When you think of a funeral service, you probably imagine a reverent group of mourning friends and relatives, a pastor or priest, and a casket or urn. Dogs and other pets probably don’t fit into this vision. Still, some individuals ask for their dogs to be a part of their funeral services, especially if they were very close with their pet. To learn more about this unique situation, consider the following guide.

A Brief Guide to Dogs & Funeral Services

Why Might You Bring a Pet to a Funeral Service?

In some cases, children, spouses, or other relatives might have known how close the animal was to the deceased, and they’ll want to ensure the dog gets to say goodbye with the rest of the family. However, other situations might bring pets to a funeral service. For example, an attendant may have a service or emotional support animal, or they might be traveling to the service and have been unable to find a dog sitter.

What Should You Do Before Bringing the Dog?

funeral serviceSince some venues don’t allow pets, you should always check with the funeral home, cemetery, or crematorium before bringing a dog. Explain the situation  — such as if it was the deceased’s pet — and see if the venue will make an exception. If you have a service or emotional support animal, you’ll be allowed to bring them, but it’s courteous to let the deceased’s family know a dog will be attending the service. If you’re an attendant and can’t find a boarding situation, avoid bringing pets with overly shy, aggressive, or nervous temperaments, and check with the family in advance. You might also want to ask if any attendants have allergies, so you can make a point to stand apart from them. 

What Should You Do If Pets Aren’t Allowed?

If the deceased wanted their dog at the service but the venue won’t allow it, you can still include the pet by displaying framed photos of your loved one and their companion or using the images in a slideshow. You could also speak about their relationship with the dog when giving the eulogy. If you’re a guest and have been told not to bring your dog, try to find a local pet sitter. Remember, pet hospitals sometimes offer boarding services and daycare programs.


If you’re preparing for a loved one’s funeral service, get in touch with Whitley's Funeral Home of Kannapolis, NC, today. Although they began as a furniture store in 1913, they evolved into a trusted local funeral home. This institution is still family-owned and -operated, and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about attending the service. They can also help you plan unique ways to incorporate your loved one’s companion. For more information on their offerings, including funeral pre-planning, visit the website, or call (704) 933-2222 to schedule a meeting today.