When a Pet Dies
Most of us associate grief, funerals and memorials with human
loss but when a pet dies it is also a terrible loss. For many
people, their pet isn't just a cat or a dog - it's a member of the
Rest assured it's only natural to feel intense grief and sadness when a pet dies. Pet grief
is as unique as the relationship - for some, pets can be like the
children they never had and for others, the pet relationship is
simple and uncomplicated. It's important to acknowledge grief
associated with pet loss just as any other grief needs to be
If you are planning a pet memorial or pet funeral, some
decisions will need to be made before you start. This section is
designed to help you think about them. Before making any decisions,
try to categorize your plans into five separate areas for
- Pet Euthanasia
- Pet Cremation or Pet Burial
- Pet Memorial/Pet Funeral
- Pet Grief
- State laws
Here are a few suggestions when a pet
Breathe. Take time to think about how you want
to honor the life of your pet. What can you afford and how will it
help you and other family members with their grief?
Stick to your budget. Be realistic about your
finances - decide what your budget is and stick to it. How much you
spend doesn't indicate the level of love you feel for your pet.
These decisions are personal and should be based on your own
Keep moving forward. It's easy to keep delaying
plans and rethinking your choices, but make each decision as best
as you can and try not to look back and second-guess them.
Recruit the help of the people who offer. You
may feel like you are burdening friends and family when they ask to
help, but accepting their help makes them feel useful at a time
when they may feel helpless.