Pet Death. Funerals and memorial services help pet owners grieve and find closure. The loss of a treasured pet is indeed a loss for the entire family. Whether the death was sudden due to trauma or the gentle release of life at the veterinarian’s office, pet owners end up with a sudden void in their life. For some people, the grief can be overwhelming.
Many pet owners and their families say good-bye to their pet in the veterinary hospital and never truly have an opportunity to find closure or to memorialize their pet as a human family member would be remembered. Complete pet funerals, as well as memorial services are becoming more common as pet owners want to find a way of returning the love and dedication of the four-legged friend.
More than 600 pet cemeteries and crematories across North America offer these after-life services for pets. According to industry experts, pet funerals are not a new idea, but more owners are opting for these services in order to bring the rest of the family together and honor their furry companion. Pet owners can choose decorative urns, “family” urns for keeping the remains of multiple pets, or even other ornamental garden keepsakes.
Despite the number of pet cemeteries, only about 10% of all pets will end up buried in one. Some pet owners choose to bury their pets in the backyard, although almost all local ordinances prohibit that action. Most pets will end up cremated and the family will then either keep the ashes or, in some cases, spread the remains across a favored play area.
Grieving for a lost pet is also a completely normal occurrence. Pet loss support hotlines have been set up by veterinary schools and some larger veterinary hospitals. Veterinarians and their staff members now have options for specialized training to help them recognize extreme grief in their clients.
As the end of your pet’s life nears, talk with your family veterinarian about the resources that are available to you.