What About Animals, Death and Funerals

When a person passes the family gather to reminisce and mourn the death of the loved one, a funeral service is usually held to celebrate the life and to assist the family and friends with the mourning process.

When a much-loved pet passes.  Be it Dog, Cat, Horse, Rabbit, Bird or one of the numerous other pets that people have.  The immediate family frequently gather, and the passing is honoured in the same way as though the animal was a human.  Essentially, to the family it was one of them.  The much-loved pet was a Fur, Feather of Fin, kid.

So, what happens with the pet when Mum or Dad passes?   “NOTHING” The much loved and spoiled rotten pet is forgotten while the family concentrate on their own emotions.

Pets Grieve Too.

It has frequently been reported that the family pet will stop eating, become depressed and un-settled.  And in some instances, their whole personality will change with the death of the person that cared for them.  We all know that animals form a bond with humans and it does go beyond food.


As a family it is your responsibility to respect the love that the person who passed gave to the animal and the unconditional love that the pet has given to the person and their family.

It has been proven that many animals do grieve.  However, they will come to terms with the death once they have been given the opportunity to acknowledge the death.  If you are going to the funeral home for a viewing, take the pet with you.  Let them have a sniff and a look at the person.  They may also give that person a final lick.  Then when they get home again.  Give them a piece of the person’s clothing that has the sent remaining on it.  Remember most animals rely on their sense of smell rather than sight.


I am sure that there will be some funeral companies out there that will refuse to allow animals on their premises.  If this is the case, then I think you would know the compassion the company is showing to you and your loved one.  The most caring funeral companies are Pet Friendly.


On the day of the funeral take the pet along with you.  After all they have been a huge part of the person’s life

The most common pet that we have at viewings and funerals are dogs.  They are an integral part of the family dynamic and can and frequently are included in the funeral arrangements.

The dog or pet provides familiarity, comfort and a welcome distraction during an emotional time.

For the funeral service, we suggest families have a dedicated minder should the pet become restless – However, in our experience, the most pets have behaved impeccably.

A funeral is the opportunity for family members to gather, support and acknowledge a life lived – no matter what your family unit may be.

Pets are welcome at Cemeteries provided they are on a leash or kept under control.  Some crematoriums and churches become a little nervous when a pet appears.  If Academy Funerals company is aware that the pet will be attending we will gain permission from the Church or Crematorium and make sure that any apprehension is overcome.  However, puddles on the carpet are never appreciated.


Have you put any thought into what the future of you much loved pet will be when your time comes?

I have witnessed on many occasions pets being euthanised because no one in the family could be bothered with them.  While others are given away or dumped at the local animal shelter.  For a young animal this is not a big problem as there is a hope of adoption.  Whereas the older animal is looking at a dismal ending to a life of unconditional love