Expert Advice For Pet Parents: Plan Ahead
Losing a pet is never easy. Whether it is sudden, due to old age, or as a result of an illness, the loss can be devastating. They are loving members of your family. Their loss will no doubt be felt for a long time.
Our years of experience have taught us that it can be very difficult to make good decisions about your pet’s end-of-life plan when emotions are running high. That is why the most important advice we give pet parents is this:
Preplanning for your pet’s end-of-life not only protects you and your family from having to make difficult decisions during an emotional time but preplanning also enables you to determine your preferences as a family. This will help you eliminate hastily made decisions and later regrets.
For example, some families would like each member to have their own clay paw print as a remembrance. Others may prefer communal cremation and a meaningful memorial. Planning ahead will also give you and your family the space to grieve while Heavenly Paws handles all the details.
We would like to offer a few important things to consider when creating an end-of-life plan for your furry friend.
Do your research.
It goes without saying - you want the best for your beloved pet. We are here to tell you that not all pet cremation facilities are the same. In fact, most states do not regulate pet crematories. This means the quality of the facilities, the services they offer and the staff can vary widely.
Planning ahead will give you the opportunity to do your research and know what you are getting. Consider the following:
- Are they a local company and how long have they been in business?
- Read the reviews.
- Ask for a tour of the facility.
- Can you be assured that a private cremation is truly private?
- Do they offer personal tracking so that you know where your pet is during each stage of the process?
- Does the facility belong to any professional organizations?
Private or Communal
The most important question to consider when deciding if private, individual, or communal pet cremation is right for you and your beloved pet is, “Do I want the ashes returned to me after his or her death?” If you answer, “Yes,” then private cremation is the ideal end-of-life decision for your pet.
Private pet cremation occurs when only one pet is placed inside the retort at a time, which allows for the complete retrieval of your pet’s individual remains. You can choose a beautiful box or urn to hold the ashes. Or, you might prefer to spread the ashes somewhere special.
Individual cremation is when several pets are placed in the retort at the same time. They are put in separate pans or separated by bricks or other devices. When choosing this option, your pet’s remains will be returned to you. However, please be aware that there is occasionally some slight co-mingling of the ashes during the cremation process. This is a good option for those who would like to have ashes returned to them but are on a tighter budget.
Communal cremation occurs when several pets are placed within one cremation chamber. Communal cremation makes the retrieval of your pet’s individual remains impossible. If it is not important to you to have the ashes returned, you might choose another way of remembering your pet such as a clay paw print or a spot on our memorial wall.
Memorialization of Your Sweet Friend
As difficult as it may be to consider the ways that you would like to memorialize your pet after they are gone, having the conversation before death occurs is really important. Here are a few things you might want to think about.
- Will you want a paw print impression keepsake?
- Will you want to have a Memorial Service and/or viewing of the body before cremation?
- Will you want their favorite toys or blanket to be cremated with your pet or incorporated into a keepsake?
- If private cremation is chosen, will you want to keep, scatter, or bury your pet's remains?
- Will you want a customized engraved urn, memorial stone, or other remembrance such as customized jewelry?
Each pet family is so individual. It is so helpful to know what your wishes are before death occurs.
What do you get when you Preplan a Pet Cremation with Heavenly Paws?
When you choose Heavenly Paws, the first thing we will do is walk you through your options. Whether you speak to us in person or go through our online form, we will make sure to cover every aspect of aftercare.
Once you have made your decisions, we will send you a kit that will have everything you will need to prepare and for when the time comes. The kit will include:
- Tips for keeping your pet safe and comfortable as the end nears
- Specific steps you will take when your pet does pass
- Special secure bag and identification tag
- A detailed account of their journey once your pet comes into our care
- Options for memorialization
- Resources for grief counseling and support
- Optional text updates so that can know exactly where your pet is in their journey
You can fill out everything ahead of time. Once your pet passes, you will notify us and arrange for pickup. With our tracking device and optional text message notifications, you will know exactly where your companion is in their journey with us.
The benefit of preplanning is that we will know all of your wishes in advance so that when your sweet baby gains his or her wings, we will handle all of the details.
We will fulfill your wishes, taking loving care of your pet, and return the remains in a timely manner.
At Heavenly Paws, we are here for you. We treat you and your pet like family.