My pet has died: what to do with his body?

A difficult step that is unfortunately part of his life, it can happen that your faithful companion, dog or cat, dies at your home or at the veterinarian. In order to get rid of his body in the best conditions, there are different solutions more or less expensive. Even if it is never a pleasant moment, it can be useful to think in advance about what will happen to your pet at the end of its life.


The law states that the bodies of pets weighing less than 40 kilograms can be “destroyed directly by burial”, which means that you have the right to bury your pet in your garden or private property. The rural code provides that the conditions of burial must be defined by an order. If it turns out that this decree has not yet been published, you should refer to the sanitary regulations of your department.

For sanitary reasons, it is generally advisable to avoid burying your animal in the immediate vicinity of a house, a well or a watercourse. It is also best to cover the body with lime.
Because this task can be difficult, both emotionally and physically, some companies offer to do it for you in your home.

Another option is burial in a pet cemetery where you choose a grave and rent a plot for a specific period of time, often renewable.

If you move, some companies offer to exhume your pet’s body at your home or at the cemetery where it is located, for a second burial near your new home.


Cremation can be collective or individual.

Collective burial

If you wish to have a collective cremation, you can entrust your pet’s body to your veterinarian, who will keep it until it is entrusted to a cremation company. It is then cremated by this company, which deals only with animals. The collective nature of the cremation does not allow you to recover the ashes of your pet, which will be scattered on a site.

Most cremation companies have “gardens of remembrance”.

Individual burial

Individual cremation is more personal, but also more expensive. As for a collective cremation, you can go through your veterinarian or contact a cremation company directly. Your pet will be cremated alone, and it is often possible, if you wish, to attend the cremation and collect the ashes. It is possible to choose the model of funeral urn that you want, from the most classic to the most original.

NB: Please note that it is impossible to place your pet’s body directly in your family vault. However, you can ask to be buried next to the urn that contains his ashes.


If this practice remains marginal, it is possible to have your dog or cat naturalized. If some taxidermists only work with wild animals, others accept to naturalize pets. The animal must be brought in as soon as possible, and must not have been kept in negative cold. The taxidermist will then work for several months and will try to give back to your animal the most natural and lively aspect possible, using photos if necessary.

Finally, “virtual pet cemeteries” have appeared on the Internet. These do not deal with the care of the body, but only with the memory. These sites are often free and allow you to put a photo of your deceased pet online, accompanied by small comments.