How can I “recycle” a dead pet?

A pet ratWe’ve had an email from “Pondering of Bristol”, saying:

Sorry to be a bit morbid but my daughter’s pet rat, Ellen, is on the way out and we are wondering what to do with her once the inevitable happens? We don’t have a big garden, just pots, so can’t really bury her. Should we put her in the compost?

I wouldn’t put a dead animal in an open compost heap for the same reason I would steer clear of composting any animal products – it may attract other unwanted vermin or insects to the heap while it’s decomposing. People using sealed composting systems are usually more happy to do this type of thing though.

We’ve always been able to bury our ex-cats in their favourite spot in the garden so I haven’t really thought about alternatives – does anyone else know about this sort of thing?

(Photo by puellakas)

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10 Responses to “How can I “recycle” a dead pet?”

  1. CTP says:

    definitely don’t compost – can spread disease.
    next time you’re out in the country (or a quiet corner of the park) chuck it in the woods and it’ll decompose naturally there.

  2. If you know anyone who uses bokashi compost, ask them to get rid of it for you.

  3. Karlie says:

    You could ask your vet about proper disposal or even cremation.

  4. aj says:

    We’ve had pet rats that passed away. Either they’ve gone back to nature to decompose [usually in/along the rivers here in WA state] or, with a couple of rats, they were buried in larger pots with some of our smaller “decorative” plants. In fact, that particular pot has been with us for about 3-4 years now, even thru a big move and quite a lot of snow. The plants are still with us and it’s a nice way to remember our ratties.

  5. Collette says:

    oh, don’t throw it in a park or the woods! my dog eats everything, and I’d be horrified if he found a dead rat to much on. I like the idea of sneaking in to a park and burying it, though.

  6. curtis says:

    Firstly, determine cause of death and do a diy home autopsy. A scalpel, hammer, saw and liquidiser will be required. If no disease is evident,liquidise into a mushy consistency, they taste good on toast so im told. Keep the tail as a souvenier.

  7. JHarter says:

    I’d just go off somewhere and bury it. But on the other hand, the rat in the picture here is effin adorable

  8. Phil says:

    My favourite bit of advice is from Curtis, made me laugh a lot. However, I think that my 5 year old would be a little disturbed by this procedure on our family moggy.
    Have disposed of our cat in the local woods under cover of darkness thus liberating its spirit back to nature.

  9. Pen-Evenger Bebaki says:

    Hi, I have a neighbor who is trying to erradicate the rats in the back yard… however I am a animal lover and i clar out the dea ones and have been waiting for a “Proper Burial for a Rat”, in quots bcause I am writing a story by that title… I heard that a “pacifist” way to rid of them is to but soiled cat litter in little mesh packets around the area… and that is really for mice… does it work for rats too? I’m getting tired of my rodent cemetary in this yard… grrr… and I looked up rats they populate more when they are killed…. grrr i hat to think that he is stubborn but he is… He told me after I told him that they populate more that he would have to go after the female rats… i think he gets a charge out of trapping and …. ugh… I am a distressed pet lover.. what to do???

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