A practical suggestion for pet funerals

When a pet dies, parents often want to give the animal a funeral so their children can “memorialize” the pet as a member of the family. In many parts of the country, it is illegal to bury a pet because the body may attract scavengers such as rats. In these jurisdictions, the family’s veterinarian commonly disposes of the body. 

Because I live in an area that prohibits animal burials, I encourage families to still have a memorial service; only in this case they bury a memento instead of the pet. Children can pick a favorite toy, a picture, or even write a poem or heartwarming anecdote about the animal. This approach follows community rules, but lets children have some closure regarding their pet’s death. 

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2 comments on “A practical suggestion for pet funerals

  1. astral stone says:

    I remember when I buried my German Shepherd 2yrs ago. He was quite big and took up a lot of space. He was a real part of the family and will always be in our hearts. It is nice to let children understand that death is a natural part of life and should not be blanketed from it by protective parents.

    • Howard Bennett says:

      Thanks for writing. We’re not allowed to bury large animals where I live, but we have a few hamsters in our backyard. At the moment we have three dogs with the eldest just having had her twelfth birthday. We love them all!

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