Should a Pet Attend Their Owner's Funeral?

29 June 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Whether it's appropriate to bring a pet to a funeral starts with the type of pet. Dogs are generally the only animal that is advisable. A cat, bird, reptile, or any other type of pet is unsuitable for such an occasion, despite the connection that they might have had with their owner. These animals are simply not used to being transported away from their home and being expected to remain calm and quiet. This is unsettling for the animal, meaning it's not in their best interests. While there is a symbolism in having the deceased's pet at a funeral, it's simply unwise unless the pet is a dog. And even then, it should only happen when certain conditions are met.

Get Permission

First and foremost, check with the funeral home. It's pointless to make plans to bring a dog to a funeral unless you're sure that the funeral home will permit it, and that's a matter of their policy. Enquire with the home, and get clarification before making any further plans.

The Dog's Personality

Now that you have permission, consider the dog. Does their disposition and personality give you confidence that they will be able to behave themselves during a funeral? Even if permitted, an excitable dog, or one with a tendency towards being aggressive, should not be brought to the funeral. 

Other Guests

You need to consider the needs of other guests at the funeral. Does anyone have an allergy to dogs? Is anyone affected by cynophobia (fear of dogs)? If so, the presence of the dog will clearly be too much of a distraction for some guests. It's necessary to make some enquiries amongst the other funeral guests to ensure that the dog's attendance will not be disruptive.


Someone needs to take responsibility for the dog for the duration of the funeral service. A nominated person will need to supervise the dog during the funeral, making sure its needs are attended to. This includes cleaning up after the dog, and there might even be a need to leave the funeral if the dog's behaviour or bathroom needs dictate it. There must be someone willing to commit to these duties.

Just because it's a nice idea to bring a dog to a funeral, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. You, along with other family members, must consider the pros and cons of having the dog attend before making a firm commitment. Reach out to a funeral home to learn their policy.