When your pet rabbit dies, it's hard on you and hard on its companions. It's important to let a rabbit's companions sniff and spend time with its body. This will help them "understand" what's happened and come to terms with it. Your options for your pet's body include traditional backyard burial, burial in a pet cemetery or cremation. If you can't bear being without your rabbit, you have the option of freeze-drying its body. The end result is lifelike and can be displayed for years.
Bury your pet rabbit in the backyard. First, dig a hole 90 to 120 cm (3 to 4 feet) deep to keep scavengers away. Wrap your dead rabbit in a blanket or towel. Some people like to bury their pets in a box or special casket. Place the wrapped rabbit, box or casket in the hole. Fill the hole and pack down the dirt. Mark the grave with rocks or whatever your prefer. You may want to say a few words about the rabbit and what it meant to you.
Bury your pet rabbit in a permanent pet cemetery. If your family moves around frequently or you live somewhere that doesn't permit burying pets, a pet cemetery might be a good choice. You can find one through the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (see Resources).
Take your pet to be cremated. Your veterinarian may offer this service. After it's cremated, you can spread its ashes outside or keep them in a memorial urn in your home.
Bury your rabbit at sea. If you live near the ocean and have access to a boat, this is an option.
Freeze-dry your rabbit to preserve its body indefinitely. Unlike taxidermy, freeze-drying involves no artificial parts; the body is preserved exactly as it was. You'll be able to display, pet and hold your rabbit.
If your rabbit dies during the winter and you can't bury it outside because the ground is frozen, you can keep it in your freezer until the ground has thawed.
If you don't give a mate time with the dead rabbit, the mate might spend weeks looking for it. Traditional taxidermy may not give you the lifelike look you want. Freeze-drying might be the better option.
Tips and warnings
- If your rabbit dies during the winter and you can't bury it outside because the ground is frozen, you can keep it in your freezer until the ground has thawed.
- If you don't give a mate time with the dead rabbit, the mate might spend weeks looking for it.
- Traditional taxidermy may not give you the lifelike look you want. Freeze-drying might be the better option.