Pet Loss: The Pros and Cons of Burying a Pet

When a pet dies, the owner is faced with a difficult decision of what to do with the animal’s remains: burial or cremation.

There are pros and cons to each option. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution; the “right” decision will vary depending on factors such as your emotions, finances and even religious beliefs. In today’s article, we’ll explore the options associated with burial.

In terms of cost, a simple burial is the least expensive option. Though if you opt to purchase a pet casket and/or bury your animal in pet cemetery, the cost can be equal to or greater than that of a cremation.

The first consideration is how to bury the pet. Some owners opt for a simple cardboard box or a pillow case. Others will make or purchase a wooden casket. You can also purchase very ornate metal caskets for your pet.

When it comes to burial, location is everything. This is a major consideration. If you opt to bury your pet in your yard, you must consider the possibility that you will move in the future. Your pet will be left behind and you will be unable to access the burial site (though if you bury your pet in a high-quality casket, exhumation and re-burial is a viable option.)

So ask yourself, “How would I feel if I leave this property and my pet’s remains are left behind?” For some people, the body is just an empty shell and leaving the burial site is not problematic. But for others, there is an emotional attachment to the remains and the burial site; to lose access to the burial site would be to lose a piece of the beloved pet. So it’s important to be honest with yourself as you consider your pet’s final resting place.

Pet cemeteries are a great option for individuals who do not feel comfortable burying a pet on their property. It’s also a more formal option. The pet’s final resting place will be accessible regardless of whether you relocate to a different home in the future. Others may dislike the idea of burying their pet far away from home, in a sad place that they’ll rarely visit; this type of individual may find it preferable to keep the remains close to home, in a place that’s enjoyable to visit.

Alternative burial locations are also a consideration. For instance, if you and your dog frequently went hiking on New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, you may feel that it’s fitting to bury your pet in this location. Of course, you must get permission to bury your pet on property that you do not own.

Many pet owners will plant a garden over their pet’s resting place. Others will build a little sitting area nearby — a peaceful place where you can relax and feel a “closeness” to your animal.

If you live in a region that sees freezing temperatures during the winter months, burial may not be a viable option. The frozen ground can be virtually impossible to penetrate. In some cases, a pet owner may opt to delay burial until the weather warms and the ground thaws. But storage can be problematic, as the remains will need to be frozen until burial. Your veterinary clinic or pet cemetery may be able to provide frozen storage for the remains, though this will come at a price.

Cremation is the other option that pet owners must consider after their animal passes. We’ll explore this option in tomorrow’s article. In the interim, stop by PetLvr’s other articles, including How to Determine if it’s the Right Time to Euthanize a Pet and How to Decide if You’re Going to Be With Your Pet During the Euthanasia Process.

Photo Source: Joshua Smith on

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

2 Responses

  1. Pet Casket
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    Pets At Rest offers beautiful and fitting products suitable for all tastes and budgets. Our main products are Pet Casket, Pet Memorial, Pet Urn, and Pet Coffin. For more details contact us or visit.

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