Choices for Your Pet’s Body after Death

The death of one’s pet is sad and stressful. Peace of mind may come with knowing exactly what will become of your pet’s remains and making the choice that is right for you.

1. Cremation is a popular option. Cremains may be placed in an urn for you to keep or bury, or cremains can be scattered in a special section or land set aside in a pet cemetery. Before selecting an animal crematory, find out the procedures. Many animal crematories do mass cremations and then divide the ashes. Request an individual cremation to insure you receive only the cremains of your pet.

2. Home burials may not be legal in your area so be sure to contact your city or county government. Put your pet’s body in a secure receptacle and bury it at least three feet deep to prevent other animals from being attracted by the scent and digging at the grave. Pet cemeteries perform the duties of both funeral home and cemetery and may be preferable to a home burial.

3. Rendering factories process animal bodies into fertilizer and other products. If you choose to have your vet dispose of your pet’s body for you, rendering may be the method utilized. Check with your veterinarian or local animal control agency to advise you on the availability of this option in your community.

Condensed from “Final Care of Your Pet’s Body” printed by The Humane Society of the United States.

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