Preparing Your Pet’s Remains for Pickup

If your pet passed away suddenly and there will be a delay to have the remains removed or transported to a cremation facility there are steps you can take to help minimize damage to your home and make your pet’s passing less stressful.

While we know this process can be extremely difficult during such an emotional time, preparing your pet’s remains in this way will help prepare your pet for cremation.

There are many physiological changes that begin to occur shortly after death and we recommend the following tips to prepare your pet for pickup or if you plan to transport your pet to a local cremation facility.

  • If you pet passed away on a permeable surface such as a bed, chair, or carpet, we suggest gently moving your pet’s remains onto a non-permeable surface or placed into a plastic container or box. You may want to line the box with an old towel or sheet to absorb any fluids that may be naturally released from the body.
  • Carefully arrange your pet’s body into a sleeping position and gently drape an old sheet or towel over your pet inside the box.
  • Move the box containing your pet into the coldest part of your home until the Paws To Rest team arrives or until you are able to transport the remain to a cremation facility.
If your pet has passed away and it will be more than 12 hours until your pet can be picked up, we recommend preparing your pet’s remains by following the steps below. While we know this process can be extremely difficult during such an emotional time, handling your pet’s remains in this way will help prepare your pet for cremation.

Steps to Prepare Your Pet’s Remains For Extended Pickup:

  1. Obtain an old blanket, towel or bed sheet that is large enough to wrap around your pet’s body.
  2. Obtain a heavy duty plastic trash bag (or two if the body is very large or if the bags are thin).
  3. While wearing latex gloves (if needed) gently arrange the body on the blanket, towel or sheet. Place the body on its side in a curled-up position, as if your pet is sleeping. This will not only offer you a greater sense of peace, it will also make it easier to handle the body. (It’s important to note that bodily fluids and/or waste might be released when your pet’s body is moved.)
  4. Tightly wrap the body in the blanket, towel or sheet.
  5. Slide the body into the plastic bag(s). If your pet is a larger breed or heavy, you may need two people for this step.
  6. Securely tie the bags into a knot.
  7. Move your pet’s remains into a freezer, refrigerator, other frozen/cool space until your pet is ready for pickup or to be transported to a cremation facility.

If your pet’s remains are too big to be put into a refrigerator or freezer, the body should be placed on a cement floor or concrete slab, which is the best way to draw heat away from the remains. Do not cover or wrap the body in this instance — doing so will trap in heat and it will not allow the body temperature to cool. As a last resort, keep the body in the coldest area of your home, out of the sun, packed with bags of ice.