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What Do Vets Do With Dead Animals?

We all love our pets and want the best for them but when the time comes, pets will, unfortunately, die with some having to be euthanized at your local veterinary surgery.

We have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people reaching out and asking about what vets actually do with dead animals recently and although it is a morbid topic, we have seen so many people asking about it so we have decided to make it the topic of today’s article.

Our goal is to try and put our reader’s minds at rest as we have seen some people really worrying about what will happen to their pet once it has died.

Although the exact process will depend on where you live, the majority of places in North America and Europe do follow the same process or at least a very similar process to what we will be covering in this article.

We often see a few different questions asked from the community about what happens with dead pets at the vets so we have decided to try and answer as many of them as possible in this article.

We have added our table of contents below to try and make it as easy as possible for you to navigate the article and skip to any specific sections of the article that you want answers for.

What Do Vets Do With Dead Animals?

The majority of veterinarian surgeries will cremate dead animals but some do still offer a burial service too but this does tend to be rare.

If you want your pet to be stuffed then most cities and large towns will have a taxidermist who you are able to commission with the vet storing your pet until the taxidermist is able to collect it.

Depending on your location, there can be surprisingly high fees for the disposal of dead pets but most of the decent pet insurance policies will cover the costs for you helping to keep the costs down at this stressful time.

Please keep in mind if you are not having your local vet dispose of your dead pet and do want a taxidermist to work on the animal then pet insurance policies will not usually cover the costs of the taxidermist.

If you are on a budget then some local authorities will have policies in place where veterinary surgeries that have to euthanize a pet have to offer some form of pet disposal at no additional cost.

This is rare in the USA but is more common in Canada and most parts of Western Europe. If your area has a pet cemetery and you want a place to remember your pet then the majority of veterinary surgeries will have a quick and easy way to have your pet’s burial take place in your local pet cemetery too but there can be additional fees for this too.

Do Vets Dispose Of Dead Pets?

The vast majority of vets will offer some form of service for the disposal of dead pets with a range of options usually being available depending on your wishes and budget.

A simple, un-attended, no remains cremation tends to be the cheapest option with burial services at the local pet cemetery being the most experience with there often being a number of options in between too.

As we touched on above, many pet insurance policies will offer coverage for the disposable of dead pets too with some of the more expensive insurance policies often being able to offer coverage for all options offered by your local vets.

Please keep in mind that pet cemeteries are not standard on pet insurance policies but can often have an additional charge that some people fail to factor in.

This is due to some pet cemeteries actually being for-profit organizations on private land rather than government organizations on public land.

Most government ran pet cemeteries often have a small fee associated with a pet burial too but it is usually much lower than the private pet cemeteries.

Cremation Vs A Pet Cemetery?

The two main ways to dispose of a dead pet are cremation and a burial at a pet cemetery with both having advantages and disadvantages.

Your budget will often dictate the option you take due to a cremation usually being much cheaper than a burial but a burial offers the advantage of having a place to go to remember your pet.

That said, you can sometimes pay a little extra to collect the remains of your pet so you are able to put their ashes in a specific place.

This could be where you used to take your pet for walks so you are able to go there and remember your pet without the need of a pet cemetery burial.

This is becoming an increasingly popular option due to the fees to pet cemetery burial increasing with each year that passes too.

Another thing to factor in is that some pet cemeteries will lock their gates at dusk each night so depending on the hours you work and how far your job is from the pet cemetery, this can make it a pain to get into the pet cemetery to visit your pets grave.

Can You Bury Your Pet At Home?

Although many people do bury their dead pet at home, it is often illegal to do so and you should check the local laws in your area.

It is rare that people get in trouble for burying their pet at home though but technically, there may be a risk depending on the laws in your local area.

The majority of places have laws in place that make it illegal to bury pets in public places such as parts too with a number of people being caught out by this each year.

If you do want to remember your pet at its local park then a cremation may be the better option as you are able to spread your pet’s ashes at the park without the risk of getting into trouble.

Although it is rare that the police will get involved if you do bury your pet at home even if it is illegal in your local area, complaints from neighbors due to your pet attracting flies or other remains will force the police to take action too.

This is where pet coffins can be useful as they can prevent issues with flies or other pests being attracted to your dead pet and reduce the chances of problems with the police if you do bury your pet at your home.


That brings our article going over what vets do with dead animals as well as how you are able to bury or cremate your dead pet to an end. We hope that we have been helpful and that we have been able to present a number of options to our readers as well as bring some often-overlooked costs to your attention. As we mentioned earlier in the article though, some vets will be forced to offer some form of disposal of your pet for free if the vet had to euthanize them due to local laws but you will have to check the regulations in your local area for more information.