Pet Funerals — Saying Goodbye to Our Four-Legged Best Friends

PetExperiencing great loss through death never comes easy, no matter what relationship those in grief have with the deceased. Sometimes, people forget that some of the most fulfilling bonds with another living being can be had with animal companions. After all, they do give one of the most sought-after gifts — unconditional love.

In recent years, it has become more acceptable in society to acknowledge the loss of a pet. As a result, many parts of the country have seen a rise in popularity for pet cemeteries and cremation services, be their animal companions domesticated or exotic, large or small.


There are many times when pet owners are faced with the imminent demise of their cherished companions. In these instances, arrangements can be made with their vets for humane euthanasia. Some vets will even provide in-home euthanasia at little cost. This is an option chosen to help reduce the stress and discomfort of travel for sick pets, to allow their passing to be carried out in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Many pet owners also find that their own anxieties are greatly reduced by the calm of being in their own home and can thereby, pass this calm onto their pets.

When an unexpected loss occurs with your animal companion, before you have had a chance to make arrangements with a local pet cemetery, there are options. Typically, most veterinarians are understanding and willing to hold the body of a pet or a short length of time, giving you the opportunity to make a final resting place for you beloved companion.


Many people can remember, as children, the awkward, if not solemn burial of a pet goldfish, parakeet or wild bird found laying in the yard. Oftentimes, a child can express a sincerity of grief for an animal easier than an adult who may feel societal constraints. Sometimes, there are those who blurt out insensitive comments such as, “ it was only a cat”, or “you can always get another”, or the worse one I have heard, “think of the money you’ll save now”. The reality is, grief needs to be expressed and acknowledged, regardless as to whom or what it relates to. The loss of a companion hurts. That loss will likely always hurt to some degree. Ignorance is sometimes best left to itself. There are many ways to find the support you may need and an animal chaplain is one solution. Many pet cemeteries provide this service. However, you do always have the option to create one of your own.

As more people become environmentally conscious, one of the fastest rising trends in the funeral industry is having a green funeral. They feel that a body should be allowed to return to earth naturally and without the interference of synthetic materials.This same option exists for your pets as well. But before you place your beloved companion underneath their favorite tree, do check with local laws and regulations for requirements. Many states require that a body must be at least three feet deep to deter other animals from digging at the site.

Cremation is another option that may be more suited to your needs or preferences. You may wish to keep some part of your companion with you, resting in an appropriate urn — a comfort to absence. Or, perhaps you feel it would be meaningful to scatter the ashes over a favorite spot, a place filled with good memories for you both. There are a number of very tasteful urns to select from, either available online or through pet cemetery services.

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