What Are My Options When My Pet Dies?
Losing a beloved family pet is not unlike losing a human loved one. We’re completely riddled with grief when it happens, and the last thing we want to have to think about are how to deal with the remains. It’s a decision that needs to be made immediately, and thus not one that we’re often prepared to make. Veterinarians will sometimes be willing to store a pet’s remains for one or two days, but it’s not a common practice. Therefore, it’s important to know what your options are.
What to do with my pet’s remains upon death ?
The two most common aftercare options for pets are cremation and burial.
Cremation is an aftercare option where the body is incinerated in a crematory furnace. The result is ash and small fragments of bones. Cremation for pets is typically arranged through your vet’s office, as they often have professional connections to pet crematories and experience in making the arrangements for such an event.
Many pet owners opt for private cremation. With private cremation, the ashes from your pet are returned to you. You have the option to be present for the cremation. It’s important to chose a reputable crematorium for a private cremation, as sometimes lower end/disreputable crematoriums will incinerate more than one pet together, or not return your pets ashes but instead will mix it up with another pet’s. If you’re present for the cremation, you have the ability to secure your peace of mind by being able to view the process to ensure it’s your pet and your pet alone being cremated.
After the cremation is complete, the ashes are sent to the owner (or collected by the owner) in a plastic bag. There are numerous companies out there that specialize in providing decorative urns, tins, or boxes for pet remains – or they can be purchased usually from the crematorium. Keep in mind, these are an extra cost. Private pet cremation costs range from about $100 to $300 and costs are calculated by the size/weight of the pet at the time of its passing.
If you’d prefer to not receive your pet’s ashes, you can opt for community cremation. In community cremation, your pet along with other pets and animals are cremated at the same time. This option is cheaper, at about $50 to $150 depending on the weight of the pet at the time of its passing, and it is not possible to receive your pets ashes back once the decision has been made.
Cremation is an increasingly popular option in the aftercare of the remains of pets and humans alike. With cremation, you have the option to keep your pet always with you and keep their memory alive. Ashes also have numerous options for memorializing. Glass vases, diamonds, and jeweler can all be created as keepsakes and are made from just a small amount of ashes from your pet’s cremation.
For those who prefer to be able to visit their pet after it passes or otherwise aren’t interested in cremation, burial is an alternate option to cremation. However, with burial, there is more to consider that will impact pet burial costs.
If you own property, you might like to bury your pet in your yard. However, there are local ordinances that sometimes prevent this from being legal. It’s important to check with your local municipality before burying your pet to ensure that you do it legally and to regulation. Before burial, remove any non-biodegradable materials such as collars or plastic wrapping from your pet. The grave must be at least three feet deep to reduce the likelihood of your pet being dug up or eroded. There are wooden and cardboard caskets available for pets of all sizes that can be purchased beforehand. You can mark the grave as you see fit. Many people either place a headstone to mark a grave, or plant a beautiful tree.
For those who don’t own property or can’t provide a home burial (or simply don’t want to), there are pet cemeteries. There, you can bury your pet and have a place to always visit them, and you don’t need to worry about legality. Pet cemeteries often work with local companies to provide all the services you need to bury your pet in a manner that you see fit – from headstones to decorations. Many also work with veterinarians, so it may be possible to arrange a burial at a pet cemetery through your vet. However, while pet cemeteries provide a great option for pet owners who lose their beloved animal, it’s also a costly option. Costs range from hundreds to thousands dependent on a variety of factors.
For whichever option you chose, there are a variety of ways you can remember your pet. There are keepsakes, engravings, stones, custom art, jewelry, and more to remember your pet by. Dealing with the loss of a pet is extremely hard. Hopefully, knowing your options will at least make the process of dealing with the aftercare of a pet slightly less stressful.
When you need immediate help with the death of a pet, searching for pet aftercare can be stressful. PetAftercareSEARCH.com can help you find service providers for pet pickup, pet burial and pet cremation. For pet owners searching for end-of-life assistance for their animal, pet euthanasia services can be found at Pet Aftercare SEARCH.