Senior woman with a dog sitting outdoors on a terrace in summer.

Should I Cremate My Pet?

It’s not a question pet owners ever want to have to think about. But when the day does come to say goodbye, it’s a question that will need to be considered. Just like people, the remains of our sweet companions must be taken care of, either through cremation or burial. If you’re unsure of which method is best for you and your family, here are some questions to ask yourself to help guide you when making a decision.

Do you own property to bury your pet?

Many pet owners rent their homes. For them, burial may not be an option due to their property manager or HOA not allowing it. Not wanting to give their pet a final resting place that isn’t necessarily their own permanent residence is also a reason some people prefer cremation over burial.

For those who can’t bury at home but still want a burial, many cemeteries have designed areas just for furry friends. Reach out to Best Friends if you’d like to learn more about this option.

How large is your pet?

At Best Friends, we provide cremation services to creatures great and small. However, if your own animal isn’t small, you may not have the space nor the desire to dig a grave large enough to accommodate them. Animals must be buried three to five feet under the surface of the ground, and at least 100 feet away from a water source. This rules out the option of burying a pet for many families.

Where do you want your pet’s final resting place to be?

With cremation, you have many different options when it comes to choosing where to place their ashes. Did your pet have a favorite place to play or bask in the sun? Scattering allows for your pet to be laid to rest in a place that held meaning for you both. As long as you obtain permission from the owner or entity of a property that’s not yours, many places will allow scattering.

Cremation also allows you to keep your pet’s remains close to you. There are many ways to do this. An urn can be kept in your home, while keepsake jewelry that holds a small amount of ashes can be worn, allowing them to be by your side at all times. Some creative ways of keeping a companion’s ashes is to have them mixed into paint and commission an artist to paint their portrait. Cremation also allows a pet’s remains to be divided among different family members so each person can keep them close. Best Friends Pet Passings and Cremations has a diverse selection of urns and keepsakes to choose from. And for those who want to spend eternity with their companion, being buried or scattered along with a pet’s cremated remains is possible.

With cremation, you can memorialize your pet without a gravesite. Headstones or plaques can create symbolic and meaningful markers that family members can return to, to honor and remember their companion with. Memorials don’t have to be traditional either. Dedicating a tree or bench in your dog’s favorite park, having a piece of art made, or framing their collar and dog tags are all beautiful ways to pay tribute to your pet.

Are you planning a memorial service?

Our pets may not be human, but they are family, and a funeral or memorial service allows for closure and can be a healing experience for a family and their friends. If choosing burial, a graveside memorial service would need to happen within a day or two of the pet’s passing. Cremation allows a family more time to plan a meaningful service and to notify guests of the event. However, there is no rule that says a family can’t have multiple memorial services. Best Friends can help you plan a personalized service that brings some peace to your goodbye.

If you’re still unsure whether or not cremation is right for you and your pet, that’s ok. We are available to answer any questions you may have, discuss your options in detail, and help you make an informed decision that brings you peace of mind. Call us at 505-345-5615 or send us a message and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Senior woman with a dog sitting outdoors on a terrace in summer.