6 Steps to Take When Your Dog Passes Away at Home


As dogs age, we notice things about their behavior that show that they are slowing down. They may not be as active as they once were, and they may not be able to jump up on the couch or bed as easily as before. They may also stop eating or stop eating as enthusiastically as usual.

In any of these cases, they could be signs that your dog may be in distress.

Unfortunately, our pet partners cannot tell us when they are in pain or something is wrong. Your veterinarian may run some routine tests to see if your pet has existing health issues that can be treated with medication or therapy if the pet is in pain.

No one wants their beloved pets to suffer, so often, pet parents need to make the difficult decision to end their pain and suffering with euthanasia. This is something that all parents must do at some point in their pet’s lives unless they die at home.

What to Do if Your Pet Passes Away at Home

If your pet has had ongoing health issues, you may be expecting the worse, but if they have no underlying health problems and passes away at home. You should be prepared. There are many signs that your pet’s health is faltering. Most people try to get to their vet, but often that is not possible, especially on weekends and holidays.

Here are some worrisome signs that your pet may display before or after they pass.

  • They may naturally twitch or have nerve spasms after they have passed.
  • They may release air from their nose and mouth when they are moved.
  • They may release gas and bodily fluids.

These are terrible signs to witness, especially if they happen unexpectedly. Some think that these are signs of a spasm and that they will soon come out of it, but unfortunately, this is not the case. They are signs that the animal has passed.

Memorializing Your Precious Pet

Some pet parents take their beloved pet to the veterinarian to have it cremated. They can then keep their ashes in a beautiful vase in a special place.

Others create touching Facebook and social media posts. Others create a photo montage of their favorite photos of their pet. Each individual may have their way to remember their furry friends. Others choose to memorialize their pet differently. Today, some parents that are not yet ready to say good-bye to their best friend, they may wish to have their pets freeze-dried or recreated via taxidermy.

Follow These Steps if Your Dog Passes Away at Home

If your pet dies at home, and you have other pets, let the other pets smell the deceased pet. This enables them to understand what happened to their friend and gives them a sort of closure.

If you are considering taxidermy or freeze-drying, you need to take some specific actions as soon as your pet passes.

Here are some procedures for you to follow if you find yourself in this situation.

  1. The first thing you should do when your pet passes away at home is to wrap their bodyin a towel and then in a plastic bag. It should be put in the freezer to keep it cold and slow the deterioration process.
  2. The pet’s legs should be folded close to the body with its head down.
  3. Determine where you will be taking/sending your pet for taxidermy or freeze-drying.
  4. After you decide what process you will be doing, find out the best way to transport the animal to the proper venue
  5. Prepare some of your favorite photos to send along with the pet. This will help show the provider how the pet looked in real life. It helps them duplicate the same look for your pet after it dies.

The different processes take different lengths of time. Freeze-drying can take several months. The larger the pet, the more time it will take for this process as it removes the moisture.

Taxidermy removes the animal’s organs and uses a form to recreate the shape of the pets’ body. It uses primarily the fur and nails of the pet.

The Grief of Losing a Pet

Grief is normal and everyone grieves differently. Grieving is a natural expression for those that we love and will miss. This includes our precious pets.

Before you lose your pet, think about the best options for your pet after its life is over. Are you content with burying your pet or having it cremated, or do you want a physical part of your pet to be with your every day? If this is the case, consider freeze-drying your pet if you want them to remain a part of your life. The professionals at Animal Family Pet Preservation will be able to provide compassionate and expert pet preservation options to help you through your grief.

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