What should I do with my pet's remains?
When you find that your pet has died, the easiest thing to do is to contact your vet. He is the best person to tell you what you have the right to do regarding your pet’s funerals and, if necessary, to collect its remains in the meantime. You usually have four options available.
Cremation is becoming more and more common for pets. You may opt for a collective cremation, which will be cheaper (between 30 and 120€, according to the size of your pet), or for an individual one (ranging from 40 to 250€, according to the size). If you choose a collective cremation, you will not be entitled to be present during the process and to collect the ashes. However, if you decide to organise an individual cremation, you will have the right to be present during the ceremony and to collect the ashes to keep them at home or to spread them in a place of importance to your pet and you.
It is also possible to have a pet buried, but not anywhere! You may sometimes bury it in your own garden, but under some conditions. In Wallonia, for example, the pet must weigh under 40 kg and must not have died from a contagious disease. Furthermore, it needs to be your own garden. In Flanders, the pet must not weigh over 10 kg. And in Brussels, burying a pet in your garden is simply forbidden! It is thus best to ask your municipality if you actually have the right to bury your pet at home. Yet, it is always possible to have your pet buried in a cemetery for animals. There are several of them in Belgium, with different prices (from about 150€ to approximately 500€, and an extra 50€ or so for the plot and the maintenance of the cemetery).
Rendering is undoubtedly the cheapest option. Indeed, you will only have to pay for the transport of your pet. Yet, this solution is also the less ceremonious one, as this method actually transforms the pets’ remains into a powder that will then be used as fuel. Your vet may provide you with more information.
If you wish to “keep” your pet by your side, you may have your pet stuffed. Nonetheless, this process takes time; about 3 months, sometimes up to a year. Prices may vary.
Can I organise a ceremony for my pet?
If you decide to have your faithful friend buried or incinerated, you may also organise a small farewell ceremony. Indeed, nowadays, you may find funeral homes that specialise in organising pet funerals. They will suggest tailored ceremonies and will also take care of everything so that you will have the chance to pay last tribute to your pet. Those experts will also help you choose an urn, a coffin or a headstone and some also offer customised products tha allow you to keep a memory of your dear friend, such as jewellery or frames that contain some of its ashes or some hair.
Mourning your faithful friend
Losing a pet is a difficult moment; for some as difficult as losing a loved one. While your farewell ceremony depends on your feelings and on the amount that you are willing to dedicate to it, there is by no means any wrong decision. To avoid having to make a rushed choice because the decision has to be made quickly, do not hesitate to gather information in advance, for example by asking the Morning Blue team for advice.
Moreover, you should not forget that the opposite situation might also happen. Indeed, sometimes, the owner dies before his or her pet. Again, in such a case, anticipation is key. You may for example write down your wishes regarding your pet or save them in your Morning Blue Passport. This will ensure the happiest life possible to your faithful friend and also allow him to best overcome the loss of its owner.