When a pet dies, parents often want to give the animal a funeral so their children can “memorialize” the pet as a member of the family. In many parts of the country, it is illegal to bury a pet because the body may attract scavengers such as rats. In these jurisdictions, the family’s veterinarian commonly disposes of the body.
Because I live in an area that prohibits animal burials, I encourage families to still have a memorial service; only in this case they bury a memento instead of the pet. Children can pick a favorite toy, a picture, or even write a poem or heartwarming anecdote about the animal. This approach follows community rules, but lets children have some closure regarding their pet’s death.