My dog is dead, what to do with his body
My dog has died – Anyone who has had to deal with the death of their four-legged friend at one time or another knows that losing a dog is very painful. And not only must you deal with the grief, but you must also make practical arrangements to bury the animal in accordance with the law. What to do with my dead dog’s body? How do I choose between the different solutions available to me? Finally, how much will the burial cost me?
1- My dog is dead : I bury him in my garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, burying your dead dog in it is the most logical option. Not only will you have a place to remember your dog, but you will also be able to ensure the eternal rest of his remains at little cost. However, you must comply with current legislation, which requires you to adopt certain measures in order to bury your dog in your garden.
1-1 How do I do it ?
First of all, you make sure that it is possible! That is to say, concretely :
The weight of the animal must be less than 40 kilos (beyond that, you have no choice but to call the renderer)
If you live in a subdivision or a condominium, consult the specifications, which may contain strict limitations for the burial of pets.
In addition, according to the departmental health regulations, your dog’s grave must be dug at least 35 meters away from the houses and water points in the neighborhood. Burying your four-legged friend in your garden therefore implies that you have a large enough plot of land so as not to disturb your neighbors.
Then, for the sake of hygiene as well as efficiency, you take the following precautions:
You dig a hole at least 1.20 meters deep to prevent scavengers from digging up the remains.
Wrap the body in a cloth (not in a plastic bag, which would hinder the natural decomposition process), or place it in a wooden or cardboard box. It is also possible to place it on the ground.
You cover the remains with quicklime to accelerate decomposition and avoid the risk of polluting the soil. You can buy it in a gardening or DIY store but don’t forget to wear gloves when handling it, as it is a corrosive product. To prepare the lime milk, use a zinc or stainless steel basin and follow the instructions on the package.
1-2 How much does it cost ?
Burying your dead dog in your garden will not cost you anything at all, except for the bag of quicklime (about 2.5 euros for 100 g) and as long as you follow the instructions above (under penalty of a fine up to 150 euros).
2- I bury my dog in a dog cemetery
If you live in an apartment, the dog cemetery offers you the possibility to have a burial for your dog. This time, it is a paid service. Here’s how to proceed and what fees you need to consider.
2-1 How do I do it ?
First of all, you have to ask your local municipality or your veterinarian which is the closest cemetery for dogs to your place of residence. In all, there are about twenty dog cemeteries in France. The most famous is certainly the one in Asnières-sur-Seine where some famous dogs are buried (like Rintin, a movie hero, or Barry, a 19th century rescue spaniel). It is also where dogs who have rendered services in a war context (in the trenches for example) or in a police context are buried.
Good to know: you are not obliged to choose the nearest cemetery geographically. Your choice is entirely free (if you wish to bury your doggie in a region dear to your heart, for example, this will be possible even if it is not your home town).
2-2 How does it work ?
Some dog cemeteries are managed by the town hall, but most of them are private or depend on dog associations. The rules vary from one to another. However, all of them offer more or less the same services, i.e. burial, burial and even a tombstone engraved with your dog’s name.
If the cemetery where you wish to bury your dog is administered by the municipality, you will need to make a formal request for burial to the municipality:
Exhibit the death certificate of the animal or, failing that, present its remains
Collect your plot title
Make an appointment with the funeral company or the representative of the municipality for the burial
Prepare your dog for burial: wrap the remains in a cloth or place them in a crate.
2-3 How much does it cost ?
In a dog cemetery, the prices depend on :
The location of the cemetery (if you bury your dog in a cemetery in the Paris area, the price you pay will be much higher than if you bury him in the provinces: up to double)
The length of the plot (which generally ranges from 1 to 20 years, although some cemeteries offer plots for up to 50 years). Some cemeteries charge an annual fee (up to 100 euros per year), while others offer a fixed price for the length of time chosen (on average 500 euros).
The services provided (simple burial, coffin, vault…) can range from 70 to 1000 euros, depending on the burial chosen, and to which you must add the removal of the body and its burial (between 150 and 600 euros).
Finally, you should expect to pay about 50 euros per year for the maintenance of the grave.
Each cemetery has its own pricing system, so check directly with the cemetery of your choice to get a clearer idea of the overall cost of burying your dog in a pet cemetery.
3- I have my dead dog cremated
Your dog is dead? You can also have it cremated. This is a much less expensive solution than the dog cemetery and, in some cases, will allow you to recover the pet’s urn.
3-1 How does it work ?
There are two options for cremating your dog:
* Collective cremation: your pet will be cremated with other dead animals and you will not be present at the cremation, nor will you recover his ashes. To proceed with the collective cremation of your dead dog, contact your veterinarian. He or she will take care of the remains and take care of all the procedures.
* Individual cremation: this option offered by some cremation centers allows you to attend the cremation of your dog (lasting an average of half an hour, during which you are admitted to the collection room) and to recover his ashes in a funeral urn.
In both cases, you must sign a cremation agreement authorizing a veterinarian or a company to cremate your dog.
4- What to do with my dog’s ashes ?
Have you opted for an individual cremation? It is up to you to decide if you wish to :
Keep the urn at home (nothing prevents you from doing so)
Scatter your dog’s ashes in the place of your choice (your own garden, in the wilderness, in the garden of remembrance of a pet cemetery)
Place it in a colombarium (some dog cemeteries offer this possibility; of course, this is a paying service, count between 30 and 80 euros per year)
Put it in the grave of a deceased person (ask for authorization from the town hall, which will also inform you about the steps to take).
4-1 How much does it cost?
The price of a canine cremation varies according to the options chosen, but also according to the veterinarians and the crematoriums. As an indication, you should expect to pay :
* 40 to 95 euros for a collective cremation
* 75 to 200 euros for an individual cremation (the price varies according to the weight of the animal), to which must be added the transport package (between 90 and 150 euros depending on the funeral service) and between 15 and 180 euros for the urn (depending on the desired capacity and the chosen model)
* From 20 to 50 euros for the scattering of ashes in a memorial garden.
5- My dog is dead, I call the trimmer
If your dog weighs more than 40 kilos, you will unfortunately not be able to bury him in your garden. As an alternative to cremation (which may be expensive since it is proportional to the weight of the animal), you can call a funeral service.
5-1 How does it work ?
Here is how to contact a renderer (the professional who takes care of the transfer of dead animals to the processing centers):
As soon as your dog dies, go to the town hall to declare it and obtain the contact information for the local renderer.
Once you have made the request, the rendering service has 48 hours to collect your dog’s remains.
In the meantime, take some hygiene precautions: put your dead dog in a crate and cover it with a sheet. Place it in a place where it is isolated from the rest of the household but protected from the greed of potential scavengers.
5-2 How much does it cost ?
Although mandatory for very large dogs (unless you opt for incineration), rendering is not a free service. In fact, depending on your municipality of residence, you will have to pay between 80 and 180 euros to benefit from the services of the renderer.
6- I have my dead dog naturalized
This is not a common practice for domestic animals. However, if the death of your dog has left you inconsolable, the law allows you to have it stuffed.
Ask your veterinarian for the contact information of a licensed taxidermist.
Be aware that the naturalization of a dog is a long and delicate process that will take several months (4 to 6).
The profession of taxidermist is not subject to any particular regulation. However, the rates of these professionals are free. To naturalize your doggie, count at least 300 euros.
7- My dog is dead : useful information
Check out the testimonials from owners on Woopets Dogs to help you make your decision.
7-1 I declare the death to the LOF
If your dog was registered in the LOF (Livre des Origines Français), remember to indicate the date of his death in the box provided for this purpose on his identification card and to send it to the Société Centrale Canine.
7-2 I am collecting virtually
Just because you couldn’t afford to have your dog cremated individually or buried in a cemetery doesn’t mean you weren’t attached to him. On the contrary, you miss your little four-legged friend and are suffering from not having a place to remember him. The solution? Register on a virtual cemetery site, where you can pay tribute to your doggie’s memory. Be careful: depending on the site you choose (not all of them), some options may have a fee.
7-3 I take responsibility
Whatever the solution you choose concerning your dead dog’s body, do not throw it in a garbage can or abandon it on the side of the road… not only would this be a less than commendable attitude towards an animal that has been part of your life for years, but you would also be punished by the law (150 euros fine).
Finally, think in advance about the type of burial you will give your dog when he dies… Of course, it is not very cheerful, but when the time comes, you will be relieved to know what to do with his body and you will be able to start your mourning process more quickly.