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Should I Bury My Pet?

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Deciding what to do with your pet once they have gone is a personal choice. Read on to find out if burial might be right for your pet.

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Burial

A previous blog post mentioned the different ways you can remember your pet after they have gone. This post will focus on burial.

Why choose burial for your pet

There is no right or wrong way to remember your pet at the end.  Burial may be your choice because you prefer a natural decomposition to cremation, or want a focal point to visit/look at

Where can you bury a pet

Pet Cemetery

Choosing a pet cemetery is as easy as an internet search or recommendation from a friend.  Viewing a pet cemetery’s website, talking with staff and visiting in person will confirm if that cemetery is the right place for your pet.  It is recommended that you check each organisation accreditations and reviews.  Feedback from previous customers and registration of regulated bodies is a good indication good or poor practice. You can also have

At Home

Having them near is a comfort and you can visit as often as you like.  Many bury and then plant a tree and plant on top in remembrance.  You are advised to dig the grave deep enough to discourage other animals disturbing the remains.

One possible disadvantage to a home burial is that if you are moving home or having the garden landscaped, this may mean make having to exhume the body and move to an alternative location.  

Pet Owners should be aware of the following UK law regarding pet burial at home

  • You must own, not rent, the land where the pet is buried.
  • The pet must not be buried near any water sources.
  • There must be two feet of earth above the pet in heavy soils, and three feet in lighter soils.
  • The pet’s remains must not be hazardous to human health. (This is a very rare occurrence, in which a vet can refuse to release remains for burial if certain controlled drugs have been used. A written explanation can be requested.)

It is illegal, however, to bury a pet anywhere except the home where they lived, or at a registered pet cemetery. This means that you cannot bury a pet in a public place such as a local park, or even at a friend’s house if you do not have a garden of your own.

If this a route that you are considering further information including practical instruction on how to store and bury your pet can be found at this website

Burial Service

To mark the occasion, you may wish to have a celebrant who can conduct the service. If using a pet cemetery, most will be able to signpost you to qualified individuals who provide a funeral service that meet your specific requirement.  Alternatively, you may have someone who knew you pet well or indeed yourself/a member of the family say a few words.

What to do when your pet has gone is a choice that is often based on personal preference, consultation with family members and budget.  Ultimately a pet owner will make the decision which is best for them and their pet.  

Final Thought: If you are considering memorialising your pet in additional ways such as a pawprint or having their fur incorporated into jewellery, this clearly must be done prior to the burial service. 

 

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