Pets are put to sleep using a powerfully concentrated anaesthetic agent called pentobarbitol, but this drug can stay preserved in the remains of a pet for up to a year. This means that any animals (or other pets) that may scavenge around the burial site may also be poisoned by the same drug, which can result in life threatening illnesses.
For animals that have passed away due to disease, it’s important to check that the disease cannot be passed on to animals or people, even after death. While early-life vaccinations usually solve this problem, some animal diseases can be transferred to other animals after death.
What are the other options?
While no one likes to think about the death of their beloved family pet, trying to navigate the options of laying your pet to rest peacefully can be very difficult during a time when your family may be grieving. With that in mind, here are some options available to pet owners.
Most cities have crematoriums and cemeteries for pets that also cater to pet funeral services. The cost can vary depending on the size of the pet.
Just like humans, pet owners can donate their pet’s remains to science. While this may not sound like a preferable option, it’s worth noting that your pet can help train the next generation of vets, aid student education and further research. Your animal, even in death, can make a vital contribution to the training of a skilled and compassionate veterinarian. Your vet can advise you.
If you must bury your euthanised pet, it is best to do so by enclosing their remains within a container than will protect the remains from coming into contact with other animals. Many local councils also have restrictions on burying pets on residential properties, so spend some time looking into the rules in your local area.
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