Taxidermy is a method of preparing, stuffing, and mounting pets/animals for display or research. In ordinary taxidermy, the animal’s hide is removed, tanned, and stitched on top of a handmade mount. 
This often results in visible stitches and unnatural posing.

With freeze dried pets, the animal is placed in a high-pressure vacuum with shallow temperatures for a long time. This facilitates moisture removal from the animal's cells with efficiencies upwards of 90%. In this dry environment, bacteria that spoil the animal cannot thrive.

It is no secret that freeze-drying yields better results than traditional taxidermy. First of all, the aesthetics of the animal/pet are well-preserved. Post-drying, your pet will look entirely life-like and fool just about anyone. The whole pet can be preserved permanently while avoiding damage to its overall structure. There are fewer chances of size, tissue, and colour distortion, leaving your pet looking just as it did when they were alive.

Freeze-drying taxidermy applies to a wide range of animals that include:
  • Small mammals (mice, hamsters, squirrels)
  • Birds
  • Small pets
  • Small reptiles
  • Fish
  • Game animal heads such as deer, moose, boars, and bears
Typical freeze-drying applications include the preservation of dead pets, exhibits for museums and collections, and trophies from hunting and fishing.

Animal Family Pet Preservation, experts in freeze-dry taxidermy, report that the process takes anywhere from three months to one year, depending on the animal's size. They also offer a VIP (virtual pet) service where you get your beloved pet back in less than eight weeks. The process involves thawing the animal, depending on which state they arrived in. Removal and replacement of the eyes with fake ones follow, and the organs emerge. A mixture of embalming fluid and distilled water is injected into the animal, and then it is posed in the desired position with the aid of tacks and a board of wood. Finally, the animals are placed inside the freeze-dryer.

What You Need to Know About Freeze-Dried Pets

Freeze-drying enables you to keep a part of something warmed your heart for decades to come. Being able to touch and see your deceased pet can bring back fond memories, helping you associate them with happy times and not the pain of their loss.

  • Can you freeze-dry your pet? Yes, you can 100% freeze-dry your pet. However, it would be best if you acted hastily. After they pass, please place them in the freezer in a large plastic bag. Ensure this happens in the first six hours of them dying, with sooner being better than later. Essentially, you are trying to prevent the decomposition process from starting before they get to the freeze-dry technician. To make it easier for the technicians to do their work, tuck the legs in and tilt the animal’s head toward the body. Additionally, have some photos handy to give the shop a frame of reference.
  • How long do freeze-dried pets last? Mounting options for your deceased loved ones differ, but they all have similar traits. The amount will last as long as the owner takes care of it. No matter which mounting technique you use, the care determines how long it will last.
Although more advanced than other taxidermy methods, freeze-drying is the same regarding the need for care. They will last you a lifetime if you provide some TLC.
  • Can a dog or cat be freeze-dried? Not only can they be freeze-dried, but they also make up one of the most significant percentages of all freeze-dried pets. Suppose this is your first time having a pet preserved; they advise that you carry photos with you. The picture will help you and the team go over possible poses that will look natural and honour the memory of your beloved pet.
  • How long does the process take? Freeze-drying takes time, as much care and sensitivity go into handling the animal. The size of the pet also factors into the time, with larger animals needing more. Tiny cats and dogs take four to five months, while giant animals may need more than six months to finish the process.
However, you should have the option to choose when you receive your pet back and offer VIP service where you get to cut to the front of the line, potentially cutting your waiting time from up to seven months to just under eight weeks.
  • Is it considered peculiar to freeze-dry your pet? When it comes to personal matters, you should not let outside influences change your stance. However, it is understandable to have a little apprehension due to people’s opinions. Here, only you can decide for yourself but rest assured you are not a minority, and many people have found solace in having their pets preserved in this way. Some people freeze-dry their pets only to have them buried, others cremate them and spread the ashes in their pets' favourite spot, so there's no correct answer to this situation. You just have to do what makes you feel best.