your pet in the blanket, towel or sheet and then slide it into the plastic bag(s). Bear in mind this may be a two person task.

  • Ideally your pet’s remains should be kept in a cool place such as a freezer or refrigerator until cremation takes place. But if you are unable to store the remains in this manner, a cool area in a garage or shed will suffice, or outdoors in a shady, cool covered place on a warm day.

  • Try to avoid storing your pet’s remains in your home as the decomposing odour may spread around the house. Use of additional plastic bags is recommended if freezer or refrigerator storage is not possible.


Await further assistance from either your Vet if you would like them to look after your pet or call us on 0800 861 1247 and leave a voicemail message, we will get back to you as soon as we next open.

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