Pet Burials and Cremation
Interring your furry friend
The first step in putting together a pet memorial is to decide whether you'll bury or cremate the remains. There are millions of pets - of all different kinds - found in North America , and they play such a special role in the lives of their owners. That's why the pet memorial industry is growing so quickly.
A little over one million pets a year will die in the United States. Most are cremated, while many are buried at home and a few are buried in pet cemeteries.
Cremation is the most popular option for pet owners in the United States . It offers many different opportunities for pet memorial - you can inter the ashes in a memorial urn or bury or scatter them in a place meaningful to you and your pet.
You can have your pet cremated alone or with other pets. If you communally cremate your pet, all of the ashes will be placed in a pet cemetery. If you cremate your pet individually, you'll be able to do what you want with the ashes.
Each crematorium might have different practices regarding pet cremation, so you may have to contact several to find one that offers the services you require. Some crematoriums will allow pet owners to witness the cremation, and some will even wash, groom and casket your pet before the cremation.
The burial of a pet in a garden or on private property is also common in the United States , because it offers the opportunity to memorialize a beloved friend close to home. While you have to check state laws to be sure that you can legally inter your pet at home, choosing this option means you'll be able to visit your pet memorial frequently, and be able to care for it more closely than if you were to bury your pet in a pet cemetery.
It may also be helpful to some to complete the burial process personally. This is one last instance where you can care for your pet, and the physical action of burying your friend may provide you with an active way to deal with the loss.
If you're burying your pet at home, you need to do so shortly after death. Some people like to keep the pet in the home for one last night before burying it, but ideally you should bury your pet within a few hours of death.
You should bury your pet in a casket or container, and be sure to cover the grave with at least three feet of soil in order to prevent other animals from digging up the remains. You'll also want to make sure that the grave is placed well away from any water sources.
If you have your pet interred in a pet cemetery, you'll be able to pick an individual plot and provide your own pet memorial. You can select a grave marker or plaque, and in many pet cemeteries you can even have a bench installed near the site. You'll have to make arrangements for maintenance with the cemetery. These fees may be paid in monthly installments or as a one-time charge.
Many pet cemeteries will have facilities available to hold a small ceremony for your pet. These are commonly referred to as 'Chapels of Rest', and are non-denominational places of gathering.