Pet memorials are a benefit to adults but even more to the children they lived and played with during their lives.
Our pets often become such a close and meaningful part of the family that a meaningful pet memorials are often helpful in coping with a pet’s death.
Some people may not have the same thoughts on holding pet memorials saying things like “Well, he was only a dog,” or “it was just a cat.”
But there are a lot of people who need to have that closure with their pets, so don’t let that deter you from having a special service to remember your four-legged best friend.
Planning Pet Memorials
There are a couple of ways you can plan pet memorials and just as with any memorial service, it may depend on your budget and your ability to make it through the planning part. You can opt to contact a pet funeral home to handle the preparations, or you can simply have a private service or ceremony for your pet.
If you’re having your pet cremated, you will need to contact a pet crematorium or a pet funeral home to handle those arrangements. If you’re simply going to bury your pet on the grounds of your residence, you should be able to just handle that yourself, or have a family member take care of arranging the final resting place for you.
There is also the option, although it may be quite costly for some people, to have the pet preserved by a professional taxidermist who specializes just in pet preservation.
This isn’t like the taxidermy done on wild game like you’d see done with deer or bear. There is a special process that’s required immediately after the death of the pet in order for the preservation process to be done effectively.
While some people may not feel comfortable having their pet visible, looking as though it’s just sleeping, many choose this option as a way to stay close to their pet after its passing.
If this option is chosen, pet memorials can still be conducted either prior to the pet going to the taxidermist, or after.
Choosing a Pet Funeral Home
Pet funeral homes are becoming more popular today as more pet owners decide to have memorial services for their pets and arranging for their final resting places.
As with human funeral homes, arrangements for pet memorial services that can be handled for you might include:
- Arranging for the pet’s cremation or burial
- Picking the pet up from its home or vet
- Providing a place to hold a memorial service
- Preparing the pet for a viewing or visitation prior to burial
- Additional supplies such as pet caskets or pet cremation urns
There are some pet funeral homes where the owners and staff are knowledgeable grief counseling and support and can offer direction for additional resources after the burial or pet memorial services.
This may be especially helpful for children or in the case of a pet being more than just a pet, as in the case of a disabled person needing to rely on the pet for some daily tasks.
Because the concept and business of pet funeral homes is still so new, there may not be one where you live and you may need to plan your own memorial service instead.
If this is the case, here are some ideas to help your or a family member take care of the arrangements.
- Decide if the pet is going to be cremated or buried
- Purchase the pet casket or pet cremation urn
- Decide on a day and time for the pet memorial service
- The location of the service can be indoors or outside, depending on the time of year and the weather
- Set up the viewing area with a table to set the casket or urn on, some photos of the pet and its favorite toys
- Have pet memorial bookmarks at the viewing or service area for friends and family to take with them
Remember, pets are so often a big part of the family, so it is normal to grieve when they’ve passed on. And having pet memorials often allows people the opportunity to grieve and remember the fun they had with their pets and a final opportunity to celebrate the pet’s life.