When you bring home a pet rabbit, you're adding a pet to your home that will bring you years of joy and companionship. Many pet owners don't think about what they'll do when their rabbit passes away. Whether your rabbit has died or you have found a dead rabbit in your yard, dead animal disposal may suddenly become an issue that you need to deal with.
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Home burial for your rabbit
When your pet rabbit passes away, or you find a dead bunny in your yard, home burial often seems like the simplest and easiest route to take. But that may not be a viable option. According to Very Well Health, increasing rules and regulations mean that burial may not be legal in your town or state. If burial is allowed, there may be strict rules governing just how you may bury your rabbit. Because the rules vary according to location, you will need to find out what is legal in your area.
If home burial is permitted in your location and you own a property with a backyard, then make sure to dig a hole deep enough so that dogs, coyotes, or other large wildlife won't be tempted to dig the rabbit up. Lap of Love recommends asking your local utilities office to mark your yard, so you can be sure to avoid any utility lines. You should bury the rabbit between 3-to-5 feet deep.
Dead animal removal
Depending on where you live, your city sanitation department may offer dead animal disposal services. AAAnimal Control notes that many cities do offer such services and have the resources to properly dispose of the body, which is a particular challenge for pet owners living in cities. Be sure to call your local sanitation department to find out if this service is offered in your area, and what steps you may need to take to schedule a pickup.
Your local garbage service is another option. They may accept smaller animals, such as rabbits, mice, and guinea pigs. Again, call ahead to find out if this is an option in your area.
Your veterinarian's office is another excellent resource for dead animal disposal options. Vets are well-prepared for these situations since they're a natural part of owning a pet. The exact options offered will depend on the veterinary practice.
Most vets offer, at a minimum, to transfer your rabbit's body to a local pet crematorium for cremation. Many vet offices schedule pickups with crematoriums, so you don't have to worry about getting your rabbit to the facility, which can be hours away.
Some vets may have other options, such as holding your rabbit's body in their freezer during the winter until the ground has thawed and you can bury the rabbit at home.
Private burial and cremation
You may be able to find a local pet cemetery where you can bury your rabbit. You will have to buy a plot for burial. If you would like to visit your rabbit's grave, ask ahead of time if this is allowed. Some cemeteries allow visitation on particular days, while others are private.
You may also want to explore cremation as a possibility. As noted above, your vet can help connect you with a local crematorium, though you can also often make arrangements with a crematorium on your own. Most facilities offer private or group cremation. Group cremation is generally more affordable than private, though your rabbit is cremated with other pets. The cost of cremation is based on the animal's weight, so cremating a rabbit is usually more affordable than cremating a cat or a dog.
Losing a pet is a traumatic experience, and suddenly having to find a dead animal removal option will only add to your stress. If possible, think about and research the options that are available to you before you need to use them. It's not a pleasant event to think about, but chances are you'll appreciate the fact that you took some time to prepare when the time does come to say goodbye to your rabbit.