How Do You Dispose of a Dead Pet Rabbit? — Rabbit Care Tips

Ways to Dispose of Dead Animals

When it comes to disposing of dead animals, specifically those animals obtained ­through hunting methods, there are typically four methods to consider: landfills, burial, composting and cremation. When you’re weighing your options, you should consider your nearby surroundings. For example, is there a solid waste landfill nearby? Are you far enough away from sources of water? What time of year is it? Do you know of a local composting site?

­The first method you might choose is placing the remains in a landfill. It might cost you to take your carcass or inedible parts to a landfill, so it’s important to call your local facility ahead of time to check.


Another way to dispose of dead animals is simply by burying the remains. Burial is economical and easy, but it requires some planning. You want to avoid burying the animal near any water source or an area that’s prone to flooding. If the private property is not your own, make sure to check with the owner before breaking ground.

Composting an animal can only be performed in certain areas, so if you choose this option, you would have to look into the regulations affecting your location. There are usually composting sites that handle slaughterhouse remains if you aren’t able to create one yourself [source: Hunting for Tomorrow].

Cremation, also known as burning or incineration, is a means of disposing of dead animals that costs money, but it also eliminates any worry you might have about contaminating other species, nearby water or humans.

Read on to learn about why it’s important to dispose of dead animals properly.

Stink Fish

In addition to game, fish require specific burial procedures. If you’re burying fish for commercial reasons, fish can be composted only if the composting site is regularly managed. This method, if maintained properly, prevents fly larvae from growing and prevents water contamination. In residential areas, however, experts advise sealing fish in a leak-proof container and sending it to a regular solid waste landfill. Fish can also be buried if you follow the proper procedures, though residential composting isn’t recommended [source: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation].


Wild animals

The carcasses of wild animals, other than wild game, are exempt from the animal by-product rules in the UK.

However, if it’s suspected that the animals were infected with a disease which can spread to people or animals, they must be disposed of as a category 1 ABP.


What is the best thing to do when your dog dies?

10 Things to Do When A Beloved Family Pet Dies

  • Validate it as a great loss. …
  • Take family photos. …
  • Send flowers/something edible. …
  • Engrave a Necklace. …
  • Have a Professional Portrait taken. …
  • Get A Stuffy. …
  • Memorialize with Art. …
  • Let Yourself Grieve.


You Can Dispose Of A Dead Pet Rat By Having A Home Burial

If you don’t think that you want to take your pet rat that has passed away to the vet for them to dispose of the body or you don’t want to cremate them, then another option that you have is to give them a home burial.

Disposing of your dead pet rat’s body by giving them a home burial can be a really personal experience and is a great way for you to be able to say goodbye to your little pet that you have loved so much.

It’s an option that’s less expensive than taking them to the vet or having them cremated with the added bonus of being an intimate moment.

All you would need is a small cloth to wrap them in or a box to put them in and then you can pick out a nice place in your yard where you’ll put their body.

So this can be a really good option because it’s an intimate experience, your pet rat will still be close to you, and you’ll be able to let nature take its course.

Do pets go to heaven when they die?

Francis of Assisi saw animals as God’s creatures to be honored and respected,” said Schmeidler, a Capuchin Franciscan. The Catholic Church traditionally teaches that animals do not go to heaven, he said.

BSE testing of fallen cattle

If your cattle are to be tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), you must contact a collector within 24 hours of the death of the animal to arrange for the animal to be taken to an approved sampling site within 72 hours of the death. Find out when you must send dead cattle for BSE testing.

If BSE testing is not required then the carcass may be disposed of as fallen stock.

Can I Hold a Funeral for My Rabbit?

The pet funeral business is growing in popularity throughout the country. This makes this an option for your bunny.

If you are interested in arranging a formal pet funeral, find a director in your area. The Yellow Pages will list these. Alternatively, ask your vet for advice. They will know of appropriate services.

The funeral can typically be held in your own home, or a pet cemetery. Naturally, this means that you could tie it in with a cremation.

An animal funeral can be costly. This means that, if you’re permitted to bury your bunny, you could always hold your own. This will help with the grieving process, especially for children.

There is no right or wrong way to mark the passing of a rabbit. You need to find an approach that works for your family. If that includes a funeral, so be it.

Other Ways To Dispose Of Your Dead Rabbit

If you decide or find out you cannot safely dispose of your rabbit in your yard then you will need to look into other alternatives. The following are the best ones to consider.

Pet Cemetery

If your state doesn’t allow you to bury your friend in your yard, you can use the services of your local pet cemetery.

These cemeteries are only for animals, and you will be able to visit your friend as often as you wish once they are buried there.


Cremation is becoming a very popular option, though it does come with a price tag.

Check with your local animal clinic or vet, as they usually work together with a local cremation service.

The cremation service can offer you various receptacles to contain your pet’s ashes, such as a cedar box or an urn.

The average cremation cost can come in at anywhere between $75 to $200, but ask your vet for your options.

Remembrance Stone

A remembrance stone is a clever way to keep your pet’s memory alive without having to bury them in your yard.

This type of stone can be created using your pet’s ashes which are infused into the stone.

You can then place your remembrance stone in a special place in your yard.

Your local clinic can advise you about remembrance stones, as can your local cremation service.

Footprints (or Pawprints)

You can press your bunny’s feet into a clay circle that will keep your friend’s prints forever, which you can then place wherever you like.

This option is great because you can keep their prints indoors or outdoors, and you can take them with you easily if you move at a later date.

You can create this yourself or ask your vet to create one for you.

Handling a Dead Rabbit

When you discover that your rabbit has passed away, you’ll want to take action quickly. None of us want to compromise our pet’s dignity, even after the pass away.

You must be careful when handling any dead animal. Don’t just pick them up and hold them. Take the appropriate care to ensure your safety by first answering these questions.

  • How did the rabbit die? If they were sick, acknowledge this and take care. A bunny passing away through old age is less concerning.
  • How long has the rabbit been dead? Have you returned from vacation to a dead bunny? It may have been this way for days.
  • Does the rabbit smell bad? It takes around three days for the decomposition process to begin. If a rabbit smells, this is a vital sign.

If your rabbit has been dead for several days, and started to decompose, you should not touch it. Call animal services or a dead pet disposal service.

If the passing was sudden, you can handle the rabbit with appropriate care. Always wear gloves. It’s also advisable to wear clothing that you will not mind tossing away.

Gently wrap your rabbit in a bag, box or crate, and arrange the disposal of their remains. As discussed, you have several options for this.

How to get rid of the residual smell of a dead rat

Despite having gotten rid of the dead rat, you will most likely find that the unpleasant stench of decay is still present. You should prepare yourself for a bout of intense cleaning in order to eliminate the smell.

  • Wear gloves throughout the cleaning process.
  • Open as many windows as possible.
  • Use a cloth or paper towels to clean up any juices, fur and anything else left by the corpse.
  • Spray the area with an enzyme cleaner and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. This will give the enzymes time to break down all biological material.
  • Wipe the area.
  • Spray the area with a disinfectant and wipe.

If the animal died touching anything made from fabric, such as a carpet, rug, or curtains, wash them on a high-temperature setting with hydrogen peroxide, mixed in with your usual laundry detergent. If it cannot be washed, you will need to throw it away as the smell will persist and the area may retain some dangerous bacteria.

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How to dispose of a dead rat in your garden

This is one of the most common places to find dead animals. In the majority of cases it will be a bird, pet, squirrel or some other small rodent. In the UK, you are permitted to bury rats and animals (excluding livestock and horses) in your garden.

We recommend that the grave is at least two feet deep and includes a layer of rock above the corpse to stop it from becoming unearthed by scavengers. But if you are not comfortable with this or are worried about vengeful rat ghosts, there are some other options available.

Your local vet, or council authority, may assist you in having the corpse incinerated, but it is important that you do not attempt to burn the body yourself or you may end up being visited by the authorities.

A third option is to simply dispose of the dead rat at the landfill. However, check with the staff first as some facilities do not allow the disposal of hazardous biological materials.

No matter which option you choose, you will need to take the following precautions:

  • Do not touch the corpse with your bare hands; ALWAYS wear gloves.
  • Wear a long-sleeved top and trousers to avoid parasites.
  • Try to minimise your physical contact with the corpse as much as possible. Scoop it up with a shovel or use the inside of a bin bag to pick it up.

Read: How to Get the Rif of Rats in the Garden without Poison

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5 Ways to Dispose of a Dead Rabbit in the Yard

Here are some of the more common ways to dispose of a dead rabbit in the yard. Consequently, not all of these five options may be available as a solution in your area. 

  • Burial 
  • Cremation 
  • Compost
  • Trash disposal 
  • Use a professional service

Give the Bunny a Burial

One of the more common ways to dispose of a dead rabbit is with burial.

This method ensures that the body will not attract insects or other pests once the body begins to decompose. 

Check with your local authorities before burying a dead rabbit in the yard.

Depending on the size, it may be illegal, or you may be free to bury your pet. 

There may be strict regulations on how to bury a dead animal privately in your area. 

Local utility companies should come out to mark any buried lines or cables before you begin. This task will help to prevent any issues when digging a hole for your dead rabbit. 

You want to ensure that it is completely legal before you go through the process and complete the burial safely and correctly.  

Before burying a rabbit in your yard, you need the proper tools for safe disposal. These items include: 

  • Gloves
  • Face mask 
  • Plastic bags and/or a small box 
  • Shovel 

The best way to bury a dead rabbit in the yard is to place it in a plastic bag and tie it tightly closed. You can then put it into another plastic bag or into a small box. 

If you do not want to handle the rabbit’s body with your hands, use the shovel. It can make moving it to a plastic bag easier, especially if you are sad about losing your pet. 

Be sure to dig a hole for it that is deeper than the bag or box, usually two or three feet deep.

This depth ensures that it will not produce an unpleasant smell or attract animals to your yard. 

Local pets in the area, coyotes, or other wild animals may enter your yard if they can smell or detect something you have buried improperly. 

Cremation the Rabbit

If you live in an area where burning trash and organic material is permitted, you can opt to cremate the dead rabbit yourself. 

If that is not an option for you, a call to a local veterinarian or animal services department can help.

They can often provide simple cremation services for a minor fee. 

Some private cremation services allow you to bring home the ashes if you wish. But, of course, there will be an additional fee if you ask to keep the ashes. 

Other cremation services include communal cremation, where they cremate many animals together. This choice is typically less expensive and used when pet owners do not want ashes. 

Compost the Dead Rabbit

All organic matter is compostable, even if your rabbit died because of sickness or disease.

Check with your local authorities on your composting regulations before attempting this method. 

While this is an option for disposing of a dead rabbit, it is only viable if the compost you have is large enough to accommodate the body. 

Small compost bins will not adequately break down the matter in proper time.

This factor could invite pests or other adverse effects when using compost. 

Some local farms may also be willing to compost a dead rabbit for you. If you know a local farmer in the area, you can ask about their composting facilities. 

Trash Disposal

Some areas allow residents to dispose of small animals, such as rabbits, into a trash bin once they are deceased.

Often, this method is the easiest, but you should do it correctly if allowed. 

When placing a dead animal into the trash, be mindful of the collection date. This way, you do not have a body sitting out in a trash bin for an extensive time. 

If your trash collection is not for many days, you can place the dead rabbit into the freezer until disposal. 

This process will keep it from decomposing before it can go into the bin. 

A dead rabbit should be placed into a plastic bag with a tight knot to seal it.

Some people will also put this bag into a small shoebox or another make-shift pet box before placing it in a bin. 

While there are areas with no stipulations on labeling a dead rabbit in the trash bin, others may require you to mark the bag or box for proper disposal. 

Be sure to check with your local authorities before attempting to place a dead rabbit into your trash. 

Some larger urban centers will have a specific area of the sanitation department to help dispose of dead animals.

This way, they do not have to handle them as part of regular trash collection. 

Talk to your local sanitation department and see if they have a service available for your dead rabbit.

It may or may not have a fee, so you want to explore this option before deciding. 

Using a Professional Service to Dispose Dead Rabbit

If you do not want to dispose of a dead rabbit in the yard yourself, many places have local branches of animal services that can provide help. 

Some areas will send a professional to your home to collect the body and dispose of it properly and legally. Other locations may require you to bring them the dead rabbit to dispose of. 

If you do not have a local animal services branch or prefer a more personable approach for your pet rabbit’s disposal, a local veterinarian can help. 

Of course, there is a fee for any animal disposal, but small creatures, like rabbits, often do not carry a hefty price tag. Some vets will also offer communal cremation as an affordable choice. 

Some professional services will offer a pet cemetery to place the remains of your pet rabbit. However, if the rabbit in your yard was wild, you may not want this choice. 

For some pet owners, having a place to remember their beloved pet rabbit can help ease their sorrow when their pet has died. 

This solution also keeps you free from disposing of a dead rabbit in your yard on your own.

However, it can be costly. So if you are on a budget, a pet cemetery may not be an affordable solution. 

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