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What to do When Your Pet Passes Away

Posted Jan 21, 2021
Saying goodbye to your pet is always a hard and heartfelt time for you and your family, and while very difficult, the burden of distress is often eased by making decisions about how to keep their memory close to your heart and home.

For many of us, our pets are our friends, they are family, and for some of us, even workmates — the loss of their daily companionship can be so great that the respectful treatment of their remains becomes an important and emotional step towards the acceptance of their death.

My pet has passed away, what do I do next?

  • Talk to your vet about arranging your pet’s body for disposal on your behalf.  You may want to look into their offering as sometimes cremation is not an option and your pet might end up as landfill. Many veterinarians make provisions for cremation, either with other animals for a small fee, or individually for the rates of a professional service. Your vet can help alleviate the stresses of organising post-mortem matters.
  • You can independently plan a cremation. The team at RSPCA Pets at Rest can help.  Our team respectfully care for your pet’s remains with individual pet cremations and have many beautiful options for memorialising your pet.
  • You can choose to bury your pet at your property. This can be a meaningful and meditative process for home owners able to do so.
  • You can also contact your local council’s waste facility about possible disposal options at their site.
Local Laws

Have you checked with your council about their local laws regarding pet disposal and backyard burials? Some jurisdictions will not allow burial on private property for reasons such as cause of death, regional water table and types of soil.  Others councils will allow it, though this may be subject to your pet’s size, depth of burial etc.

Similarly, some municipal facilities will accept deceased animals, but there are often associated costs and strict regulations, so be sure to check their requirements. 

Respectful Options for Your Pet

Backyard burials are a sincere and sometimes permittable option for home owners. For many people this allows for the significance of ceremony and a burial site as a place of calming reflection.  However, this may not suit everyone if you’re planning to move home in the future dislike the idea of having to leave your pet behind.

Choosing to memorialise your pet in a loving, thoughtful way through cremation relieves the worry of long-lost locations. Your pet’s ashes can be kept in remembrance for a lifetime and for many families this brings great comfort not only in those early, grieving days but also into the future.

Door-to-door cremation services help take away the stress of what to do next when your pet passes away.  They offer a meaningful memorial, tribute and commemorative products to suit your requests.  Caring, fully-trained staff provide support and comfort throughout the process of choosing how you’d like to preserve your pet’s memory.  Urns, candles, jewellery and framed images are just some of the ways that you can keep the presence and memory of your pet nearby.

Cremation services are also surprisingly affordable, and if up-front funds are a problem, many businesses like RSPCA Pets at Rest, offer convenient payment plans to help ease the financial burden.

The most important thing to remember when choosing an end-of-life option for your pet is that it should always be based on what feels right and is achievable for you and your family.  Final goodbyes are often the personal, first steps towards healing.

ginger cat

Helping other pets in need

If you do opt to cremate your pet, supporting a pet cremation service like RSPCA Pets at Rest also means that 100% of proceeds from services go towards RSPCA Queensland. Your pet’s memory will continue to live on through the care of other animals waiting for new homes.

Rebecca Kahler

Rebecca Kahler
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