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wikiHow to Conduct a Pet's Funeral

The death of a beloved pet affects the family in a way which is shared almost universally. For children, the death of a pet may be their first experience in confronting the death of a loved one, in particular, and mortality in general. Like adults, children find reassurance in the enacting of communal rituals, and therefore pet funerals are as common as they are healthy. Services for small pets like fish or gerbils can be conducted at home with little fuss.


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    Allow the child to select an appropriate "coffin" for the deceased pet. This may range from a matchbox to a cigar box to a shoe box. In some cases, a pretty and appropriate bag or piece of material might also serve to wrap up the deceased.
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    Have family members gather together somberly, with the child who assumed primary responsibility for the pet assuming the role of minister.
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    Say a eulogy praising the pet's qualities. Members of the family may also share significant personal memories of the pet at this time.
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    Offer some sort of prayer, if you are religious.
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    Bury the pet's coffin in a flower bed or restful area of the backyard.
    • Have the child say a few words sitting beside the newly buried pet.
    • Plant or place a little flower or rock as a gravestone to mark where the pet was buried.


  • Remember, it is sad when any type of pet dies. It does not matter on the shape or size, so don't assume that your child won't be sad if the animal that passed away was even just a goldfish. Any loss is a loss, treat a funeral like a nice peaceful funeral, like the goldfish was as important as a dog.A child's emotion is fragile.
  • Think of it as the pet being in a better place. Don't think about the death.
  • Even single adults can find solace in a pet funeral. Don't let your friends or relatives make you feel bad because you treat your animal companions with respect and mourn their passing!
  • Allow your child to design the service as much as possible, You may be surprised at your child's sensitivity and emotion.
  • Put things your pet loved or something you love in the coffin with your pet.
  • Tell your child that their pet is in heaven and is very happy there.
  • Do not buy your child another pet immediately. Everyone needs time to mourn.
  • Don't think of the pet as never to be seen again think of it as see you later.
  • Don't think about any regrets or harsh feelings you may have towards yourself or others. Remember the good times with your pet and how much you two loved each other.


  • Parents, use good judgment: if some older siblings are too "cool" to take a pet funeral seriously, do not force them to participate as their demeanor may negatively impact the children mourning.
  • It's a good idea to remember where these pets have ended up buried so that you will not inadvertently disturb their remains. No one wants to find the skeleton of a guinea pig when he or she is planting tulip bulbs!

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Categories: Pet Loss