How to decide on the final arrangements for your pet

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Giving Honor

When your pet dies, what are the final arrangement options that are right for you?
One of life´s inevitable events, the death of their beloved pet, will leave any pet parent reeling with what the options are. Knowing these options before being forced in to making decisions will ease the anxiety and provide peace of mind. Knowing that these final arrangements were made in the best interest of the entire family will certainly be comforting.
Basically, there are two options to consider when a pet dies: burial and cremation. Each of these choices will come with aspects that need to be considered.
Burial –
1) Will you bury your pet in your back yard or in a pet cemetery?
2) If you are considering burial in your back yard, is this legal in your community, county, development, etc?
3) If you bury in your back yard, what will happen when you move from this home?
4) If you bury in your back yard or in a pet cemetery, and you move from this locale, does that concern you to have your pet interred and left here?
5) If you are going to bury in a pet cemetery, educate yourself on every aspect of management of the cemetery,… care of the grounds, care of the burial sites, care of the deceased body, is there a chance the cemetery will close or be moved, etc.
6) If you are going to consider burial in your back yard, will you want a casket to protect your pet´s body? Will you want a marker?

Cremation
1) Will you want to have your pet´s cremains returned to you?
2) If you don´t want the cremains returned to you, ask your veterinarian or cremation provider for a group, or communal, cremation.
3) If you opt for a group cremation, is it important for you to know that the cremains have been buried respectfully, versus being put in the garbage? If this is important, ask your veterinarian or cremation provider where these ashes will be buried.
4) If you are going to have your pet´s cremains returned to you, most families want confirmation that the ashes are those of only their pet. Ask your cremation provider for a “private” cremation – a cremation process whereas your pet is the only pet in the cremation chamber. An “individual” cremation is where there is more than one pet in the cremation chamber and their bodies are divided by a fireproof spacer. An “individual” cremation will more than likely be less expensive than a private cremation but comes with the understanding that there will be a commingling of ashes due to the force of the heat of the cremation process.
5) If you are going to have a private cremation, ask your cremation provider about their body identification process. Most companies use a “tagging” process that will have a unique identification number assigned to your pet, staying with your pet throughout the entire cremation process to insure the safety and security of the body.
6) For many cremation companies that work directly with veterinary hospitals, deceased pets will be placed into plastic bags and put into freezers, being picked up at these clinics on a route. If this is not what you want to have happen to your pet, find a pet funeral organization that will pick your pet up immediately, treating the body with dignity and respect.

While many of us do not like to think about the death of our beloved and precious pets, educating yourself on your options before a highly emotional day will give you much peace of mind.

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