Is it Jewishly permissible for us to bury our beloved pet with my late mother? The dog meant a lot to her.

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan

My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beloved pet. For many of us, our pets are like a member of the family, and when a pet dies, the grief is deep and intense.

Judaism does not permit animals to be buried with people, and it would be surprising to find a Jewish cemetery that permitted the practice. There are, however, other Jewish practices that can support those who experience the loss of pet. This essay, in particular, speaks to the grief we feel when a beloved pet dies and offers some resources and ideas to bring comfort.

There are other ways, too, to express one’s grief over the loss of beloved animal and to honor the role of the pet in the life of your family. You might hold a burial ceremony in a garden or on family property, giving family members the opportunity to offer remarks about what the pet has meant to your family. You might also consider honoring your dog’s memory by giving tzedakah (a charitable contribution) to an animal shelter or in support of a dog park.