When you lose a pet, it’s like losing a member of the family. It’s not always clear how to honor your pet and their remains, and you might not know what steps to take next. Nowadays, most vets encourage pet cremation, and this means you’ll have your pet’s ashes in an urn. However, even after the cremation, you might wonder how to cope with the loss of a pet.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Hold a Funeral for Your Pet
- 2. Scatter the Ashes
- 3. Bury the Urn
- 4. Grow a Tree
- 5. Purchase an Urn Keepsake
- 6. More Options
Grieving is a very unique process for each person. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Some find they find joy in remembering the happy memories with their pet. Others might need more time and space to overcome somber feelings. Ultimately, it’s okay to move at your own pace.
One thing that helps when grieving the loss of a pet is to do something meaningful with the remains. Whether you choose to keep them close or release them through a ceremony, this can help you find much-needed closure. In this guide, we share the most common options for a beloved pet’s remains.
1. Hold a Funeral for Your Pet
If you receive your pet’s ashes in an urn, you might wish to hold a special ceremony in their honor. A pet funeral is similar to a funeral for a human or any other member of the family. You might invite friends and family to say a few words, share memories, and be there to offer comfort.
After the service, you could choose to bury your pet’s urn, keep it at home, or bring it to a pet cemetery. Having a memorial service is a small yet meaningful way to respect your pet for his or her role in your life.
2. Scatter the Ashes
Another option is to scatter your pet’s ashes. This is becoming increasingly common with the rise of cremation, and it’s a way to return your pet to nature. There are so many beautiful places to scatter the ashes of a pet such as:
- Your backyard
- Your dog’s favorite park
- A vacation destination
- A National Park
- A local lake or river
No matter where you choose, be sure to check the local regulations around scattering ashes. If you opt for public land, you might need to obtain permission from governing agencies. On private land, be sure to always ask for permission. In most cases, it’s not an issue.
3. Bury the Urn
Though some choose to bury their pets in caskets, you can also bury their urn. It depends on your wishes. You can discuss both options with your pet’s vet to determine what’s right for you. If you’re burying an urn, you can do so on your own land or in a pet cemetery specifically for animals.
Why bury an urn instead of keeping it at home or somewhere else? This is a good idea if you want to have a place you can visit in the future. You can place a headstone or memorial plaque in your pet’s honor, and you can always visit this spot to feel close to your pet’s memory.
4. Grow a Tree
In today’s world, it’s important to consider the impact of funerals and burials. This has led to the green burial movement, and it’s for pets just as much as it is for humans. Biodegradable urns are designed to slowly return the ashes to the earth. These are mixed with fertilizer and other helpful nutrients to enrich the soil.
Better yet, grow a tree in your pet’s honor. You can bury a bio urn specifically for pets, sprouting a beautiful tree. This gives you a place to return to in the future, and it’s a stunning symbol of life and legacy. Nature is always in a cycle, and your dog or cat is a part of a greater ecosystem.
5. Purchase an Urn Keepsake
Next, pet keepsakes are an up-and-coming way to keep your pet’s memory close. These range from urns to special figurines. They can be chosen to hold your pet’s ashes or just symbolize his or her memory. An urn keepsake is something you can bring with you no matter where life takes you.
Having a reminder of your pet close by can be helpful as you go through the stages of grief. It’s hard to be separated from a pet who meant so much to you. It’s okay to want them close no matter what.
6. Create a Memorial Diamond
Did you know it’s possible to turn a beloved pet into a memorial diamond once they’re gone? A memorial diamond is created in a lab using a process similar to how diamonds are formed in nature. Your pet’s ashes or fur are used to make a real, stunning diamond. This can be set into jewelry of your choice, creating something you can wear forever.
Whether this becomes a precious family heirloom or your favorite statement piece, your pet will always be near. Though one of the more expensive options for memorializing your pet, it also lasts the longest.
7. Make a Parting Stone
Another option is to turn your dog or cat into a realistic river stone. While an urn is a beautiful tribute, this isn’t something you can usually hold comfortably. If you want your pet close, the weight of a stone in your palm makes all the difference.
At Parting Stone, ashes are transformed into unique, lifelike river stones. This is something simple you can place in your garden or somewhere special. Again, it’s a reminder that we all return to nature.
8. Select Wearable Urns
If a memorial diamond doesn’t fit your budget or style, this isn’t your only option for wearable urns. Cremation jewelry includes a space or vial for holding a small selection of cremation remains. This is perfect for a pet, and there are so many different designs to choose from.
Created to be subtle yet meaningful, this allows you to wear your pet’s legacy each day. Having them close to your heart keeps their memory alive, and it’s also a reminder that they’re always nearer than you might think.
9. Get a Memorial Tattoo
Though not for everyone, memorial tattoos are quickly taking off in popularity. As tattoos become more acceptable in different careers, they’re also more accessible. A tattoo in honor of your beloved pet is a beautiful, personal tribute.
However, did you know you can take memorial tattoos a step further? Some tattoo artists can mix cremation remains with tattoo ink, turning your pet into the artwork itself. This way, every time you look at your work of art, you’ll know your pet is close.
10. Make a Pet Portrait
Similarly, paint can be mixed with cremains to create a unique memorial. Some artists are skilled in using cremation ashes to render photographs of your pet into a stunning work of art. When you hang your portrait, you’ll know pieces of your pet are beautifully rendered within it.
This is a unique twist on a traditional urn, offering a new option for keeping your pet’s remains in your home. Who knew ashes could become an art medium in itself?
11. Create Stained Glass Art
Speaking of artwork, your pet’s ashes can also transform into stained glass. Your pet was a spark of light in your life, so this is a beautiful way to honor what they meant to you. By sending a small bit of ashes to an artist, they can turn your pet’s cremated remains into stunning glass.
How does this work? By melting the ashes into the glass at a high temperature, a masterpiece is created using these unique pieces. If this is something you’re interested in, it’s a good idea to find a local stained glass artist.
12. Put the Ashes in a Cremation Urn
Last but not least, there’s a reason this is still the most common option. Urns aren’t just for humans. You can also honor your dog or cat by placing their remains in a cremation urn. Depending on the size of your pet, there are many different urns to choose from.
You can find cremation urns in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Better yet, they’re an affordable option for keeping your pet close. This is something you can easily carry with you through life, keeping the memory of your beloved pet safe.
How Will You Honor Your Pet’s Memory?
As you can see from the list above, there are so many meaningful ways to honor your pet’s memory. From keeping their ashes at home to scattering them somewhere special, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Consider your budget, what your pet loved best, and how you want to honor them. By keeping your pet in your thoughts, you’re already doing the most you can for their memory.
Pets might only be a part of our lives for a short while, but their legacies last a lifetime. These special furry friends deserve to be honored for their love, compassion, and innocence. Which of these options is right for you?