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Pet Loss

Funeral and Memorial Options For Pets

Losing a pet is often viewed as losing a family member, so there is a similar grieving period as a result of this special “family” loss.  Another challenging part of losing a meaningful member of the family is deciding how to fittingly memorialize this long-time companion.

As with humans, pet death is an inevitable part of life.  However, when you consider the fact that over 90% of Americans today die without leaving behind as much as a Last Will or End of Life Plan, it should come as no surprise that planning for the family Pet Memorial is something that is rarely, if ever, talked about.  So when you think about that scenario when the Veterinarian asks you where you would like the final resting place for your pet’s remains, most of us have never even considered answering such as question…much less considering whether a Pet Funeral or Pet Memorial is a good and appropriate decision.

What Should We Do Now?

At the time of such great loss and uncertainty, most families struggle with additional stress and tough decision of “what do we do now“.   Without ever discussing your options for how to best preserve the memory of your pet, this can become an unusual and uncomfortable situation.

Also, since this is usually not something that has ever been discussed or planned in advance, there can also be many family disagreements when choosing Pet Memorials. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to allow yourself some time to think through all your options and review things with your family and loved ones.

(Note:  Click here to read the Rainbow Bridge Story)

The Most Common Pet Memorial Options

For most individuals and families, the most honorable ways to commemorate their special pet is by providing some formal or informal Pet Funeral, Cremation, and/or a Pet Memorials.  Below is a list of several options from which to choose.

1.  Home Burial

If you want to keep your pet close to you, many families are choosing a burial at home where there is opportunity to add a personal touch in memorializing the burial spot.  This includes things such as planting a tree or adding a monument or marker. Keep in mind that some cities do not allow Home Burials.  Also important, it is important to remember to dig the grave deep enough so that it does not become a health hazard.

2.  Cemetery Burial

Most states have pet cemeteries and there are many families that prefer the more formal tribute to an informal “backyard” ritual.  Although it can be expensive, many pet owners like the security of knowing their pet and the grave site will be cared for in perpetuity, no matter where they reside.  Also, pet cemeteries can also assist in retrieving your pet’s remains as well as provide professional help in planning our pet funeral and memorial services.

3.  Cremation

This alternative is popular when families want to keep their pet’s remains close to home, but they do not have the space, desire, or ability to create a grave.  Many people choose to bury the remains or to keep them in a special container or using cremation urns.  Cremation urns come in all shapes and sizes as well as materials, and a cremation memorial is also an option by using jewelry such as pendants or bracelets (also referred to as memory beads) which encapsulate a small amount of the ashes.

Another unique memorial tribute is creating memorial diamonds from a small amount of your pets cremated ashes or even a lock of hair. These are available through funeral homes, cemeteries, veterinarians, as well as through our website merchandise and services center.

4.  Transportation and Disposition

Of course, there are always those owners who believe that once their pet has passed on, the spirit is gone, and the body itself has little value.  Therefore, the issue of convenience becomes most importance.  If your pet has passed in the veterinarian’s office, they will often take care of the disposition of the remains for you.  If the pet passes at home, a burial on the family property may be the easiest and least expensive method of disposal.  As we mentioned above, most cities contain pet crematories that will assist in the transporting and disposing of your pet’s remains, and some Veterinarians also offer these services.  Also important to know is that if you don’t have the requisite amount of land, many local humane societies will assist with the disposal.

5.  Creating a Pet Memorial

Depending on your relationship with your pet, it can take time to recover from the loss of your faithful companion and friend.  Many friends will not understand or share your grief and will add to the burdens at this time. Creating a special memorial to remember your pet can sometimes ease the pain and bring you joy. Creating a memorial can distract you from the pain of loss as you are making decisions on the type of memorial and planning how you wish to remember your faithful companion. Many people have found the whole process of creating a memorial to help the healing process and allow them to remember their pets in happier times. And, in the end, they have a tangible reminder of their pet to keep with them.