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Coping with Pet Loss: What to Do When Your Dog Dies

  • 6 min lu

Firstly, please accept this heartfelt apology for the loss you’re going through. If you’ve found your way here wondering what do you do when your dog dies, then you must be experiencing tremendous pain.

Losing a beloved pet is undoubtedly one of the hardest things we can go through as humans, and the grief is reminiscent of losing a human family member. Anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t get it, but don't worry—we do.

So, what do you do when your dog dies? Well, that’s a complex question that extends far beyond surface-level practical considerations. Come along as we navigate this challenging terrain with you, and offer our support and guidance.

 

Getting Ready for the Inevitable

Preparing for the Inevitable when dog died

Before we dive into answering the all-important question of what do you do when your dog dies, we’ll address what the lead-up can look like when you’re given a fair warning.

Just as we brace ourselves for the impending loss of human family members, it’s important to have a plan in place for the passing of your dog. Although difficult, an end-of-life plan can provide a roadmap for these challenging times, ensuring your pet's comfort and dignity while supporting your emotional well-being. 

Senior pets or those experiencing significant health concerns may require palliative care or euthanasia. This is a profoundly emotional decision, but sometimes it’s the one our best friend deserves. When their quality of life diminishes, it can be the kindest thing we can do for them.

Before they cross the rainbow bridge, why not make their final day the best it can be? Spend quality time with them, and provide an opportunity to feast on all of their favorite foods if they’re feeling up to it. Otherwise, just be there for them like they have always been there for you.

When the Dog's Health Deteriorates

Senior pets or those experiencing significant health concerns may require palliative care or euthanasia. This is a profoundly emotional decision, but sometimes it’s the one our best friend deserves when their quality of life diminishes. It can be the kindest thing we can do for them when your dog's health deteriorates.

 

Immediate Actions After Your Pet’s Death

Once the time has come and your dog has passed away, you may be wondering, what do you do when your dog dies at home? The first step is to move their body to a cool, dry place, handling it with extreme care. To limit the spread of germs, clean any area that was touched by the body, and contact a professional service to arrange the next steps for the remains.

How to Manage Your Pet’s Remains

Handling Your Pet’s Remains


When it comes to the question of what do you do when your dog dies, handling your pet’s remains is an important part of the process. A cremation is a popular option, and its cost varies depending on the size of the dog and the specific cremation services you choose. 

Burial is another choice, either at home or in a pet cemetery. Remember that home burial requires certain conditions be met to ensure the remains do not contaminate the environment. It's important to consult with a professional or veterinarian to understand the requirements.

 

When Grief Takes Hold

Dealing with the loss of a beloved pet is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s vital to give yourself and your family members permission to grieve, and to remember that everyone’s grief journey is completely personal and may look different from the outside. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to express your sorrow. 

You can’t go over or under grief, so take all the time in the world you need to navigate through it. When discussing the question of what do you do when your dog dies, it would be remiss of us not to emphasize the importance of leaning on your support network. This may be friends, family members,  therapists, counselors, or support groups; anyone who can lend a listening ear, comforting words, or company to ensure you never feel isolated in your grief.

 

Supporting Your Children When Your Dog Dies

When it comes to any children in the household, it’s best to handle this extremely delicate situation with care and honesty. This is likely their first experience with death, so you should take the time to tailor your approach to their age and level of understanding. 

Answer any questions they have simply and directly, and reassure them that they have a safe space to feel upset. Validate their feelings and help them find ways to express their grief, such as through art or writing about their favorite memories with your dog.

 

Other Pets in Mourning

If you have other pets remaining in the household, their grief cannot be underestimated too, as they will undoubtedly feel the loss of their companion. You may notice changes in their eating or sleeping habits, and heartbreakingly, you may find them searching the property for their missing friend.

To support them during this time, it’s a good idea to maintain their regular routine as much as possible and make an effort to give them plenty of extra affection and attention. If any concerning behaviors arise, check in with the vet to ensure there aren’t any underlying health issues.

 

What Do You Do When Your Dog Dies and You Feel Depressed?

It’s normal to feel an overwhelming spectrum of emotions after your beloved dog (or other animal) passes away. However, if feelings of extreme sadness or depression continue, it isn’t weak to speak; please reach out to a professional.

If you’re in the US, you can contact the Pet Loss Helpline at (877) 474-3310. If you’re in other parts of the world, similar services exist internationally, so we’d recommend conducting a quick Google search to find your local counterpart.

 

Cherishing Your Pet's Memory

cuddle clones in remembering a pet that died

When the question “What do you do when your dog dies?” arises, one of the most important aspects that can bring you great comfort is finding a unique way to remember your pet. Creating a lasting keepsake with their collar, favorite toy, or lock of their hair, or holding a memorial for your pet is a beautiful way to celebrate their life and honor the bond you shared.

Planting a tree or a special plant can also serve as a living memorial to your dog's life and give back to nature. Another idea is to consider making a donation or volunteering at a local animal shelter in your pet's name. It can be a meaningful tribute to your pet, supporting other animals in need and turning your grief into a force for good.

 

What Do You Do When Your Dog Dies and You Want The Most Unique Keepsake?

At Cuddle Clones, we pride ourselves on creating exceptionally lifelike plush replicas of your beloved pets that can serve as a fitting tribute to your dog. Each piece is made with care, dedication, and an exceptional eye for detail, offering a unique tribute for those wishing to honor their adored animal companions.

We strive to provide a measure of solace and a lasting connection for those grappling with the loss of a pet. Our unique offerings—from plushies to mugs, blankets, posters, and more—serve to keep your treasured memories alive. We resonate deeply with the heartache associated with pet loss and aim to support you during this challenging time.

Pet Remembrance Services

There are various services available today that assist with pet remembrance. One such service is pet cremation jewelry, where a small amount of your pet's ashes can be incorporated into a piece of jewelry such as a necklace or a ring. This is another form of keepsake that allows you to keep your pet close to your heart always.

Also, you may wish to consider dedicating a space in your home or garden to your beloved dog. This can be a special corner with their photos, favorite toys, or other memorabilia. It can serve as a space where you can sit, reflect, and remember your pet. You might even choose to light a candle there on special occasions or anniversaries.

We strive to provide a measure of solace and a lasting connection for those grappling with the loss of their pets. Our unique offerings—from pet plushies  to mugs, blankets, posters, and more—serve to keep your treasured memories alive. Our hearts ache for you and for the heartache associated with pet loss and our aim is to support you during this challenging time.

If you have any queries or need assistance, please don't hesitate toget in touch with us. We're here for you and would be more than happy to connect.

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