It’s not something we want to think about, but sometimes we must. I ran across a particularly powerful and useful article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram which covers the tragedy of losing a pet and what to do.
Here are some helpful things I have learned.
- Call your vet. Vets are well equipped for these situations and know what to do when your pet dies.
- Do not bury your dog yourself. City ordinances usually prohibit burying your pet in the backyard. Fort Worth, Dallas, and most municipalities in Dallas and Tarrant counties do not allow backyard burials. However, cremated ashes can be buried in your backyard.
- Physically, you have hours to decide what to do. It does not require calling a 24-hour vet and can wait until your vet opens in the morning. Emotionally, you may not want to and emergency animal hospitals can help you. If you are going to wait, it is best to keep your pet’s body in a cool place.
- A few local businesses will pickup your pet from your home or vet 24 hours a day. Some of these Fort Worth businesses are:
- Counseling is available. You don’t have to go through this alone. Your vet or one of the after-care facilities should be able to help you get in touch with a grief counselor.
- There are basically 5 options available for pets.
- Private burial – With this option, you will purchase a small plot of land at a pet cemetary, a headstone, a casket, and there are even chaplains who will say a few words for your pet at a graveside service. It’s a common practice and the companies listed above can help with all the details.
- Communal burial – some pet cemetaries offer a communal burial, burying multiple pets in a common grave, giving you and your family a more affordable option with a marked grave to visit.
- Private cremation – your pet will be the only animal in the cremation chamber and afterwards the ashes will be collected and returned to you.
- Group cremation – your pet is cremated along with other pets. There is no way to get your pet’s ashes back.
- Curbside pickup of dead animals is available at no charge six days a week in Fort Worth. Pets are “respectfully taken to a special area in the landfill away from the trash.” (817-392-EASY)
- Prices for these services vary wildly, especially with private burials. Expect to pay at least $200 for a private cremation. Group cremations should be less than $50.
If you’ve found this blog post because your beloved pet recently passed over the rainbow bridge, we are deeply sorry for your loss.
Original Article: Advice on what to do when a dog passes away [Star-Telegram]