How Long Can You Keep A Dead Pet In The Freezer

The death of a pet can leave you heartbroken and wanting to preserve its remains. Freezing a dead pet can seem like a good option but, the question is, how long can you keep a dead pet in the freezer? Checkout the article below to get more guidance on this issue.

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How long can you keep a dead pet in the freezer?

If you are planning on freezing your dead pet in the freezer then you can only keep it in there for 6 months. However, it is important to note that freezing a dead pet causes its cells to rapture and crystalize which can then affect the necropsy process. So if you are planning on doing a post mortem for your dead pet, freezing it will not be the best option for you.

Why you cannot keep a dead pet in the freezer forever

Pets decompose over time and while the freezer slows the decomposition process, it does not necessarily stop the process. This means that if you keep your dead pet for more than 6 months in the freezer, you will start smelling an odd smell in your house. This is the reason why you should avoid keeping your dead pet in the freezer for a long period of time.

Common reasons why people freeze their dead pets

One of the common reasons why people freeze their dead pets is because they won’t have anywhere to bury the pet. If the pet dies during winter time, it can be very hard to bury the dog since the ground would be covered with ice. Therefore, it will be feasible for some pet owners, to freeze the dog and bury it once the winter season has passed. The other common reason why people freeze their pets is because they feel attached to them and cannot simply let go. Therefore, they resort to freezing their pets until they are ready enough to let them go.

 When not to freeze a dead pet

Freezing a dead pet may seem like a viable option for preserving your pet however, if you plan on having an autopsy done on your pet then you might need to reconsider the whole process. This is because freezing a dead pet causes its cells to rapture which makes it harder for veterinarians to investigate the cause of death of your dead pet. So if your pet died a mysterious death and you would love the vet to do an autopsy on it, you might need to forgo the whole freezing thing.

How to freeze a dead pet

Freezing a dead pet is not any easy task and if you cannot do the job on your own then you need to consider calling a vet to do it for you. When freezing a dead pet, make sure you have gloves. This helps to protect you from any diseases that your pet might have had. Wrap the dead pet with a plastic bag and take out as much air as possible before placing the dead pet in the freezer. You also need to ensure that you have an extra freezer so that you do not mix the dead pet with your food or else it can get contaminated.

Other methods of preserving a dead pet

While freezing is a good option for preserving dead pets for a short period of time, there are other more effective methods that can help you preserve your dead pet for a lifetime. Here are a few options that you can opt for.

Freeze drying

NB: it may take you 3 to 12 months to complete the whole process of freeze drying a dead pet.

This is one of the best methods that helps to preserve your dead pet for a lifetime. This process entails using vacuum pressure and extremely cold temperatures to remove all the moisture from your dead pets tissues. This helps to interrupt the decomposition process. When using the freeze drying method you need to start by removing the internal organs of your dead pet as well as the fat. This is because they do not dry well and if not removed, they will produce an unpleasant odor. Once all the organs are removed, the dead pet is placed into a sealed vacuum chamber that exposes the dead pet to extremely low temperatures that help to slow down the decaying process.  The process of preserving your pet can take 3 to 4 months depending on the size of the pet. Therefore, you need to be extremely patient when opting for this method.


This is also another method you can use to preserve your dead pet however, it involves skinning the animal. The skin of the animal is then treated with chemicals that help to preserve it. The skin can then the hanged onto a frame that resembles your animal’s body but, it will definitely look artificial. In most cases it will look like a stuffed dog. If you are looking at just preserving your dog for memories sake then you can use this option.

Freeze drying vs Taxidermy

These two methods have their pros and cons. For starters, freeze drying is more expensive as compared to taxidermy. So if you are running on a budget you might need to reconsider your options. The other thing is taxidermy seems a bit more invasive as compared to freeze drying. The fact that an animal is skinned does not sit well with a lot of people which might make it better for you to choose the freeze drying method. The last thing that you need to take note of is the time factor. Freeze drying takes a longer period of time to complete as compared to taxidermy. Therefore, you need to lay down all your options before making a decision.


A dead pet should only be kept in the freezer for 6 months. This is because if you keep it for more than 6 months it will start decomposing and you will not enjoy the smell it gives off.