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Will you have a pet funeral when your pet passes?

When it comes to losing a pet it is a very difficult time. They are part of the family after all. When it comes to what to do next there are various options. There is no right or wrong thing to do when it comes to the final journey for our pets. Some people will have different opinions but at the end of the day we all grieve in different ways so we have to do what suits us: and that’s never wrong. 

Some people will see comfort in having a pet funeral, it can help them to grieve, whilst others will not. A funeral can be in different forms, it doesn’t mean we have to have a service, it could just be about displaying some photos of our pet in their favorite room or having a memory stone out in the garden. There’s many different ways, so let’s go through what options we have to remember our pets.

What to do with the pet’s body

This is a big decision to make and it shouldn’t be made too quickly, especially if you haven’t planned anything for this event. You don’t want to make the wrong decision. There are a number of options you can choose from. A home burial is an option, this is fine as long as you have space in your own garden and the burial of pets is allowed in your area. That said, it is important to bury pets in something that will decompose – burial boxes can be purchased online. It’s also not an option in rented property, or if there are certain environmental restrictions in the area. 

Another option is for a cremation. This can be arranged via your vets or privately. Options would be to have your pets ashes returned or not. Often ashes are returned in caskets, urns, scatter containers or tribute boxes; if not returned, they may be scattered at the crematorium, usually in a garden of remembrance. 

A ceremony

Some people would find having a ceremony to celebrate their pets life would help with the grief. This can be done at the time of cremation. It is worth researching local crematoriums as some offer professional celebrants that can conduct a service for you before cremation, these are a lovely way of sharing memories of your pet and bringing everyone together at this sad time. You may feel this is for you or not. 

When organizing a ceremony, invite the people that knew your pet – those who might need to grieve, or help those who are grieving. This could be family, friends or you could just have it alone – it is of course entirely up to the individual, and there’s no really right or wrong answer. When children are involved this may be the first time they have lost a pet so this might be a good way to help them with grief if they have support from family and friends to share memories. During ceremonies poems are often read, songs could be sung and people can speak about memories they have about the pet. 


So, if you’re thinking of having a funeral for your pet, where do you have it? Well this depends on what you chose – burial or cremation. If you’re having a burial, a ceremony can be held at the burial site, you can still place photos of your pet around the burial site. Invite friends and family to attend as you wish. If you have your pets ashes returned you may have had them back in a scatter tube. This means you can bury the ashes in the tube or scatter them in a favorite place. At this point a ceremony can be held to remember your pet. During these times, words can be said, memories shared and poems read. 


At the end of the day it is up to the individual on how they want to celebrate their pet’s life. There is no right or wrong way. Some people may wonder why people would want a pet funeral but it might be how some people deal with the grief. Our pets mean a lot to us, so always do what you feel is right.  There is always help and support out there for people who are struggling with the passing of a pet. The Blue Cross have some great information on their website about how to deal with this. Also looking through our blogs we have some discussing grief and loss. 

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