Remembering Four-legged Family Members: A Guide for Pet Funerals

Posted on March 5, 2019 by Bevis Funeral Home under Dealing with Loss, Funeral Services, Memorials
1 Comment

Man and pet dog

In recent years, the tradition of hosting a funeral ceremony for a pet has become increasingly popular. Why? Because of the lasting sentiment that a pet is a member the family.

Pets in many cases are a source of joy and comfort, and they experience important moments in life alongside families. So while at first the idea of having a pet funeral might seem frivolous, know that individuals grieve the loss of a pet just as much as they might a person. Hosting a service for a pet provides closure and time for owners to reflect on their time together.

In the U.S. alone, there are hundreds of pet cemeteries. Many funeral homes offer options for both pet burial and cremation.

When deciding the next steps after the loss of a pet, continue reading for Bevis Funeral Homes’ best tips for choosing what options are right for you during your grieving process.

Pet Burial

The benefits of having a proper burial for your pet hold traditional values that stand the test of time. The experience represents a pet’s transition into a peaceful rest and can offer a sense of closure to their passing.

Choosing to have a pet buried in an animal-friendly cemetery provides owners a location that they can go back and visit, and in the case of pet-only cemeteries, allows the pet to be surrounded by other well-loved critters. Funeral homes that specialize in pet services often offer options for unique gravestone designs and specialized caskets that reflect their life in a tasteful way.

For some, a home burial might be the right choice. It can provide a more intimate experience and allow owners to keep their pets close to their hearts in a place they feel most at peace. Add beauty and personal touches to the area by planting flowers or adding an engraved garden stone at the burial site. Although there are minimal rules in regard to the legality of having a home burial for your pet, make sure to research specific laws in your area before making a decision.

Pet Cremation

Cremation can be a more affordable alternative to burial. Crematoriums equipped with accommodations for pets offer services at varying price ranges that fit owners’ needs.

A witnessed cremation can be used as a therapeutic choice that provides a sense of closure similar to a burial. This, in addition to private cremation, ensures that pets are cremated individually and grants owners the ability to receive the ashes of their pet. Communal cremation is the most economical option for pet owners. The pet is cremated alongside other animals and the ashes are not returned.

Cremation serves as a viable option for those who want to honor their pet’s life in a unique way.

Those who choose cremation often scatter the ashes of their pet in a place important to them, keep the ashes in a decorated urn for the home or purchase cremation jewelry.

Memorials

Regardless of how owners choose to honor their pet’s passing, they can still hold a memorial service. Memorial services allows close friends and family to support owners in their time of bereavement and share kind words and stories that will provide positive moments to cling to in times of sadness.

Many pet loss resources offer free online pet memorials that act as a timeless place for the remembrance of a pet. Here, owners can compile their favorite photographs, stories and quotes. Visitors to the site can contribute to the collage and help create a lifelong collection of the impact the pet had.

Pre-planning

While individuals can’t plan for everything that comes along in life, death is something owners can plan for.

Consider pre-planning as an option to make the difficult decisions now, so they don’t have to be made later. Pre-planning is an effective strategy, especially for families with young children. Knowing how to approach the loss of a pet before it happens eliminates stress and confusion at the time of passing.

Pet Loss Resources

Grieving the loss of a pet is difficult for individuals and families alike.

The following websites provide grief support for anyone dealing with the loss of a pet:

Los Robles Animal Hospital Tallahassee

Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

Red Rover

Broward County Humane Society

University of Florida Small Animal Hospital

For more grief support resources, check out Bevis Funeral Home’s online Grief Support Guide or give us a call today at (850) 385-2193.

One Response to Remembering Four-legged Family Members: A Guide for Pet Funerals

  1. It sure piqued my interest when you said that pet cremation services are an option to consider in burying your beloved pet. It’s good to know that this gives pet owners a more therapeutic way of getting closure when a pet dies. Tommy, our 14-year-old senior dog died of natural causes today. He has been a part of the family for years and developed a strong bond with everyone. That is why we are planning on having him cremated so we can keep his remains inside the confines of our home. That way, we would still be able to feel his presence even if he’s already gone.

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