5 Easy Ways to Respectfully Dispose of a Dead Pet Fish

If you’re reading this article you’ve likely either experienced a recent death of a beloved past pet fish, or you are anticipating the death of a current pet fish. Whatever your reason for ending up on this page, it will provide you with the best ideas on how to dispose of your dead pet fish, or in other words, how to give your fish a proper burial.

When pet owners lose an animal that they loved dearly, it is of great priority to most that they honor the life and memory of that passed pet. There are five primary ways that pet owners, and thus fish owners, dispose of their dead pet fish when its time comes. No one way is better than another, and all allow you to respect your fish with a proper burial.

1. Flushing Your Dead Pet Fish Down the Toilet

Why would I flush my dead pet fish down the toilet?

The benefit to sending your fish off by flushing it down the toilet is pretty clear in that it’s probably the most convenient option. Flushing your fish down the toilet is mess-free, quick, and easy; there’s a reason that this is the most common method of fish burial.

However, some pet owners are very against this method of disposing of dead pet fish, so if this is the route you chose, make sure you do not do this carelessly. Also take note that younger children might find this method of burial disturbing and confusing, so that may be a factor to consider when determining how to dispose of your dead pet fish as well.

How do I properly flush my dead pet fish down the toilet?

There really is no right or wrong way to flush your fish down the toilet, as long as you do so with care. It would be ideal that you place your fish carefully into the toilet bowl, and flush the toilet when you are ready. Make sure that your plumbing is working properly so that your fish goes down with one flush, and doesn’t fail to drain. [Source]

2. Burying Your Dead Pet Fish in Your Backyard

Why would I bury my dead pet fish in my backyard?

Burying a pet in your backyard is an age-old tradition. Most people who choose this method of burial for a deceased pet like the similarity to a traditional human funeral, and think that it shows more respect and pays homage to the very real life that their pet led.

How do I properly bury my dead pet fish in my backyard?

As with flushing your dead pet fish, there truly is no right or wrong way to bury your pet in your backyard. The first detail to cover is that if you have kids or additional pets, do not bury your pet close to the surface or where it could easily be dug up.

Dig a deep enough hole that your pet can be securely and tightly covered. This is also important because you don’t want to have a ridiculously strong odor and end up having to dig your pet back up. [Source]

3. Cremating Your Dead Pet Fish at Home

Why would I cremate my dead pet fish at home?

People generally view cremation as one of the most honorable forms of burial, because your life is being preserved and extended through those who loved you. Likewise, pet owners who cremate their dead pet do so in a great attempt to honor their pet.

How do I properly cremate my dead pet fish at home?

We have a complete article on how to cremate a fish at home here.

Cremating your dead pet fish at home is a three-step process. First, you must dry out the fish. This is best done by putting your fish on a pan in a hot oven.

Once the fish is completely dried out, you need to put the fish in a pot over a heat source, like a fire. Allow the fish’s body to dissolve into ash, noting that you may have to press it a little bit in order to ensure it turns to ash and doesn’t burn to become char. Third, make sure the ashes cool completely before you remove them from the pot or do anything with them, it is important that they dry and cool properly. [Source]

4. Performing a Water Burial for Your Dead Pet Fish

Why would I perform a water burial for my dead pet fish?

Some people like water burials for sending their pets off because it is quick, and the ashes of their pet just become one with the water and become a part of the world. Water is often considered holy in religious contexts, so it’s clear why that might be a preferred method of burial for pet owners with recently deceased animals.

How do I properly perform a water burial for my dead pet fish?

A proper water burial is hard to describe since it can be done in so many different ways. The only necessary details are the water and the ashes/body. Ashes can be scattered in the ocean, dumped in a river off of a bridge, thrown in the wind above a lake, dumped off the side of a boat, or even set afloat on a piece of driftwood.

Most who choose to give their pet a water burial using their body send it down a river with some flowers or their favorite treat. There is a lot of room for creativity with water burials, so whatever is most personal to you will be wonderful. [Source]

5. Reforming Your Dead Pet Fish into a Plant

Why would I reform my dead pet fish into a plant?

Similar to the reasoning behind a water burial, the appeal of reforming your dead pet fish into a plant, by using it as fertilizer, is that you are giving them new life.

A pet that is turned into a tree now lives as a tree, and the owner can keep them in their memory, and in a way, keep them alive beyond the grave.

How do I properly reform my dead pet fish into a plant?

The main way people choose to let their pet live through nature is by burying their body (or ashes) in their garden, planting seeds, and allowing the pet to gain life through the plant. Doing so with ashes is more symbolic while burying your pet’s body in your garden actually allows them to feed the plant and gain symbolic new life. Many find comfort knowing that their pet is allowing the end of its life to keep something else alive. [Source]

However you choose to let your pet go, there is no right or wrong way; any of these five ways would honor your pet. Remember that however you choose to say goodbye to your pet should be what will make you feel the most peace.

Carolina Pieters

I'm Carolina and created this blog, to provide practical advice and emotional comfort for those dealing with pet loss.

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