It’s difficult to say goodbye when someone passes, even our beloved pets. Being able to handle them financially and emotionally is also similar to the process for when our beloved humans pass. There are ways to prepare for the death of a pet; find how you want to say goodbye, and ways to remember them fondly.
Pets are the greatest! They greet us when we come home and they love us unconditionally. Pets are too good for us, so when one passes, it can be devastating. “But it’s just a dog/cat/rabbit/iguana/etc”. WRONG. They can become part of our family and they deserve to be treated like it when they approach the end of their life.
Prepare Yourself for the Death of a Pet
When a loved pet gets older, it’s time to start preparing for the inevitable. Having money set aside for when your pet is in too much pain or passes unexpectedly is recommended. When you are grieving and devastated, you will be grateful to have one less thing to worry about.
Even younger pets can have complicated medical issues, such as seizures and cancer, and treatment can be expensive. Having money set aside or speaking to your significant other about how much you and your family are willing to spend is important. This helps prevent you from emptying the bank account when you’re devastated by bad news about your furry family member.
If you are fortunate enough to have a pet that lives a long healthy life, preparing for the death of a pet is another conversation that should be had with your family. Talk about how you want to spend your last days, weeks, or months with your pet. Discuss if they will be buried on the family property or in a pet cemetery or cremated. If your pet is cremated there are several options for the cremated remains.
Where your pet will spend their last minutes is important too. They want to be with their family. It is up to the family if it should be at a vet office or in their own home. If your pet crosses the rainbow bridge at home, whether naturally or with a vet’s assistance, they can still be handled like any loved one. Final Passage Transport in Raleigh, North Carolina will pick up your pet after you and your family have said goodbye. They will take your pet with respect and dignity to their final destination, whether cremation or burial. If it’s good enough for people, it is good enough for our fur-babies.
Help Prepare Family Members for the Death of a Pet
As our pets age and start to slow down or when they first get diagnosed with an illness, it is time to prepare our family. Little kids, even if they have already lost a pet, can benefit from being prepared for their grief. See our post How to Talk to Children About Death for suggestions.
It’s also a good idea to notify your employer that you have a beloved pet that is nearing the end of their life. Taking time off may be necessary to spend final moments with a pet, make arrangements, and grieve.
Grieving for a pet can be similar to grieving for a human loved one. Those that are not “animal people” (which is inherently suspicious) may not understand your grief, but they don’t have to. Don’t let anyone rush you. Take the time that you need to go through the grieving process.
Cherish Their Memory
If your animal is buried, a gravestone can be a lovely way to cherish their memory. It also gives a physical place to mourn and remember them. If your pet is cremated there are creative and beautiful ways to display them. There are lovely urns that can hold photographs, biodegradable urns for burial, and dozens of other keepsakes. Google has all the endless possibilities.
You will always love your pet so cherishing their memories can help ease the pain. There are a plethora of ways to memorialize your beloved pet, including plaques, paw prints, jewelry, wind chimes, and engraved stones. Find ways that will help you and your family with the grief and allow you and your family to remember them often and fondly.
A Few Resources We Recommend
How to Talk to Children About Death
When there is a death of a loved one it can bring on a mix of emotions and it can be difficult for many adults to cope with a loss. There is no right way to grieve and different people can react differently, and it is no different in children.
What is a Death Doula
When a death occurs, life does not wait for you to grieve. Life carries on and in these times of need it may be helpful to have someone that can help you carry on, such as a “death doula” or End-Of-Life Doula.
How to Support a Grieving Loved One
It can be hard to know the best way to console a friend or relative who is grieving. If it seems that nothing you can do or say can help, don’t give up.