Our health also improves simply from the daily walks we often have to take them on. The bond we share with our pets is a strong and intimate one. Pets are a part of the family. This is why losing a pet can be just as difficult as losing a family member or close friend.
It might be difficult to come to terms with the loss of a pet, especially if the death was sudden, like through an accident. There’s often that sense of guilt mixed with grief in such cases.
Even though the difficult experience, you still have to make important decisions about the aftercare and disposition of your pet’s remains. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially since you’re struggling to say goodbye. Nonetheless, it is a necessary decision to make and fast as well since the remains of a pet start decaying just as fast as humans.
Normally, there are two main methods of disposition to choose from, and they are either cremation or burial. The choice is mostly preferential.
Both choices are suitable and have their benefits and downsides. It mostly depends on what you feel is a more befitting way to send off a beloved pet. Aside from your comfortability with the choice, a lot of other factors affect your decision.
For starters, your religious views about cremation or burials, if you’re a religious person. Other reasons could be the resources available to you as well as your financial situation.
To help you make this choice, we have put together detailed information concerning pet burials and cremation. We have covered what they entail, the different options for each, and the benefits of each. We have also outlined circumstances under which either burial or cremation is suitable. We hope that the information will help make this tough choice.
Pet After Care.
This is a broad term that mainly refers to how a pet’s remains are handled after death. It includes making arrangements like cremation or burial of your pet’s remains. It also involves planning on how to memorialize your pet. The whole point of aftercare is that it gives a chance to you, as the pet owner, to offer your last respects. It’s a way of letting go and honoring the memory of your beloved pet.
While death is not something you may wish on your pet, it helps if you prepare for the event of death beforehand. As with preplanning your funeral or that of a family member, it helps relieve the burden when the time comes. Making the decisions of how to send off and commemorate your pet now means you don’t have to make the decisions while grieving.
Like with human cremation, pet cremation is simply a disposal technique that involves reducing your pet’s remains into ashes. Usually, if the pet died while under the care of a veterinarian or by euthanasia, then the vet can offer to handle the cremation process. If you prefer to arrange for the cremation yourself, or the death happened at home, you can contact a cremation service provider directly. Cremation service providers help guide you through the process by detailing how the remains will be handled for your peace of mind. The cremation facility will try its best to make the process as easy for you as possible. Additionally, most facilities will arrange for the transportation of the remains to the crematory and deliver the ashes to you once the process is complete.
Types of Pet Cremation
There are three main types of cremation. The crematory facility will be able to answer any questions you may have concerning how they handle the three types of cremation processes. That way you can make an informed decision about which type of cremation is best for your pet. The three types are as follows:
Private (Individual) Cremation
Also known as individual cremation, this process involves cremating one pet at a time. That means that your pet will be placed in the chamber alone. The process can be done behind closed doors without your presence. Some crematories, however, can allow being present in the process if that is your preference. So, ensure you ask whether the option is available.
Once the process is complete, the ashes will be handed to you, so you can do with them whatever you wish. The beauty of this type of cremation is that you can be sure the ashes you receive are only for your pet. The downside, however, is that of all the three, this option is the costliest.
Partitioned (Semi-Private) Cremation
With this type of cremation, your pet will be cremated separately, but it allows multiple pets to be cremated at the same time. The process involves a partitioned chamber with multiple slots. Some crematories will refer to this as an individual cremation. Ensure you enquire about what the process entails, so you are sure what you’re paying for.
Although the crematory may try as much as possible to separate the pets, chances are that your pet’s remains will be mixed with a little bit of the others. Still, the process is less expensive compared to private, especially if you insist on having a separate cremation.
Communal (Group) Cremation
As the name suggests, this type of cremation means that your pet will be cremated with other pets at the same time. Unlike partitioned cremation, this process involves putting all of them in one chamber and cremating them together. Once the process is done, the ashes will be mixed and difficult to separate. For that reason, most crematories do not return the ashes to pet owners. Instead, they take up the responsibility of scattering the ashes either in places like the woods or a farm.
If you insist, however, some crematories may give you back the ashes. The ashes will however be a mixture of all the pets that were cremated with yours. This is the best option for you if you do not see the point of a private or partitioned cremation. It is also a great option if you cannot afford a private cremation since it is the cheapest option of the three.
Burials are generally a costly option for disposing of remains. The same goes for pet burials. This is because, unlike cremation, burials require extra elements like flowers and a casket. Some pet owners, however, feel like this is the best way of laying their pets to rest with respect and honor. The process of pet burial is similar to traditional burials. It involves burying your pet underground. You can choose to have a service before it or not. As with pet cremations, you have two main options to select when it comes to pet burials, and they are as follows:
This option for a permanent resting place for your pet is slowly becoming a popular one among pet owners. More and more cemeteries are offering locations specifically meant for pet burials. Some cemeteries offer packages that include the burial and cremation service and well as a location and facilities required for the memorial service. Other cemeteries offer full packages that also include the transportation of the pet’s remains to the final resting place. Some full packages could even include catering for the memorial service at an additional cost. If you require euthanasia services, some cemeteries offer in-home veterinary services to help with that.
You should consult with the cemetery to understand what services are included in the charges and which ones will require an additional cost. You can also decide to get a headstone or grave marker commemorating your pet, as you would for any other family member.
Finding a Pet Cemeteries.
When looking around for a suitable cemetery, ensure you conduct intensive research and background checks. The cemetery you eventually settle on should be legally and ethically operating per the local, state, and federal laws. For starters, whether or not the property is legally owned, it must be dedicated land for it to be considered as a legal pet cemetery.
Another option for a pet burial is to conduct it at home. Home burial is a great option if you want a private and personal ceremony. It is also less costly compared to pet cemeteries since you avoid the cost of the services provided by the cemeteries. You also do not need to pay for a burial plot. You can simply dig up a resting place for your pet in your backyard.
The beauty of this type of burial is that you’ll always be near your pet, and can visit them at any time. Keep in mind, however, that laws regulating pet burials are very strict about where the remains are buried.
Is it Legal to Bury my Pet in my Backyard?
The truth is that the laws regulating the burial of pets at home are complicated. They vary based on the county and/or state you’re in. While laws may seem harsh and restrictive, they have been put in place to protect you and your community. The reason is, organic matter that’s buried underground, decays, breaks down, and is absorbed into the soil. It has the potential of seeping into water systems and causing an outbreak or health hazard.
Based on this, even in areas where home pet burials are allowed, there are certain considerations to make. These include the type of soil and the depth of your water table. Aside from the law and environmental factors, you also need to own the property your own. So, if you live in a flat or rented house, home burials are not an option unless the owner allows it. Even if the land is yours, you may want to consider the possibilities of you selling the property and relocating elsewhere. All these considerations should help you decide whether a home burial is the best option for you.
What Do I Do with my Pet’s Ashes?
Once you receive your pet’s ashes after cremation, there are many ways of handling the ash apart from keeping it at home in an urn. The following are a few common ideas you can try:
This the most common option. You can do it anywhere you like as long as you follow the regulations set in that location. Ensure you as for permission, especially if it is a privately owned property. The location you choose can either be your favorite place or your pet’s favorite place. You could also use a scattering urn, which is becoming increasingly popular today. It makes it easier to scatter the ashes in one direction and multiple locations.
Grow a Tree.
This option is a great way of continuing life. The Living Urn has a great patented Bio-degradable urn you can use. Simply put your pet’s ashes in the urn and follow the instructions they provide to be able to grow the tree using the ashes. The Living Urn also offers 50 different tree options for you to choose from. They even group them into options based on which will grow best in your area as per the zip code you provide them with.
This is another popular option. There are two ways to go about cremation jewelry. One way is by purchasing jewelry that can contain small amounts of your pet’s ashes, so you can carry them around with you always. Another way is by using the ashes to make jewelry. The jewelry can be a ring, earring, necklace, or whatever your preference is.
Should You Bury or Cremate Your Pet?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Both options have their benefits and downsides.
On the one hand, cremation is more economical. You do not need a lot of funeral elements like caskets and headstones. What’s more, is once you receive the ashes, you can keep them in an urn in the house or use them to create keepsakes that you can keep with you always. A great keepsake idea is cremation jewelry, where you either get jewelry that can carry a small number of your pet’s ashes around with you. Or you could turn the ashes into beautiful jewelry. The downside to cremating your pet, however, is that it doesn’t get a final resting place. You do not have anywhere to you can go to visit them after they are gone.
Burials, on the other hand, give you this option. You can always visit the graveside of your pet whenever you miss them or on their death anniversaries. Although it is more expensive compared to cremation, there are ways to make it more affordable. For starters, you could opt for a home burial if the law allows it. That way, you can avoid the extra costs of a service provider. You could also select a cheaper headstone or grave marker and a cheaper casket. In general, however, the biggest downside with burial is that there are too many complicated laws that regulate it. There are also more considerations to make, which may not be easy, especially if you’re grieving.
In summary, the choice depends on you. You should decide on what suits you. That depends on what you’re comfortable with as well as what your finances can allow.
Other Options for Handling Your Pet’s Remains.
Although cremation and burials are the two main options for handling the remains of your beloved pet, there are other options you can consider. These options are as follows:
Disposal of Pet Remains by Veterinarians.
This is a suitable option if you do not have the heart to take care of the arrangements yourself or the finances to pay a service provider. Normally, most veterinary hospitals have the facilities required to conduct the disposal themselves.
It may be a convenient option, but you will not be involved in the process. This option robs you of the healing process that comes with making the arrangements yourself. The goodbye is also abrupt and hurried.
Donating to Science.
Another option is to donate your pet’s remains to research facilities. These facilities include Humane Societies, Veterinary colleges, and various universities. You simply need to contact the research facility and fill out various paper works. They will then inform you on what to do once your pet dies. You should also share this with your pet’s vet. Upon death, the facility will normally pick up the remains, and once they are done, they will cremate the body and dispose of the ashes.
It is a noble way of honoring your pet’s life. By donating their remains, they can be used to come up with new treatments and better care methods for the living animals.
The whole idea of ever losing your pet is unfathomable. It is, however, necessary for you to consider it so you can make the important choices about the aftercare of your beloved pet. That way, you will not be burdened with the pressure of making those choices when the time comes. It will give you’re a better chance to grieve free of any stress.