Caring for Your Pet After Death

caring for your pet after death

Losing a cherished pet is a heart-wrenching experience, and the thought of handling their remains can be overwhelming during such a time of grief. Despite the pain, there’s an immediate decision you’ll need to confront: the aftercare of your pet. “Aftercare” pertains to the management of your pet’s remains.

While it’s a tough topic to broach, it’s an essential step.If your pet passed away at the vet’s, they might offer to keep the body for a short period, giving you some time to consider your options. However, sometimes immediate decisions are required due to lack of storage facilities. Beyond this, you might also contemplate holding a memorial service or funeral to bid a final farewell to your treasured family member.

WARNING: This post is difficult to read so don’t look it over until you’re ready. It’s hard to discuss, and much harder to make the decision. Give yourself a moment before determining what your wishes are for your furry best friend.

Private Cremation

Many vet clinics have ties with pet crematories and can assist you in coordinating these services.

Opting for this kind of cremation allows you to get your pet’s ashes back. It’s essential to choose a trusted service to guarantee that you’re receiving only your pet’s remains. Some pet parents prefer to witness the cremation, so picking a facility that permits this can provide added assurance.

The typical cost for private pet cremation ranges from around $150 to $300, contingent on the pet’s size and regional pricing.Usually, pet cremation services return the ashes in a plastic bag nestled within a decorative container or box. They might also provide a variety of urns, decorative containers, or keepsake figurines for an added fee. Alternatively, you can look for a unique urn or memorial box online or elsewhere.

Some facilities might even transfer the remains into your chosen container without extra charges.

Home Burial

If you’re considering burying your pet on your property, it’s essential first to check if local regulations permit it. Regrettably, some localities prohibit pet burials on private land.Before proceeding with the burial, ensure the body isn’t wrapped in materials that won’t decompose easily, like plastic. You can use a wooden or cardboard box for the burial.

Dig a grave that’s at least 3 feet deep, choosing a spot that’s stable and unlikely to be disturbed in the future. You can commemorate the burial spot with a headstone or by planting a meaningful tree or shrub there.

Choosing a Pet Cemetary

Many businesses specialize in burying pets in dedicated cemeteries, and some even partner with pet crematories. Opting for a pet cemetery provides you with a designated spot to remember your furry friend, minus the potential legal complications of home burial. Plus, if you ever relocate, you won’t face the dilemma of moving your pet’s remains or leaving them behind.

These burial services often provide various grave markers and decorative options for your pet’s final resting place. The costs can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on your preferences.

To locate a nearby pet crematory or burial service, consider checking out the International Association Of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories or consult with your local vet.

Keeping the Memory Alive

After the loss of your pet, you might consider preserving a strand of their fur or creating a paw print memento using ink or clay. Many veterinary clinics and pet crematories offer such services. These keepsakes can be paired with a photo of your pet and displayed, keeping their memory alive.

Here are some of the ideas:

  1. Paw Print Keepsake: Use clay or plaster to create a mold of your pet’s paw.
  2. Lock of Fur: Preserve a small lock of their fur in a locket or keepsake box.
  3. Pet Portrait: Commission an artist to create a painting or drawing of your pet.
  4. Photobook: Compile your favorite pictures of your pet into a dedicated photobook.
  5. Garden Memorial: Plant a tree, shrub, or flower garden in their honor.
  6. Custom Jewelry: Have a necklace or bracelet made, possibly with their name or a small amount of their ashes inside.
  7. Memorial Stone: Create a customized stone or plaque for your garden or home.
  8. Tattoo: Get a small tattoo in remembrance, like their paw print, name, or portrait.
  9. Memorial Candle: Light a candle in their memory on special days or anniversaries.
  10. Donate: Make a donation to an animal charity in their name.
  11. Memory Box: Fill a box with their favorite toys, collar, and other mementos.
  12. Online Memorial: Create a digital memorial page or social media profile dedicated to sharing stories and photos.
  13. Customized Ornaments: Create or order ornaments with their image or name to hang during festive seasons.
  14. Bench Dedication: Dedicate a bench in a local park with a small plaque in their honor.
  15. Write a Story or Poem: Pen down your feelings and memories to celebrate their life.
  16. Custom Quilt or Pillow: Use their old toys, clothes, or beds to craft a memorial quilt or pillow.
  17. Shadow Box: Display their collar, photos, and other small items in a shadow box.
  18. Hold a Memorial Service: Gather friends and family to share memories and say goodbye.
  19. Memory Jar: Write down your favorite memories and place them in a jar to read whenever you miss them.
  20. Video Tribute: Compile clips and photos to create a video memorial.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a memorial method that feels right to you and helps you cherish the memories of your beloved pet.

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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