We view our dogs as four-legged family members. Losing a dog can be a traumatic experience and can be a time of strong emotions and grief. Finding a way to memorialize your pet will help you remember them and keep them in your heart forever. While you have several options for memorializing your beloved dog, cremation is a popular choice for many families. Selecting dog urns and making plans for their ashes is a great way to keep your dog’s memory alive.
Why Do People Cremate their Dogs?
Cremating a dog is an economical choice and the cost of cremation is typically much less than a burial. In some places, local laws will prevent pet burials. If you cannot bury your pet in your yard, you may need to bury them in a pet cemetery which is both expensive and less environmentally friendly.
While cremation will save you money, it still provides a way to honor and remember your pet.
Cremation is also a simple option. Veterinarians can typically point you to a reputable crematorium in your area. Also, if you cremate your pet, you will have more options about where to keep the remains. You may consider keeping them in your home, in a piece of jewelry or keepsake, scatter them or in an outdoor memorial, such as planting with a tree.
How to Memorialize Your Pet
If you chose to cremate your pet, you need to decide what to do with the ashes. Consider in what way you want to say goodbye.
Scattering Pet Ashes
Scattering a dog’s ashes can be a beautiful way to honor your dog. Consider taking the ashes to a place that reminds you of your pet or the places they loved to visit including:
- Hiking trails
- Camping grounds
If you are interested in scattering your dog’s ashes, you should consider looking at scattering dog urns. An eco-friendly scattering urn made from bamboo is a good option if you are concerned about the environment. You can open and close a scattering urn so that you can scatter the ashes in multiple locations. You can also keep some of your pet’s ashes. A bamboo scattering urn will be better suited for this than alternative options made from paper.
Floating Eco-Friendly Water Urns
If your dog loved the water, perhaps you will want to scatter the ashes in a lake or other body of water. Holding a service on the water can be a beautiful way to say goodbye. Your family can rent a boat and set out to scatter the ashes in the water or use an eco-friendly water urn. These dog urns will dissolve slowly in the water after floating for several minutes.
Keep the Pet Ashes At Home
If your family wants to keep a small memorial in your home, you may choose an aesthetically appealing urn that will look beautiful in your home. The urn can sit on a mantle and remind you of the fond memories you have with your furry friend.
You may also consider an urn that doubles as a planter. Families find comfort in placing a living plant in the urn and watching life grow from the ashes. A houseplant is an uplifting way to remember a deceased pet. You might even consider a bonsai tree, which can give a relaxing feel to your memorial.
Plant a Tree
While a small houseplant is one option for growing something out of the ashes, another is to plant a tree in the dog’s honor. You can select a tree that will grow well in your climate and purchase a biodegradable urn from which you will grow a tree.
Visiting the tree is a way to feel connected to your pet. The tree will add beauty to the world and improve the environment.
Bury the Dog Ashes
Some families choose to bury their dog’s in the yard. As mentioned, this might be illegal. Burying ashes is more straightforward, more sanitary, and less controversial than burying the deceased animal. Using an urn will help memorialize your dog and complete the burial in a way that will honor them.
When selecting a burial urn, opt for a biodegradable style such as those made from bamboo. Bamboo is also sustainable.
Add the Ashes to Jewelry or Glass
You may wish to scatter most of the ashes but save some for a unique piece of jewelry. Incorporate the ashes into:
- Ankle bracelet
You can wear the jewelry and always feel close to your pet.
Custom glass is another option. A vase or centerpiece will allow you to display the item and remember your pet during special occasions.
Some artists will paint a portrait of your pet while incorporating some of the ashes into the paint. You can keep the painting in your home and feel connected to your dog.
Choosing an Urn to Honor Your Pet
After you decide what to do with the ashes, you need to select an urn that fits your needs. There are some practical considerations to think of when choosing the specific urn.
Selecting the Right Size
The size of the urn is a necessary and practical consideration. In general, you will need one cubic inch of space for every pound that your dog weighed. When you are not sure, error on the size of a larger model. If you have too much space, you can add keepsakes such as a collar.
Eco-friendly pet urns such as ones made from bamboo are an excellent choice for honoring your pet. However, you may want traditional materials such as:
Consider whether you plan to seal these urns to keep the ashes safe inside and prevent spills. In many cases, you can seal the urn with epoxy. The ashes will last for centuries or more, so there is no need to worry about whether it is alright to keep them in an urn.
Your budget is a necessary factor to consider. You do not need to spend more than you can afford to show your love for your pet. Many options are affordable.
The most important aspect of the urn will be that it reflects your pet. Find an option that reminds you of your dog’s unique personality so that you can remember them whenever you see the urn or the memorial.
Do Not Rush
If you are not ready to choose an urn or decide what to do with the ashes, do not pressure yourself. The ashes will not expire. If you want to save them and decide what to do when you can think about the issue with more clarity, then save them, and revisit the memorial when you feel up to the task.
Remembering Your Dog
Losing a dog is difficult, and it is essential to take the time to mourn the loss. Deciding what to do with the ashes is one step in that process, but healing will take time, and you do not want to forget about the love and support that your pet gave you throughout their life. Unique ways to remember your dog include:
- Creating a memory box - you can select a custom box for this purpose and even involve your children in putting together items that remind you of your pet. A favorite toy, photograph, or collar may help you remember your dog for years to come. Creating the memory box can also be cathartic for your family.
- Putting together a photo album - putting together a photo album with your favorite family photos with your dog is another way to remember all of the beautiful moments you had together. Consider adding notes about your favorite fun or humorous memories.
- Making a Christmas ornament - consider taking your pet’s fur or a toy and placing it into a Christmas ornament. You’ll have a reminder each year when celebrating the holidays. The ornament can serve as a prompt to tell stories about the time you shared.
Using Your Grief to Give Back
One of the best ways to cope with losing your pet is by helping other dogs in need. Millions of dogs and cats enter shelters each year, and they need help from big-hearted humans. Consider donating to an organization that helps rescue shelter animals.
Another option is to volunteer at a shelter. Of course, spending time with other dogs shortly after losing yours might be too difficult. There are other tasks that you may complete that will still help the animals without being too painful. Shelters often need help and will appreciate having a dedicated volunteer.
Over time, you may feel comfort from spending time with shelter dogs that need love, affection, and kindness.
Finding a Dog Memorial Is a Personal Decision
Only you can decide the best way to remember your pet. There are many options available to you that will allow you to memorialize the pet you love in a respectful and dignified manner. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your pet and find a way to keep their memory alive for years to come.