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What to Do When You Lose a Pet: Pre-Planning and Aftercare

What to Do When You Lose a Pet: Pre-Planning and Aftercare

Losing a pet is devastating, and making decisions about their final arrangements in the midst of grief can make the process even more overwhelming. No pet parent ever wants to think about the passing of their beloved pet, but it’s important to understand your options and explore them when you are in the right headspace.
Pre-planning for your pet’s final wishes, no matter how difficult it can be to think about, can help make grieving and honouring them less challenging. 

Pre-Plan for Your Pet’s Final Days
It can be challenging to make important decisions about your pet's aftercare while experiencing grief. Pre-planning these arrangements well in advance can help ease the emotional burden when the time comes.
Here are some steps to consider:
  1. Research End-of-Life and Aftercare Options for Your Pet
Before your pet's end-of-life, research the various aftercare options available in your area. Understanding the choices and costs can help you make informed decisions when the time comes. A few options to consider are:
  • Cremation: Cremation is a popular choice for pet parents. This process involves turning your pet’s body into ashes that you can keep. You can choose between communal cremation, where your pet is cremated alongside others, or private cremation, where your pet is cremated individually.

    Resources and more information
    Bitus Pet Services

    Pets At Peace
    In Good Hands Pet Loss
  • Aquamation (Alkaline Hydrolysis): Aquamation is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation. It uses a water-based process to break down your pet's body, leaving bone fragments that can be turned into ashes. This option is gaining popularity due to its reduced environmental impact.

    Resources and more information         
    Midtown Mobile 
    Passing Paws 
  • Burial: Some pet owners opt for a traditional burial, either in a pet cemetery or on their own property if local regulations permit. This option allows for a physical place to visit and remember your pet. Check your local by-laws and regulations.

    Resources and more information
    Gateway Pet Cemeteries 

  • Paw Print Keepsakes: Some people choose to preserve their pet's with keepsakes like paw prints or fur clippings.

    Resources and more information
    SpawtPawPrints Ceramics

  • Jewellery & Diamonds: Several options are available to have your pet with you after they have passed. Options include jewellery that can hold their photo or fur.
Resources and more information
  1. Set a Budget
Before you decide on which aftercare option is right for your pet, it’s important to understand the financial aspects of end-of-life care and make a budget. End-of-life services vary in cost, and even the same service may differ at different facilities, so it’s important to do your research. It is best to discuss this with family or any other caregivers to know which options align best.
  1. Consider Memorialization
Think about how you’d like to honour and remember your pet after they’ve passed. You could hold a funeral service, have a piece of art created in your pet’s honour, or even make a donation to your local animal shelter on their behalf. The possibilities are endless.
For those who choose cremation, it’s important to consider what you’ll do with your pet’s ashes afterwards. This can be a great opportunity to memorialize your pet. A few options you can consider:
  • Memorial Urn: Many pet owners choose to place their pet's ashes in a decorative urn. These urns can be displayed in your home, serving as a permanent tribute to your beloved pet.
Resources and more information
  • Scattering the ashes: If your pet loves the outdoors, consider scattering their ashes in a location that holds special meaning for both of you.
  • Memorial Jewelry: Some companies offer custom jewellery that incorporates a small amount of your pet's ashes. These pieces can be worn close to your heart, allowing you to keep your pet with you always. Another memorial jewellery option is having a lab-made diamond that you can place in a necklace, ring setting or other jewellery of your choice.

    Resources and more information
    Ever Dear Ever Dear Pet Cremation Diamonds 
    * Currently creating a diamond from Chino's ashes and will share more about this on our socials.*
    MThorle Custom Pet Photo Necklace 
    PlanetCustomCo. Cremation Bracelet  
    Silveristic Engraved Paw Print Bracelet
  • Planting a Memorial Tree or Garden: Planting a tree or creating a garden in your pet's honor can be a beautiful and lasting tribute. You can mix a portion of your pet's ashes with the soil to nourish the plant. 
  • Artistic Memorabilia: Some people choose to incorporate their pet's ashes into artwork, like paintings or glass sculptures. This unique approach allows for a creative and personal memorial.
  1. Create a Pet File
Organize your pet's medical records, vaccination history, and important information in one easily accessible place. This will be invaluable when making end-of-life decisions and ensures a smooth process. During your pet’s last moments it can be hard to remember pertinent information and having a file with the details is a great resource.
You can also gather a few recent photos that you love of your pet, especially if you want to memorialize your pet in some way after they pass.
  1. Communicate Your Wishes
Once you’ve explored your options and decided which one feels right for you and your pet, talk to your family and close friends about your pet's end-of-life wishes. This can prevent disagreements and confusion during an already emotional time.
Write down your plans for your pet, including any specific locations you’ve chosen for cremation or burial, so the next steps are clear when it’s time. While this can be difficult it is better to have these details set out than make them during such an emotional and painful time. This will also allow you to be present and in the moment for your pet’s final moments.

Grieving a Pet is Never Easy
Losing a pet is a heart-wrenching experience, and it’s something no pet parent ever wants to go through. Pre-planning your pet’s end-of-life care can take the additional burden off of you during an emotionally difficult time.
Knowing what to do with your pet allows you to create a lasting and meaningful tribute to their memory, ensuring they live on in your heart and mind forever.

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