How to Dispose of a Pet Rabbit After It Is Deceased

Small gravesite for rabbit
Small gravesite for rabbit (Image: Ines Wiehle/iStock/Getty Images)

The heartache of losing your furry friend is hard. Deciding how to handle his body can be gut wrenching. Several options exist for legally taking care of your pet rabbit's remains. It just comes down to what’s best for your family and how much you have to spend.

Backyard Burial

Burying your bunny in your backyard is an inexpensive and convenient way to go, if it's legal. You have the privacy of having a small ceremony with your entire family. Before you consider burying your rabbit in your yard, check your town’s rules. Usually you have to bury animals below a certain depth -- typically at least 2 to 4 feet. Some cities may require you to place your pet’s remains in some kind of casket, container or plastic bag before laying him to rest. Keep his burial plot away from irrigation or well water and from areas of standing water. His grave also needs to be away from places where animals might dig, such as in a fenced-in part of your property.

Cemetery Plot

If you’re living in a city or if you move regularly -- or if it’s the dead of winter -- backyard burial probably isn’t an option. Your town, or possibly a neighboring town, should have a pet cemetery. Much like a human cemetery, you can purchase a plot for your beloved companion. You’ll likely have to purchase a casket; however, the property will take care of the burial part for you. It can be costly to purchase a cemetery plot, although you’ll forever have a visiting spot to come back to.

Cremation Services

Cremation involves heating your rabbit's carcass at very high temperatures, so all that’s left behind is his mineral-based dry matter. Once cremated, you can have the crematory dispose of the remains for you, if you wish. You’re also allowed to have the remains returned to you in a permissible container. As an alternative, have your bunny cremated and then purchase a spot at the cemetery for his remains. Because the container will be smaller than a full casket, this will cut down on the cost of the plot.

Rubbish Disposal

If you don't intend to bury or preserve your pet, you'll have to dispose of it before it decomposes. Wrap your pet's body tightly in a garbage bag, then wrap another tightly around the first. Place him in your outdoor trash can, with the lid tightly sealed to keep predators out of your trash can. Your local town's landfill is another alternative. Call ahead to see what their requirements are, though. You might have to wrap the carcass in a certain manner or pay an animal disposal fee up front.

Alternative Ideas

You might be familiar with taxidermy if you’ve ever seen a deer’s head on a wall. The same process can be done with your pet. A taxidermist removes the organs and fills your pet’s body with a polyurethane foam. From there, he dries out the hide and poses your buddy in a position of your choosing. Freeze-drying is another method in which you can keep your bunny relatively intact. Using this method, all of the moisture is slowly pulled from his body while he is frozen in a chamber. Little is done to alter anything in his body. These methods take lots of time -- often several months -- and come with high price tags. In the end though, you can bring your critter home and continue to pet him whenever you want.

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