Plan a Funeral for Your Pet

The first pet cemetery in America was founded in the late 1800s, when the movement of families into the cities left them with few options for the burial of their beloved family pets. Now there are over 500 pet cemeteries in the U.S. alone. When a pet passes on, a pet cemetery can help a grieving pet owner memorialize their cherished friend.

Pet Cemetery Offerings

A pet cemetery operates in much the same way a cemetery for people does. A variety of pet burial plots are available throughout the usually beautiful and peaceful grounds of the cemetery. Burial plots can be for a single pet, for multiple pets or for cremated remains in pet urns. Some pet owners decide to visit a cemetery and preselect a burial site so they won't have to make the decision during a time of sorrow.

Pet cemeteries also offer a variety of pet caskets for sale; again, some pet owners prefer to pick out a casket in advance. Many online retailers also sell pet caskets, often at lower prices than what pet cemeteries charge.

Pet memorials, also called pet grave markers, can commemorate the life of a pet and provide closure and peace for its grieving owner. Pet cemeteries can provide a custom memorial, or one can be ordered from a local marble and granite store or from an online supplier.

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Most pet cemeteries offer two payment options for the general maintenance costs associated with each burial plot: perpetual care and annual care. Perpetual care is an upfront lump sum that covers the maintenance costs indefinitely and is strongly recommended. Annual care must be paid each year, and in the case of default, the remains may be excavated and disposed of elsewhere after a certain period of time (usually one to three years, depending on the state).

Planning a Pet Funeral

The staff at the pet cemetery can also assist with planning pet funeral services. If you choose to hold a funeral service for your pet, some options include:

  • A private viewing, which gives you a chance to privately say your final goodbyes
  • A pastoral service, often conducted in an onsite chapel or sometimes at the burial site
  • A procession to the burial site
  • The planting of flowers or a plant in your pet's memory
  • Publication of an obituary in the local newspaper

Pets often become part of the family, so mourning their loss is important. A pet cemetery can provide a pet with a peaceful final resting place and can provide owners the opportunity to say goodbye.