Are you intending to pay your respects for a lost one? Wondering whether you can take your dog along with you? Well, this is what you simply need to know and consider.
So, are dogs allowed in cemeteries? Dogs may be allowed in a cemetery; it depends on each cemetery and its rules and policies. Checking the entrance gate or contacting local authorities/councils is a way to check. Equally, in cemeteries that do allow dogs restrictions may be in place to ensure safety and respect to mourners and their lost ones.
Just because you may be able to take your dog does not necessarily mean you should.
And at the same time, if you do decide to take your dog you really need to ensure they are well behaved and you are in control of your dog and where they go at all times.
Besides, this is a place of mourning, after all.
So the consideration of others should always be your first and foremost priority.
Should You Take Your Dog To A Cemetery?
Whether you should take your dog to a cemetery is one that will differ depending on the context. This question does divide opinion, regardless of whether the cemetery does allow dogs or not.
So do have this in the back of your mind.
There are people who object to this and feel that it is wrong – plain and simple and under all circumstances.
Where you stand on the matter of course may differ, but these beliefs should be respected.
Equally, any rules or requests by a cemetery should always be honored.
It goes without saying but a lot also depends on the layout of the cemetery and the nature of your dog.
Some cemeteries are naturally much more dog-friendly than others; they may have much more clearly defined paths and be much more open and spacious.
In regard to your dog, only you will know how they generally behave and their temperament.
Are they docile, well-behaved, and trained? Or are they energetic, lively, and likely to bark at other people (or perhaps even other animals)?
So you will need to make a judgment call based on these kinds of things.
And another consideration; what is your reason for bringing your dog?
Were they close to the deceased, are they a big part of family life, and might you be bringing them for additional support and comfort?
In those kinds of situations bringing your dog may be more appropriate.
If you are taking your dog with you as a means of giving them a walk, then this perhaps is a reason to consider alternatives.
Nevertheless, it is always recommended to contact a cemetery ahead of time and any potential visit.
Find out exactly what their rules are, and if there is anything in which you should be aware of.
For instance, cemeteries that do allow dogs, they may not allow them on certain days or times.
Or, they may have an upcoming funeral of which you need to be aware.
Suggestions If You Do Visit A Cemetery With Your Dog
If you know for sure a cemetery does allow dogs, then there are some best practices to follow to ensure utmost respect to other mourners and the deceased.
- Always check cemetery policies and guidelines ahead of any visit, being sure you know exactly where you can and cannot go.
- Visit at quietier times, when you are unlikely to come into contact with other mourners, people, or animals (including dogs),
- Ensure your dog has been to the toilet ahead of any visit, and be proactive to ensure they do not defecate in any unrespectful place – being incredibly quick and willing to clean up any mess should it happen,
- Stick to desginated paths, and do not cross graves with your dog,
- Keep your dog on a leash and close watch at all times, preventing them from doing anything innapropriate like fowling or eating flowers from a grave etc.
- Have dog treats on hand, and be willing to leave immediately should the need call for it.
- Have the feelings and thoughts of others in your mind, and be willing to accept that they may be upset with the prescence of your dog. If you sense this, be sure to leave or at the very least, make them feel more comfortable by your presence.
- Stay away from other dogs, this is not the time to socialize them.
- Only spend as much time in the cemetery as you need.
- If somebody does ask you to leave or is clearly distressed about your dog being present, try not to argue, retaliate or exchange words. They are mourning, after all.
This is a really difficult question to answer.
In reality, there is no one simple answer.
Sometimes they are allowed, sometimes there not. Sometimes they are allowed but you still shouldn’t take them.
It has everything to do with context.
Nonetheless, if you do intend to take a dog to a cemetery, then do all you can to ensure you are following cemetery rules, guidelines and are being as responsible an owner as you can.
As much as we love our dogs, we have to remember that even the best-trained dogs can be a little unpredictable.
At the same time, a cemetery is a place for mourning.
That must come first.
Along with the needs, requests, and emotions of others.
If you were frightened of dogs, had allergies, or were not a dog person; where would you stand on the matter?
Imagine how you might feel if you saw a dog misbehaving, barking, or fouling around your deceased loved ones?
I am not here to make a moral judgment, I am just trying to get you to think about what’s best.
For everyone involved.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.