If you own a dog, you have probably asked yourself, are dogs allowed in cemeteries? Well, the answer to this question depends on several factors. One such aspect is the policies of individual cemeteries. Rules and regulations adopted by some cemeteries allow pet owners to bring their canines while others don’t.
However, you need to understand that just because a particular cemetery’s policies allow you to bring your dog, it doesn’t necessarily give you the go-ahead to tag your pet along. It is incumbent upon you to assess your canine’s behavior before bringing him with you to a cemetery. If your dog is well behaved and controllable, taking him to a cemetery might be okay. The bottom line is that your dog must respect cemetery grounds, mourners, and staff at the cemetery.
Should You Tag Your Dog Along on Your Cemetery Visit?
The answer to this question predominantly lies in your judgment, conscience, and beliefs. If you reckon that the cemetery’s layout is conducive to your dog, you should consider bringing her along. Notably, dog-friendly cemetery layouts have well-defined paths that are elaborate and spacious.
Another factor that should inform your decision is your dog’s general behavior. If your canine is tame, compliant, and well-behaved, taking her to a cemetery might be a good idea. On the other hand, lively, aggressive, and energetic dogs are likely to disturb the peace at the cemetery. If you must tag your playful dog along, it is advisable to put her on a leash. You may also carry your pooch in an adjustable dog crate and only let her out once you reach the gravesite.
A canine’s former relationship with the deceased should also inform your decision on bringing him to your cemetery visit. Dogs have a great attachment to their owners that is not easy to sever, even in death. Therefore, it would be advisable to take them to the deceased’s burial site for much-needed comfort.
What Do People Think About Taking Canines to Cemeteries
The issue of taking canines to cemeteries divides divergent opinions considerably. Different factions hold divergent views on the matter.
Arguments For Taking Dogs to Cemeteries
The contentions made by factions that accept taking canines to a cemetery can help inform your decision. The groups contend that dogs are a crucial part of individual families. According to them, dogs have a right to reconnect with deceased family members.
The factions also argue that the mere presence of a pet dog can help alleviate the anguish of grieving family members. Canines have a therapeutic effect that only grieving family members can understand.
Arguments Against Taking Dogs to Cemeteries
Groups that argue against taking your canine to the cemetery put forth diverse arguments. Notably, these contentions can help inform your judgment call the next time you consider tagging your pooch along on a cemetery visit. The groups contend that dogs can disrupt the solemnity of cemeteries.
Another argument made by this group revolves around the issue of respect. Some people believe that allowing dogs to walk on cemetery grounds is disrespectful. It is worth noting that disrespectful actions may include open defecation and barking at other mourners. Defecating or peeing on a grave, a gravestone, or a headstone is particularly distasteful to many mourners.
Factions that oppose taking dogs to cemeteries also contend that some dogs can disrupt funeral proceedings and processions. If your dog is extra playful, you might want to reconsider tagging him along because he might want to play around with grieving mourners. Lively dogs ordinarily disturb the calmness and somber mood that typifies funeral proceedings.
Some people argue that dogs should not visit cemeteries because of their general unpredictability. Your dog can remove gravestone accessories and flowers left behind by family members. Lastly, some people are allergic to canines. If your dog comes too close to such people during a funeral proceeding, the proximity can trigger an allergic reaction in them.
Can Your Canine Smell Graves?
You have probably noticed canines milling around a gravestone if you have previously visited a cemetery. The short explanation for this behavior is that dogs can smell graves. Nonetheless, most dogs are only interested in gravestone accessories.
Dogs can also detect the graves of their deceased owner. In such instances, they tend to spend more time on the gravesite. You should also note that pet dogs typically think their deceased owner will eventually come back at some point.
What Can I Do to Ensure That My Dog Respects a Cemetery’s Solemnity
If you want to maintain the solemnity of a cemetery, you should ensure that you bring a trained canine on your cemetery visit. A trained dog is more likely to avoid defecating on gravestones and headstones. Moreover, the dog is more likely to walk on designated pathways and avoid barking at random mourners. You can also put your dog on a leash to not wander around aimlessly.
Valuable Tips When Bringing Your Dog to a Cemetery
If you favor the idea of tagging along with your canine for your cemetery visit, there are some things you can do before and during the visit to ensure a smooth visit. One such thing is checking cemetery policies, rules, and regulations before visiting. Doing so will allow you to determine the areas where your pet is allowed.
The second thing you can do is to visit on quieter days. On such days, your dog is less likely to disturb the peace of other mourners. You can also ensure that your dog sticks to designated walkways to not play with other dogs.
It would be best if you also kept a close eye on your dog so that she does not wander away. If she defecates on open ground, you should consider cleaning up after her. Notably, you can avoid such a scenario by ensuring that your dog defecates before entering cemetery grounds.
Answers to questions regarding taking dogs to cemeteries are not necessarily definitive. If the policies of a particular cemetery allow people to tag their dogs along, then it’s pretty okay to do so. Factors such as your dog’s behavior should also inform your decision.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.