How to Plan a Pet’s Memorial Service

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The loss of a cherished pet can feel no different from the loss of a family member. The grief can be overwhelming, especially if the loss was unexpected. 

A pet memorial will be slightly different from a funeral service for a human, but the intention is the same. This is an opportunity to celebrate the life, memories, and good times you’ve had with your furry friend. It also facilitates the coping process as you lay your pet to rest and say a final goodbye.

If you’re planning a pet memorial service, here are a few things you should consider:  

Burial Options

The first thing you will need to decide is what to do with the body. You have several options including a home burial, pet cemetery, or cremation. 

Many people consider burying their pet on their own property so they can always visit the grave. This option feels more personal, especially if the pet spent their whole lives on the property.

However, some areas have restrictions against burials on private property. For example, if the property is located on the water table, the body could cause contamination. This is especially true if your pet died of disease or chemical euthanization. 

You will need to check your state, county, and city ordinances to be sure.

If you are not able to bury your pet in your own yard, you might consider a local pet cemetery as their final resting place. For a fee, they will take care of the burial process for you, and you will be able to visit the site anytime.

Cremation Options

Just like humans, pets can also be cremated. This option is especially popular for pets because it is simple and easy. 

The ashes of your pet can be buried on your property with less fuss from the local laws. All you have to consider is the container to bury them in and the location. Be sure you do not dig too close to any utility lines.

You can also choose to scatter the ashes at a special location. If it is not your own property, you need permission from the owner. This includes public spaces such as parks, beaches, or national forests. 

Finally, you can choose to keep the ashes inside the house using an urn or similar container. With this option, you can set up a small memorial inside your home by placing a picture of the pet on the mantel or a side table.

Honoring Their Memory

To honor the life and memory of your beloved pet, you need to consider a headstone, grave marker, or urn, depending on what you’ve arranged for the body.

If you are burying your pet on your own property, a decorative stone is enough to mark the site. You can customize this with an engraving or vase for leaving flowers.

For a public burial, such as in a pet cemetery, a headstone is traditional. Much like a human headstone, this can be engraved with the pet’s name, their birth and death dates, and any beautiful quote or image that honors their life.

Urns are also highly customizable in terms of materials, sizes, and decorations. For urns kept inside the home, you might want to consider one that comes with a picture frame, for example. 

For urns being buried, your options are a little more limited. Burial urns have to be made out of a durable material such as marble or stone. Or you might consider a biodegradable urn, which aims to return your pet’s body to the cycle of nature. 

Planning a Service

Now that you have a plan and marker for your deceased pet, you can plan the funeral service with your friends and family. Many people hold the service at the resting place of the pet, but this is not mandatory. You can hold the service in your own home or anywhere your pet loved to be.

During this ceremony, you can honor the time spent with your pet and all the wonderful memories they leave behind. One great way to do this is to create a photo wall or photobook of your pet over the years. 

Another popular option is to have a candlelight ceremony. Each guest holds and lights their own candle, creating a beautiful ceremony with symbolic importance. 

Services should include a moment of silence to honor the life that has been lost. You might also want to prepare a prayer or special song. Finally, open the floor for anyone attending to share special memories of your pet.

At the end of the service, include a final goodbye. This could include throwing dirt into the grave, or partaking in a ceremonial releasing of lanterns or blowing bubbles. 

Though the loss of a pet is painful, holding a service can be an important step of the healing process.

Personalized Urns and Grave Markers For Your Pet

Here at Merkle Monuments, we create beautiful and customizable memorial markers for people and animals alike. We offer a variety of products, such as keepsakes, urns, headstones, plaques, and more. However you choose to honor the life of your pet, trust Merkle Monuments to create the lasting memorial items that you need. Call now to get your project started!