Planning a pet funeral comes at one of the most grief-filled and sad times in a pet owner’s life. Losing something as precious as a pet can make it impossible for you to think straight, much less plan a funeral that honours your pet and celebrates your time together. What are some ways to plan and host the perfect funeral for your pet?
Every luxury a human can get is available for the funeral of your pet. Planning the perfect funeral could encompass everything from a slideshow to a full-blown fireworks extravaganza. Perfection depends on taste, and there’s something for every desire under the sun.
Making plans for something as important as the death of your pet can be emotionally demanding. There could be appointments to make and materials that need to be gathered before you head into the ceremony. Take a deep breath and steady yourself. Read on and learn what it takes to have the perfect pet funeral.
Ceremonies for Hosting the Perfect Funeral for Your Pet
Planning is what makes things perfect. If you know what you want and how to put it into action, you can have a funeral that is a touching memorial while being a stirring tribute to your beloved animal. Take your time and plan out each part of the animal’s services to make it as perfect as your pet.
Don’t let the idea of a funeral for your pet become too overwhelming. You should take it in baby steps to ensure that you get every piece correct and your pet is given a ceremony that honours your relationship together. Several events can occur during the ceremony, and you should pick those that best reflect your pet and the life they lived.
There is no “perfect” funeral. Some would consider a funeral consisting of a song and a prayer beautiful and perfect, while others, might want to do other things. Whatever you choose will be fine. Aim for something simple yet evokes feelings of love you have for your lost pet.
Candlelight Vigil is One of the Most Moving Tributes You can Pay
You should go around, and each time someone shares a fond memory of the pet, you light their candle. In the end, you see that the pet brought light into many others’ lives, and you can find a bit of comfort.
Vigils are popular because they leave the family feeling hopeful for the future. They see that the pet was loved and will be missed by many others. Knowing that they aren’t alone in their sorrow will reinforce their positive attitude and help them recover from the pet’s death much quicker than a tearful goodbye inside the vet’s office.
Saying a Prayer (Another Great Ceremony)
Some people like to take a more traditional approach to pet funerals. By saying a few prayers over the animal, they have a burial just like a conventional graveside service. This provides comfort to the family in knowing they will see their beloved animal again one day.
Saying a prayer also involves the family’s religion. Some families take religion very seriously, and passing their pet along with the blessing of their god is imperative for the passing of a loved one. Don’t underestimate the importance of religion in people’s and pets’ lives.
Video Presentation a Touching Way to Remember
Pets in pictures evoke memories and can help people recall what might have been a fantastic day. Using a slide show to display photographs of your beloved pet and all the great times you have had together is an excellent way to honor your pet during the funeral ceremony.
There are several video creation software companies out there that will give you all the tools you will need to make a moving and memorable tribute for your pet.
Music Tribute Works Great
It is amazing how some animals have a deep love for music, just like humans. Once you know a few tunes your turtle or bird enjoyed, you can spin them while people have some quiet time to reflect on the pet’s life.
Having a musical tribute can also be an excellent way for the families to deal with their grief. You could take it one step farther and have a musician sing or play an instrument while you have the service. This gives it a more formal feel and can allow the family to remember great times with their pets, just like a video or picture memorial.
Place Ashes in Fireworks for an Out of This World Tribute
The most unconventional way to dispose of ashes is to place them inside fireworks. The ashes mix in with the fuel and accelerant that makes the rockets zoom and explode. Going out with some color is an excellent way to remember your pet but only lasts a short time.
You can choose one or all of these as a way to show devotion to your pet. The best ceremonies have a bit of fun while still delivering a deep appreciation for the animal’s life. If things get too complicated, the funeral could be overwhelming; plan simple and effective. Keeping things simple means that you have less stress on your already overburdened plate.
Venues for a Pet’s Funeral
You wouldn’t think it, but there are places outside the home that allows you to have a pet funeral that rivals anything you would find on the human side of things. They have all the bells and whistles and even high-end caskets that ensure your animal will be protected for several years to come.
Some of the most popular places to have a pet’s funeral are:
- Pet Cemetery – A quick web search of your area could turn up several different pet cemeteries that will host a pet funeral for you. They will provide everything for you and even have a list of things you would like included in the ceremony. This is your one-stop-shop for funerals and will provide a professional experience to the family. The only drawback is there is a fee for this service and it can quickly get expensive.
- Vet’s Office – Some of the more enterprising vets out there have funeral specials for their clients and their pets. Here you can have a smaller ceremony that usually ends with the pet being cremated and buried at a location chosen by the vet. Some even have pet cemeteries that work hand in hand with the vet’s office.
- Local Church – Your local church could have a funeral for your animal. Some churches are looking for ways to increase traffic, and a pet’s funeral is a sure-fire way to have new people come in. They can provide some of the same things as an ordinary funeral while still having the support and caring of your family and friends.
- Community Center – Those who live in more rural areas could even have a pet funeral at the local community center. Having these open spaces available to the public for rent means that you get a chance to have friends from around the community take part in the memorial of your prized pet.
Finding a place to have the funeral is going to be relatively simple. Many funeral homes provide services to pets. Make some calls and find the place that is going to work best for you and your family.
What to Plan Into Your Pet’s Funeral
Having ideas for what you would like to do is the first step. Once you know what you would like to include in the ceremony, you can move on to the order. The order is crucial because you need to move from a somber tone to a more light one as things progress. This shift in tone allows the family to grieve while also celebrating their pet.
Take Care of your Pet’s Body First
The first thing you will have to face is what you want to do with your pet’s remains. Depending on how your pet died, you have a few different options available to you. You have the opportunity for several various means and should choose something that fits the pet’s life and keeps their memory alive.
There are companies across the world that work to bury your pets just like any human. You should do a web search to find one of these companies. They could even have a graveside service option or a more popular chapel service that is spectacular for families.
Ways in Which an Animal’s Body Can Be Interred
Just like people, you can have your animal cremated. The process is identical to what humans undergo, and the cost varies depending on the size of the animal. Often animals are cremated by the local crematorium or done by the veterinarian on site. You can also have a cremation done through a local funeral home.
Benefits of Having Your Pet Cremated
The cremation process can take anywhere from a half-hour to over two hours. It costs between $100 and $200 and can be done several different ways. Depending on the location, it will enable you to have a cremation just for your animal or have her in with several others for the larger cities and some rural communities.
Some of the benefits of having your pet cremated are:
- Price – Having your pet cremated can often be much more inexpensive than having a burial. The prices are going to depend on the size of the animal. Small dogs and cats are much more affordable, while horses could end up costing around $200 to break down the body and have the ashes returned.
- Burial Option – Once you have the ashes, you can choose to bury them. This opens your options and allows you to go all out or keep it simple. You can expect some extra fees with this option as it costs money to have the grave dug, etc.
- Portability – If you choose to have your dog cremated, there are ways that you can keep the dog’s ashes with you as a keepsake. The portability of ashes makes them one of those items that can be several places at once if you decide to split the ashes between homes or locations.
What to Do if You Choose Cremation
Some people have an idea of what they would like to do with their pet’s cremated remains. But if you’re looking for ideas, here’s few to help make this process a little easier.
- Scatter Them – Probably the most chosen way of disposing of ashes is scattering them. You should select a place that has special meaning for you and the animal. Some like to spread them in a familiar park or in an area where the pet was most at home.
- Use an Urn – Other people decide to use an urn and keep it around the home. Using an urn allows you to take the pet’s ashes anywhere you would like to go and make an excellent conversation piece on the mantle. Companies all over the internet are selling and creating specialized urns for pets and humans alike.
- Create Jewelry – Having jewelry made that contains the ashes is becoming more and more popular. Often a charm on a necklace or bracelet can hold some of the ashes and allow you to have them with you all the time.
- Blast Into Space – Probably the most expensive way to dispose of your pet’s ashes is to have them launched into space. Some companies offer the option to have a capsule launched into orbit that sends your pet out of this world into space.
Cremation opens you up to many options. The important thing to remember is that you are looking for a way to honor your animal. Find something that allows you to honor the pet without costing a fortune or forcing you to go to extreme lengths.
Home Burial and Its Dangers
Burying your dog in the yard where it loved to run and play is an excellent idea for families. It gives the kids a place to remember the dog and an easy way to stop by and pay their respects if needed. Using the yard can also be dangerous for the remains and the lawn and everything surrounding it.
You should know that local regulations and laws could prohibit you from burying your pet at a certain depth or in a specific material. Read through the tips on rules before you spend hours digging a human-sized grave for a ten-pound chihuahua. Planning is always a good idea when dealing with federal and local governments.
Read the Laws of Your State Before Burying
One of the most important things for you to do is check your local laws before burying your animal in the yard. You should review the rules to ensure that you aren’t breaking any old laws or housing authority regulations before interring them into a hole in your yard. Some states have strict regulations, while others could have a few loose guidelines for pet burial. Here’s a few common regulations.
- Disposal Time – A law that usually makes it into city books is the amount of time you have to dispose of the animal. 24 to 48 hours is going to be the standard for using the yard for a pet cemetery. This keeps other animals from coming into the yard chasing unfamiliar smells once the burial is complete.
- Plastic Bag – Burying your animal in a plastic bag is another law that seems to make it through. It protects the lawn from any chemicals used on the dog and will keep out the bugs for a more extended period than using nothing to cover them.
- Depth – While not all animals need it, 3 to 5 feet is going to be the standard for any larger animals like dogs and cats. Cities can’t enforce this law, but they recommend going a bit deeper to keep any other animals from picking at the body in search of food.
It should be noted that some cities will not allow you to bury a pet in a bag that won’t degrade and will enable the animal to be reabsorbed by the Earth. You can opt for boxes made from cardboard and specialized plastic material that will break down as the body does, which allows for more ashes to ashes dust to dust feel.
Things to do Before You Bury an Animal in Your Yard
Having a list of things to do before you bury your animal is a pretty common thing. Like with the funeral, some things need to be completed to make the ceremony go off without a hitch. Concentrate on setting these small goals before you send out the signals for the family to assemble at the gravesite in the yard.
Check the Animal for Toxins
If you are one of the people who had to make the agonizing decision to have your pet put down, the yard burial could be out of the question. The chemicals used in the euthanization process are toxic and could have a disastrous effect on nearby vegetation or in the unfortunate event that another animal digs into the grave and ingests the toxic remains.
Ask your veterinarian about which chemicals they used and protect against them accordingly.
Use a Stone Marker to Honor Your Pet
You should invest in a stone marker or have a large rock placed over the hole when it is refilled. Animals roaming the neighborhood could smell your pet’s body and come to check it out. Not all animals are domesticated like pets, and having feral animals snacking on your pet’s remains would be an upsetting ordeal.
Pet grave markers are a great way to remember your animal. They can come in almost any shape and be personalized with any writing or slogans that you can imagine. The stones can even be exact replicas of human headstones.
The stone marker has several different uses. The most important thing is going to be creating a place for remembrance of the animal. Everyone in the family can come back at any time and spend time with the memory of their beloved pet. Markers should last forever and will become a fixture in your yard like trees.
Dig a Deep Hole to Protect the Body
Another thing that must be done when using the yard for the burial site is to dig a three to four foot deep hole. This is deep enough that animals will leave it alone, and any chemicals that could be in the body will not taint the ground around the site. Having a deeper hole protects the lawn from having large spots of dead grass or bare earth.
City Disposal is an Option for Those Who Live in Urban Areas
If you live in a larger city, you have the option of having your pet disposed of by the city. This is an option for those who have no other choice. It is a complicated process that forces you to leave the animal in a clear garbage bag on the side of the road or the curb with your garbage and recycling cans.
City disposal is ordinary if you have larger animals like cows or horses. There is going to be a fee for larger animals, but smaller pets are more than likely going to be free for pickup. Check the local city or county municipality website to find out how to contact them and what fees you can be expecting.
Some things to do before you contact the city pet disposal hotline are:
- Contact the City – The first thing you should do if you are going to use the city pet disposal is let them know. Let them know what kind of animal you will dispose of and where they can find it when they show up.
- Find the Bags – Finding a plastic bag for your smaller pet will be much easier than a larger animal. If you can’t find bags large enough, you should let the city know what you will be using, plastic sheeting, for instance, so that they know what to get when they make their rounds.
- Aid the Workers – Chances are if you have a larger animal, like a horse or cow, the workers are going to be city workers out of their element. Do what you can to make their job easy and keep them from harming the body of the animal while they use the machinery to move it.
Dealing with the loss of a beloved fur baby is hard enough without having to worry about city regulations and extravagant fees. Though it is hard, you must take the time and check all the boxes to give your pet the perfect funeral. Having a plan is what makes things seem like they are running perfectly.
There are some hoops to jump through in the planning process, but you shouldn’t have to shell out lots of money and time to make things just right. No matter the ceremony, use the time to honor your particular pet and show how much impact they have had on you and your family.