What to Do With Your Pet After Euthanasia

After making the difficult decision, the question of what to do with your pet after euthanasia adds further distress during an already overwhelming time. As a seasoned vet, I understand the deep bond between you and your pet, and the grief that follows their passing

By exploring various options and discussing the benefits and considerations of each, I aim to alleviate the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding this issue. Whether it is the choice of burial, cremation, or other options, I’ll provide insights that will empower you to make choices aligned with your personal preferences and the memory of your beloved pet.

What to Do With Your Pet After Euthanasia

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is a harrowing experience, and after the euthanasia process, many pet owners face the challenging decision of how to handle their pet’s body. While memorializing their memory is important to some, others may seek guidance on the compassionately and respectfully deal with their remains. 

A black cat on a blanket

There are several alternatives, each with advantages and disadvantages, such as cremation or burial, and aquamation. Your unique preferences and financial situation will determine your best choice.

Burial and Cremation Options

  • Water Cremation: We own and operate our own Aquamation facility. This way, we are able to perform in-home euthanasia for you and carefully take your pet to our facility afterwards. You can receive the ashes afterward along with clay paw prints, urns, fur clippings, and other memorial items that we have for sale in our office. 
  • Communal Cremation: If you prefer not to keep the ashes, you can opt for a group cremation or our communal cremation. In this process, multiple pets are cremated together, and the ashes are not returned to the owner. This cost-effective option still ensures a respectful and dignified handling of your pet’s remains.
  • Burial Services: Some veterinary businesses may offer burial services, where they have designated areas for pet burials. This option allows you to lay your pet to rest in a peaceful and dedicated space, ensuring a respectful final resting place. However, the cost of euthanasia is not the same as the burial services.

Private pet cremation services provide a tailored approach for pet owners who want greater control over how their pet’s remains are handled. These services offer the following choices:

  • Private Viewing: We offer up to one hour of visit time in our comfortable cremation office. Your pet will be prepared for viewing, wrapped in a cozy blanket with compassion, and adorned with fresh flowers. At the end of the hour, you and your beloved pet will be guided into our cremation warehouse, where you can place the remains into the aquamation machine if you choose. You can also have one of our staff members do this if you prefer.

Natural burial and pet cemeteries are viable options for those who prefer a more environmentally conscious approach or seek a physical place to visit. Consider the following:

  • Natural Burial: Natural burial involves interring your pet’s body in a designated area, often in a biodegradable container or wrapped in a natural material. This allows for a return to the earth in a gentle and eco-friendly manner. You can choose a peaceful spot in your backyard or explore local pet cemeteries that offer natural burial services.
  • Pet Cemeteries: Pet cemeteries provide dedicated spaces for the burial of pets. They offer various services, including individual plots or communal areas, grave markers or plaques, and grounds maintenance. Visiting a pet cemetery can provide a quiet space for remembrance and reflection.

What to Do to Remember Your Pet

A remembrance of a pet

When finding grief support for the loss of a pet, it can be healing to commemorate their life meaningfully. Here are some ideas to help you grieve and create lasting memories:

  • Create a memory box with some memorial items
  • Plant a memorial garden
  • Transform belongings into keepsakes
  • Commission a custom portrait or sculpture

Related Questions

Is it Normal to Feel Guilty After Euthanizing a Pet?

Yes, it is normal to feel guilty after euthanizing a pet. The decision to euthanize a beloved companion is a difficult one, and it is natural to experience guilt and second-guessing. Remember that you decided out of love and compassion, prioritizing their well-being and quality of life. After that, you can grieve as much as you want to honor your pet.

Is Euthanizing a Pet Traumatic?

Euthanizing a pet is a deeply emotional and challenging experience. Making the decision, bidding goodbye to your dog before euthanasia, and witnessing the euthanasia itself can leave a lasting impact. It is essential to acknowledge and process these feelings, seeking support from loved ones or professional resources if needed. We also encourage our families to understand the process beforehand and ask questions along the way. 

Is it Morally Wrong to Euthanize Your Dog?

Ending a dog’s life through euthanasia to save additional pain and suffering is not ethically wrong, especially if the dog is terminally sick or has a low quality of life. It’s also advisable to euthanize a cat suffering from oral cancer. Before making this decision, it is critical to talk with our veterinarians at Paws into Grace to examine the dog’s well-being and quality of life.

Conclusion

When deciding how to handle your pet’s body after euthanasia, it is essential to consider alternative options beyond traditional methods. Veterinary services, pet cremation, natural burial, and environmentally friendly choices provide a range of options to ensure respectful handling of your pet’s remains.

Testimonials

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who... read more

Renee C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him... read more

Diane C.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but... read more

Terry A.

Renee C.

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who came out to the house. She was so understanding and supportive. They were all so helpful, understanding and nice. My girl got to stay at home and say goodbye in the backyard (a hummingbird flew over and it seemed like a good sign too). So glad I didn't have to take her to a cold vet office.

Diane C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him with more medications which would make him even more miserable. I called and spoke to a very kind lady who was patient as I cried through making an appointment. We made an appointment for 1:30pm. Dr. Toni arrived. She was very kind, explained everything to us and gave us the time to be with our boy after the first shot. He wasn't relaxing enough so she gave him a second shot. We stayed with him throughout the entire process and I carried him to her car in the end. It was a very difficult decision but knowing that our boy is not in pain, gives us some peace. We are thankful to Dr. Toni for her kindness and compassion. They will arrange the cremation for us. Since we are in a pandemic, we had our masks on and said goodbye to our boy in our garden.

Terry A.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but before she attached the IV. We were relieved that we made the decision to let her go to doggy heaven at home. It was a tranquil and serene passing for her, and it very much aids us in the grieving and healing process knowing that she passed away so peacefully. Based on the grace and compassion Dr. Brown demonstrated on one of the most awful days of our lives we would not hesitate to recommend Paws Into Grace for others facing this very painful time.
San Diego Orange County Cremation Office