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The Top 5 Options when Losing a Pet in the Winter

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If you are experiencing the loss of a beloved pet and it’s the middle of a cold, harsh winter, making arrangements can be very difficult. Here are the top five options for your pet.

Long-term pet storage - Ask your Veterinarian if long-term storage is available for your pet until the spring. All Vets have cold storage to keep deceased pets until either the cremation companies can pick them up or if pet owners need time to make arrangements. Its usually only for a week or so but sometimes longer term arrangements can be made.

Have a backyard winter burial – This can be a difficult option, especially if you live in the northern half of the country but we recently provided an article on how to do this. Some cities and towns don’t allow burials so please check with them if you are unsure. Having a pet casket available in advance will help making arrangements a little easier.

Consider Cremation – If a winter backyard burial isn’t an option and there is nowhere to safely keep the pet, than this would be a way to keep your pet with you. It typically take a week for the ashes to return and then they can be placed in a beautiful custom engraved pet urn.

Home Freezer – I have had many customers that have small cats and an extra freezer in their house, keep their pets there until the ground thawed. The pet should be at least double wrapped in plastic and sealed tightly. The freezer should be empty except for the pet to make sure there are no cross contamination issues. And very importantly, the pet should be put in a sleeping position with the legs curled in before freezing. This ensures that the pet will fit in the pet casket once a burial is possible. Pet caskets are not usually wide enough to fit a pet with outstretched legs.

Using a Pet Cemetery – a local cemetery will either have the equipment available to dig a plot in the winter or facilities to safely store your pet until the ground thaws. This would be the most expensive option but certainly the easiest for the pet owner.

What not to do:

Home storage – do not store a pet in a storage container in a warm house. A deceased pet can be toxic and could pose a threat to your health.

I hope this information helps. Please speak with your Veterinarian for options specific to your pet and situation.