End-of-Life Options for Pets

Saying goodbye to your pet is always a hard and heartfelt time for you and your family, and while very difficult, the burden of distress is often eased by making decisions about how to keep their memory close to your heart and home.

To many of us, our pets are our friends, they are family, and for some of us, even workmates — the loss of their daily companionship can be so great that the respectful treatment of their remains becomes an important and emotional step towards the acceptance of their death.

Depending on your pet and their passing, there are a few options to consider next:

  • Talk to your vet about arranging your pet’s body for disposal on your behalf. You may want to look into their offering as sometimes cremation is not an option and your pet might end up as landfill. Many veterinarians make provisions for cremation, either with other animals for a small fee, or individually for the rates of a professional service. A vet’s assistance helps alleviate grieving pet owners from the stresses of organising post-mortem matters.
  • Independently plan a cremation through a service such as RSPCA Pets at Rest. These caring and convenient services offer respectful treatment of your pet’s remains with individual pet cremations and many beautiful options for memorialising your pet.
  • Plan the burial of your pet on your property – this can be a meaningful and meditative process for home owners permitted to choose this as an option.
  • Contact your local council’s waste facility about possible disposal options at their site.

Local Laws

It’s very important to check with your council about their local laws regarding pet disposal and backyard burials. Some jurisdictions will not allow burial on private property for reasons such as cause of death, regional water table and types of soil.  Others allow it, though this may be subject to your pet’s size, depth of burial and post-burial soil treatment.

Similarly, some municipal facilities will accept deceased animals as clinical waste, but there are often associated costs and strict regulations regarding the suitable presentation and weight of the animal, together with minimum notice periods required in order for requests to be fulfilled.

Respectful Options for Your Pet

Backyard burials are a sincere and sometimes permittable option for home owners. For many people this allows for the significance of ceremony and a burial site as a place of calming reflection.  However, many people are unsure of where their futures will take them and so dislike the idea of moving and having to leave their pet behind.

Choosing to memorialise your pet in a loving, thoughtful way through cremation is a well-respected option and relieves the worry of long-lost locations. Your pet’s ashes can be kept in remembrance for a lifetime and for many families this brings great comfort not only in those early, grieving days, but for many years beyond.

Door-to-door cremation services are a great choice and offer a range of meaningful memorial, tribute and commemorative products to suit a variety of family styles.  Caring, fully-trained staff provide support and comfort throughout the process of choosing how you’d like to preserve your pet’s memories.  Urns, candles, jewellery and framed images are just some of the ways that you can keep the presence and memory of your pet nearby.

Cremation services are also surprisingly affordable, and if up-front funds are a problem, many businesses like RSPCA Pets at Rest, offer convenient payment plans to help ease the financial burden.

The most important thing to remember when choosing an end-of-life option for your pet is that it should always be based on what feels right and is achievable for you and your family.  Final goodbyes are often the personal, first steps towards healing.

Helping other pets in need

Did you know that by supporting a pet cremation service like RSPCA Pets at Rest, you’re also helping animals in shelters? 100% of proceeds from RSPCA Pets at Rest services go towards RSPCA Queensland. Your pet’s memory will continue to live on through the care of other animals waiting for new homes.

Click here if you’d like more information about the cremation services available at RSPCA’s Pets at Rest.

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