Saying goodbye to a cherished pet is a deeply emotional experience for any pet owner. As the end draws near, you may well want to look for ways to honor your pet’s life and provide them with a dignified farewell. Exploring the various aftercare options available can help you navigate this challenging time with grace and compassion. Our Nebraska Pet Hospice team explains common aftercare choices for pets, whether they pass away naturally or are humanely euthanized.

Home burial for pets

Home burial is a personal and intimate way to lay your pet to rest, allowing you to keep them close. However, research local regulations before proceeding with home burial and ensure it’s permitted in your area. Some neighborhoods or municipalities may have restrictions on home burial, particularly for larger pets.

When choosing a spot in your yard for the burial site, look for an area away from utility lines and future construction plans. Consider a location that holds special significance for you and your pet, such as their favorite sunbathing spot or a tranquil corner of the garden.

Before burial, think about placing your pet in a biodegradable casket or burial shroud. Most biodegradable caskets decompose slowly over three to five years. When digging the plot, ensure it’s deep enough to deter scavengers and comply with local regulations. A depth of at least two to five feet is typically recommended to prevent disturbance. Additionally, the burial plot must not be near a flood plain, shoreline, reservoir, or well source to prevent seepage of decomposing tissues and euthanasia chemicals that may contaminate surrounding groundwater.

Pet cemeteries

Pet cemeteries offer a dedicated and respectful final resting place for beloved pets, allowing owners to visit in a tranquil setting. Research local pet cemeteries to find one that matches your preferences and values. Consider factors such as location, available services, and pricing when making your decision.

Many pet cemeteries offer communal and individual plots, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs and budget. Individual plots provide a personalized and permanent memorial for your pet, while communal plots offer a more cost-effective solution.

In addition to burial services, pet cemeteries may offer amenities such as memorial services, customized grave markers, and grief support resources. Take advantage of these offerings to create a meaningful and lasting tribute to your cherished companion.

Visiting the pet cemetery can provide solace and comfort during the grieving process, allowing you to remember the cherished moments you shared with your pet and find peace in knowing they are resting in a place of honor.

Cremation for pets

Cremation is a popular and versatile aftercare option for pets, allowing owners to choose from several cremation methods and memorialization options. The two primary types of pet cremation are communal and private. In communal cremation, multiple pets are cremated together, and the ashes are not returned to the owner. Private cremation ensures your pet is cremated individually, allowing you to receive their ashes.

When selecting a cremation provider, inquire about their process, facilities, and any additional services they offer. Choose a reputable provider with a track record of compassionate and professional service.

Depending on your preferences, you may opt for traditional flame-based cremation or for newer eco-friendly alternatives such as aquamation (i.e., alkaline hydrolysis). This method uses water and alkali to gently break down the body as it speeds up the natural decomposition process. Many pet owners appreciate the environmentally friendly aspects of aquamation because it uses less energy and produces fewer emissions than traditional cremation methods.

After cremation, you can choose to keep your pet’s ashes in a decorative urn, scatter them in a meaningful location, or incorporate them into memorial jewelry or artwork. Consider which option best honors your pet’s memory and comforts you during the grieving process.

Losing a beloved pet is a profound and heart-wrenching experience, but by understanding the aftercare options and choosing the approach that resonates most deeply with you, you can ensure your pet receives a dignified and loving farewell. For more information about pet aftercare options or to discuss our in-home euthanasia services, contact our Nebraska Pet Hospice team.