Pet Burials and Cremations
The loss of a beloved pet is never an easy thing. In our society, we are all expected to mourn and grieve over the death of a human relative or friend, and there are countless services available for the funeral planning process when this occurs. However, when it comes to our pets, there is a bit of a bias against formal burial arrangements. After all, it was just a dog or cat. Shouldn’t you get over it or simply buy a new pet?
Those of us who have adopted a four-legged friend as part of the family know that things are never that simple. Some of these pets have been with us for decades, and many of them have faithfully seen us through the best and worst times of our lives. Saying goodbye to them isn’t easy, and the lack of formal funeral options often makes this difficult task even harder.
Fortunately, the market has seen a need for pet memorial services, and most cities have organizations that can help you plan a funeral for a pet. If you go through animal control or city services, you can either have the body picked up or you can drop it off to be incinerated in a communal process. However, if you want a more formal ceremony, you can also opt for formal pet cremation or even burial.
Pet cremation is much like human cremation, in that you can keep the ashes to either spread in a favorite location or to place in a cremation urn for display in your home. Many organizations will come to your home to pick up the body of your pet, and will either hold the ashes for pick up or deliver them once the cremation process is over. The more specialized pet crematoriums may also providing grooming services, casket options, and even the ability for you to witness this final act.
The cost of a pet cremation will vary depending on where you live and the company you choose to assist you. In most cases, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500, with higher costs for large animals or more elaborate ceremonies.
Many people prefer to bury their pets on private property close to home. Laws and regulations regarding this practice vary by county, so you will need to check with your local officials before making a decision.
Pet burials can be either formal or informal, depending on your preference. You may be able to do it all yourself, including finding a burial receptacle and digging a place in your backyard for the final interment. Experts suggest burying your pet within a few hours of death, going at least three feet down in the soil to avoid predatory animals, and avoiding any water sources or power lines.
If you were hoping for a more formal burial, you may be able to find a pet funeral provider in your area who specializes in animal caskets or even pet cemeteries. This can include everything from a headstone and burial plot to a small ceremony, and you can then visit in much the same way you would visit a human loved one.
Of course, there are always non-traditional pet burial options, as well. From taxidermy to cremation that turns ashes into a piece of jewelry that can be worn, funeral planning for pets is just as diverse as it is for humans.
The most important thing is to say goodbye in the way that feels best to you. No one can undermine the relationship you had with your pet, and in order to begin the grieving process, you should create funeral that is good for your emotional and mental well-being.