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Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet Companion

Whether it was natural or sudden, every pet owner inevitably is faced with saying goodbye to their furry companion. When a pet is in their prime, most people don’t want to think about death and dying, but eventually decisions surrounding those tough issues need to be made.


Some owners need the closure of a funeral to adequately say their good-byes. Whether it is a mass gathering of everyone the pet ever met, or a private family only affair, it’s important to have the time to be sad. While a big blow out party celebrating the life of a Chihuahua may seem silly and excessive to some, it isn’t to the mind of many grieving owners. Everyone grieves in different ways, it is no less sad for the party thrower than for the one who chooses to cry alone over an empty dog bed.


Quite often, it is the natural decision to keep Butch in the backyard under the apple tree he was so find of rolling under. Before digging the grave, however, check with local ordinances. Most cities, across the United States at least, have laws against burying animals in a residential yard within the city limits. If burial is what an owner feels strongly about, there are pet cemeteries and burial facilities that will take care of the loved one.


If an owner chooses to have their pet cremated, there are several avenues to explore. Most animal shelters have their own cremation company they use and will take in the deceased for an owner. Price usually varies by weight. An owner may request the ashes back, to inter at their leisure or opt for a communal cremation.

There are private pet crematoriums as well. Most of these operations offer mementos, such as specialty urns with the pet’s picture, paw print casts, or jewelry made from the ashes of an animal.

Moving On

It is perfectly natural to want to fill the void as soon as possible with a new pet. Even with the best intentions, it is not always in the best interest of the owner or the new animal. Whether consciously or unconsciously, an owner may be looking for an exact replica of their beloved friend and may find sore disappointment in their new dog. This could lead to resentment and anger towards the recent addition. An owner needs to give themselves time to heal before jumping into a new relationship.

Pet ownership has its highs and lows. Saying goodbye to a loved one is a definite low. By allowing themselves time to grieve and heal in their own way, an owner may eventually give their heart to another dog, never forgetting their previous pet, whom they will always cherish.

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Written by Renee Moen
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