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How to Cope with Losing a Pet

Many people consider pets to be members of the family. They are sources of love and warmth, and also lend people comfort everyday. It’s no surprise that when the passing of a pet occurs, it is deeply felt by all. For children, this is most likely their first encounter with death. Pets have a way of truly leaving their paw prints on our hearts. 


Saying goodbye to a pet is the equivalent of losing a member of your family. Many individuals feel an enormous amount of anxiety about what they should do with their pet’s remains, and what the process actually entails.


Even though Neo does not carry out pet cremations, we fully believe the absence of a furry friend can have a profound impact on one’s life. We’ve written this blog to help guide you through the loss of a pet and explain how the pet cremation process works. 


The importance of planning ahead 

Despite not servicing pet cremations, we understand that planning ahead can ease stress and decision making during an emotional time. It may be difficult to think of proactively, but planning ahead before your pet dies can ease stress for when the time does inevitably come. One of the first things to plan for is whether or not you would want to opt for a pet cremation.



What is a pet cremation? 

A pet cremation is the most common type of funeral for a pet when they pass away. While burial, at one point in time, used to be popular for pets, cremation has overtaken this in recent years. A key reason for cremation’s rise in popularity is the service’s price: while burial in a pet cemetery can cost £300 or more, the cost of pet cremation is about half as much. 


Additionally, pet cremation allows pet owners to keep their pets’ remains with them at home. Pet owners who can’t bury their pets at home because of local regulations or because they don’t own their own property are more likely to opt for cremation. 


They can visit their pet’s remains whenever they’d like, without traveling to a pet cemetery. They can also take the remains with them if they move. 


What Should You Consider Before You Get Your Pet Cremated?

Pet cremation may be popular, but it’s still not right for everybody. You might learn something about pet cremation that makes you want to go with a different option. Whether or not you choose pet cremation, it’s important to be informed about the entire process. 


If you do choose to cremate your pet, there are precautions you can take and decisions you can make, to ensure your pet is treated with respect.


Who performs a pet cremation? 

Pet cremation services depend largely on where you live. Many cities have pet cremation services that are overseen by a veterinarian. If you live in a very small area, it could be that the local crematorium deals with both pet cremations and human cremations. 


What are the steps in a pet cremation? 
  • There is an incineration process using high heat. The amount of time a cremation takes depends on the size of the animal. 
  • The remains are inspected for any metal objects. If metal objects are discovered they are then removed. 
  • Large pieces of bone that did not incinerate are then pulverized to a fine dust, resembling ash. 
  • For animals in a private cremation, the cremains are then placed in their storage compartment. Your local vet or regular crematorium may provide a box, an urn, or other enclosed container you may use to inter your pet.


Reaching out to others 

Know that you are not alone. Check out online message boards, guides, pet loss hotlines, and external resources and organisations that support people dealing with the loss of their pet. 


If your friends and family are not sympathetic about pet loss, find someone who understands your perspective and what you may be going through. Oftentimes, another person who has experienced the loss of a beloved pet may be able to guide you and offer advice during the grieving process.



A member of our care team recently lost her pet cat, Cookie. She shares some insight into how she’s dealt with it below: 

“It wasn’t easy. I essentially had grown up with my cat, Cookie, and the thought of going home not to be greeted by her seemed unbearable. My whole family was upset with her passing. What helped us get through it was to fully embrace the grief and sadness. We speak about Cookie often. My mom even buys things that remind her of Cookie. She’s recently bought this fixture. We plan to bury Cookie’s ashes and place this stone plate on top of her grave”


Remembering Your Pet 

Whatever you decide to do with your pet’s ashes is completely up to you. You may choose to keep them at home, convert the ashes into jewelry, or even scatter them outside. As pets are often considered members of the family, you may choose to add your pet’s ashes to your family’s pre-chosen memorial place (if you have one). 


Many of us at Neo share profound bonds with our furry family members, and some of us have had to go through the pain of losing a pet. While we all experience loss and grief differently, we have provided you with a guide on how to cope with a loss of a pet and how to plan ahead.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 0808 196 2140, and we can refer you to an organisation which facilitates pet cremations.

Jenn Ulloa

Digital Operations Analyst

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