What to do when a pet dies?

The death of a pet can leave a huge hole in the life of the owner. Whether you have a cat, dog, parrot, rabbit, or something cold-blooded like a fish, lizard or snake, your pet becomes part of the family and everyday life. Losing a furry (or scaly!) companion brings grief and the reminder that death is something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives.

Regardless of what kind of pet you own, there are several different options out there for owners who wish to commemorate their animal friends. Some of the options are listed below

  • Cremation
  • Burials
  • Taxidermy (Stuffing)

Cremation for pets

What to do when a pet dies

Cremation is a simple process where the pet’s body is burnt in a furnace and on the other side, you’re given the ashes. You can then choose what to do with them, whatever is best for you. You can keep them in a special container somewhere in your house, or bury them in the garden. If this isn’t an option, you could scatter them in a place that your pet liked to visit.

Dignity Pet Crematorium, based in Winchfield, Hampshire specialises in several different animal cremation services. Their prices start from as little as £50 and range up to £220 at the high end. On the Dignity website, they say that the pets they work with are: Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters Chickens Budgies, Parrots, Chinchillas, Snakes, Ferrets, Hedgehogs, Lizard, Bearded Dragons, Rats, Daegu, Tortoises and Fish. 

Another crematorium, southeast of London between Kent and Sussex, is Barnshaw. They are near Tenterden, relatively southwest of Ashford. These folks categorise pets by weight only instead of both species and weight. Barnshaw’s prices range from £89 for the smallest pets to £225 for the largest. 

Can I bury my pet in my garden?

What to do when a pet dies

Burial can be the first thing that comes to mind when a pet passes away. Lots of people with gardens find a home burial the natural choice, it costs as little as you like and means your pet can stay close to home in the natural world.

If you choose the burial route, you can bury your pet in the back garden if the following conditions are met:

  • You own the land you intend to dig the grave in.
  • It cannot be too close to a water source.
  • The pet remains must not be hazardous to humans or the environment (this is a rare occurrence)

Obviously, if you’re living in rented accommodation or in a flat/apartment this might not be an option for you.

Pet cemeteries

What to do when a pet dies

Another option is to find a local pet cemetery. The premise here is very similar to human cemeteries, you buy a plot and a memorial. Pet cemeteries are a good idea for those who still want to bury their pet, but don’t have the space in a garden and would like a resting place to visit. The price tag for burying a pet in a cemetery can vary depending on different factors. These can include the size of the animal and the resting place. Usually, they start at a few hundred pounds and can go up to several thousand.

Taxidermy (Stuffing a pet)

What to do when a pet dies

Stuffing is a pretty simple idea where you have the outside of your furry friend essentially preserved in a lifelike way. It is a little unorthodox and less common compared to burials and cremation, but it’s a personal choice that some people find comforting.

This might be a way to go if you’re someone who wants their pet to still be with you in your house after their death. Who knows? Stuffing your pet might make a nice conversation starter!

Whatever you choose to do after your pet dies, be it a cremation, burial or stuffing, at the end of the day, it’s your decision and the right choice will be a comfort to you.

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