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When the time comes to lay a family pet to rest, there are a number of options. The one you choose will depend on a variety of factors, such as your beliefs, your budget and your access to resources. Understanding each of these options and their pros and cons can make things a little bit easier during a difficult and emotional time. Below are the most common alternatives for laying a dog or cat to rest.
For some, having a place to visit after a four-legged family member has passed can be comforting and help with the grieving process. Of course, there are certain logistics to consider. For instance, if you choose home burial, it’s important to verify that it’s permissible in your area. Keep in mind, also, that if you move, you may not be able to take your pet’s remains with you. A pet cemetery is a good alternative, though cost can sometimes be an issue.
Due to convenience and affordability, pet cremation is a popular choice for laying a companion animal to rest. There are several types of pet cremation. With private or individual cremation, your pet is cremated alone. Semi-private or partitioned cremation offers the option to have your pet cremated with other animals but in a separate space. In this instance, there’s a slight chance that the cremains you receive back may be mixed with the ashes of another animal. The third option is group or communal cremation. This is the most affordable option, but bear in mind that the ashes are typically not returned.
In many cases, your family vet can assist with making cremation arrangements on your behalf, saving you the grief and trouble in your time of sorrow. If you’d prefer to handle this process on your own, you can contact a pet crematory in your area. Most cremation providers will even transport your pet to their facility and then return the cremains to you once the process is complete.
Keep in mind that just because you have your pet cremated, doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorial. There are still many options available to you. For instance, you could invest in a lovely commemorative urn that you keep in your home or bury in your yard or nearby pet cemetery. There’s also the option to preserve some of your companion’s cremated remains in a piece of jewelry or glass art. This is a great way to keep a little piece of your cherished companion with you always.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the many options available to you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Understand that this can be just as emotional an experience as losing a human loved one. Speaking with your vet or cremation provider can help to better clarify each alternative and help you make a more rational, informed decision based on your family’s needs, preferences and personal situation. And remember, regardless of which option you choose, your pet will always live on in your heart.