It cannot be easy to lose a pet in the winter. Losing a pet is painful, but it may also be stressful since you have to consider how to bury them and lose all your emotional support. It could be challenging to dig a grave for your departed animal buddy during the winter because the ground is frozen solid.
Because of this, pet owners delay burials during the winter by placing their deceased animal in a freezer first. However, how long may a dead animal be kept in the freezer? Is it safe to store a dead pet in the freezer, and is it possible to freeze a dead animal?
A dead animal may be stored in the freezer for as long as necessary. The process of freezing a pet is a destructive process, but it will keep the animal preserved and stop it from degenerating. When a pet is frozen, the animal’s cells rupture and solidify, making necropsy difficult and unreliable.
In our guide, you can learn more about what to do with your pets death. You may think to wrap your pet and putting them in a grave in the yard is best, yet even that may not be a viable option. You would think that freezing a dead dog or dead pet is an odd practice. Yet, by the end, you’ll find many dog owners frequently do that as the weather or season make cremation or burial impractical. (Read Do Cucumbers Need To Be Refrigerated)
How Long Can A Dead Animal Last In The Freezer?
Your dead pet should ideally be frozen as soon as possible once it passes away. Animals quickly degrade after passing away, emitting an unpleasant odor and attracting pests.
If you live in a warm region, freezing becomes much more crucial because the pace of decomposition is significantly higher.
When cremation services are not yet accessible or until the ground is soft enough for digging in the spring, dead pet freezing will help it survive for days or weeks.
It is not advised to freeze your dead pet indefinitely, though. Although freezing can only slow down the decomposition rate, it is still deteriorating. Despite this, you might still detect faint scents.
Whether or not they are tightly packed, dead pets shouldn’t typically be stored at home for an extended period because of potential health risks.
Although some pet owners may find it difficult to let go, there are various ways to preserve a deceased animal, including taxidermy and freeze-drying, which are covered in more detail below.
How To Care For Your Pets Remains
- Here are some things to keep in mind if you need to freeze your deceased pet:
- When dealing with the decomposing body of your pet, always use safety gloves.
- Remember that when someone dies, their bodily fluids come out. Moving the body releases extra fluids as well.
- Clean up your pet if liquids or excreta have been released.
- Get your pet a blanket to cover it in. To ensure the body is adequately covered, invest in large towels like a jumbo size towel for huge breeds.
- Place your pet’s body on the blanket with its head down, and its body in a curled up position on its side. This should bring comfort to pet owners and make it simpler to deal with the deceased animal.
- The body should be wrapped and placed inside a plastic bag. A huge vacuum storage bag is a type of plastic that works nicely with a thick towel.
- By doing this, you may be sure that your pet’s body is completely sealed before freezing it.
- If you cannot prepare the remains in this manner, you can always contact a veterinarian.
- Keeping the remains in the basement will do if that doesn’t work out. However, keep in mind that leaving your pet in the basement for over 4-6 hours may cause scents to seep throughout your house.
- Finding the coldest place in your house that isn’t exposed to sunlight would be your last option. Keep your pet here for the time being and put the remnants in a plastic bag. To keep the area chilly, use ice bags.
Call A Vet
Your veterinarian can assist you in temporarily storing your pet at their facility’s cold storage if you don’t have a freezer at home until you have worked out the final arrangements.
Nearly all veterinary clinics have freezers, and they will be happy to assist you with that, especially if you are a regular customer.
Regardless matter whether the vet treated your pet while it was still alive, some continue to provide after-death services.
If you’re fortunate enough to choose this route, you’ll have plenty of time to plan a funeral or a cremation. (Learn How Much Do Fridges Weigh)
When Not To Freeze A Pet
If you want to research your pet’s cause of death, don’t freeze it. This technique involves autopsying your pet’s tissues.
If the cause of death is unknown, your vet may get tissue samples for a veterinary pathologist to examine.
If you want a pet funeral, request minimum incisions.
Contact your vet if you want an autopsy. If you must delay, refrigerate but don’t freeze your pet. Ice crystals harm tissues, making it impossible to diagnose your cat.
Freeze Drying Pets
Freeze-drying uses vacuum pressure and extremely cold temperatures to eliminate all moisture from animal tissues, stopping the decomposition process.
Internal organs and fat are removed since they don’t dry well. If the pet is skinny, artificial fillers are needed to make them look like its regular self.
Next, the dead animal is freeze-dried in a sealed vacuum chamber at low temperatures. The frozen water will be turned into gas. Moisture removal stops the decaying process.
The preservation duration depends on your pet’s size. The process can take 3-4 months for small animals such as cats, dogs, and birds. However, a large dog can take more than a year to process. (Read What Weeds Can Rabbits Eat)
How Long Will A Freeze Dried Pet Last?
With proper care, freeze-dried insects can last a lifetime. Keep them clean and dust-free. Avoid stains when preserving an animal.
If you take care of your freeze-dried pet, carrying or petting it shouldn’t harm it. Use the following tips to preserve your freeze-dried pet:
- Dust off
- Use Sevin Dust every three months to prevent silverfish.
- Direct sunlight will bleach your preserved pet’s fur.
- Don’t store the preserved pet in humid places like the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
What To Do If You Want To Freeze-Dry Your Pet
If you haven’t planned for this, it’s difficult to know right away after your pet passes away if you want to freeze-dry it.
You may need some time to decide what to do with your pet if it suddenly passes away.
If you haven’t made up your decision, bear the following in mind:
- First, make sure the body of your pet is dry.
- Then, put your pet inside a bag made of plastic.
- As much air as you can get out of the plastic
- Put your animal companion in the freezer.
It’s time to transport or transfer your pet to a freeze-drying facility while they are still frozen if you have decided that you want to freeze-dry your pet.
Animal taxidermy was previously fashionable to keep the animals memory alive. The animal’s skin is chemically altered and put on a frame simulating the animal’s body. Unlike freeze-drying, this procedure makes your pet look stuffed.
Taxidermy is unpopular since it entails skinning animals. However, this is an economical way for pet owners to honor their animal best companion.
Like freeze-dried animals, taxidermied animals last long with proper care. However, unfavorable conditions speed up taxidermy degradation. Glass cases help maintain your pet’s quality.
How long can you freeze an animal before taxidermy? You don’t want to store your pet in the freezer for too long, or it could suffer freezer burn. You will need to wrap it correctly to preserve such things as the skin.
Freeze Drying Vs. Taxidermy For Pets
Freeze-drying makes the result look more natural out of these two methods. For example, your pet won’t have dead eyes, a stiff body, and a blank expression.
Taxidermy will make your pet look like it was stuffed, with stitches showing here and there.
The process of getting freezer pets is also less invasive, and the pet owner knows their beloved friend didn’t suffer as it involves skinning, cutting, and stitches.
Overall, both freeze-drying and traditional taxidermy have their advantages and disadvantages.
The best method for preserving dead pets will depend on preference and the pet that has died. For example, a frozen dead hamster may not appeal as much as dogs or cats that have lived with you for years.
How Long Can You Keep A Dead Dog Or Cat Before Burial?
Most states require you to properly dispose of your beloved pet within 24 to 48 business hours from when your pet died.
The local authorities will let you keep your pet a little longer if you are having them buried at a pet cemetery because burial arrangements can take a few days.
How long can you keep a dead dog before burial?
To be confident of your pet’s death, wait two to three hours after death before you bury your dead dog.
The stiffening of the joints, known as rigor mortis, typically begins 10 minutes to 3 hours after death and can last up to 72 hours.
How to store dead pet?
Until a burial, cremation, or other arrangement is made, the remains in most cases should be maintained in a freezer or refrigerator.
If you cannot do so and cannot get the body to your veterinarian or a local pet aftercare company, a garage or basement may have to do so to keep the body cool.
Why you shouldn’t bury your pet in the backyard?
The simplest option to appropriately handle your pet’s remains may appear to be backyard burial. Unfortunately, it might be harmful to wild animals and other pets.
Your pet’s body could be dangerous if they pass away from a sickness that could infect other animals or even people. (Read What Happens When You Call Animal Control On A Neighbor)
Is it OK to bury deceased pets in your backyard?
According to California law, a pet’s body cannot be buried on its owner’s land.