woman in white shirt hugging her dog

The Most Sustainable Way to Say Goodbye to a Pet

When you adopt a pet, the last thing on your mind is what you'll do when your beloved pet passes away. Rather, you're having fun with your pet, creating memories with them, and enjoying every moment together.

But death is part of the circle of life and at some point, it's important to think about what you will do with your pet's remains. For some pet owners, this means burying their pet in their own backyard. Other people choose to bury their pets at pet cemeteries. And for others still, the top choice is to get their pet cremated.

When Laura’s Tabby Cat, Milo, died at 17 years old, she felt as though she had lost a large part of her childhood. His passing was naturally difficult to process. Although he was still an active cat in his later years, his health started to quickly deteriorate in the span of 2-3 weeks. After a visit to the vet, Laura learned that his lungs were filling with water and he was nearing the end of his time on earth. Thankfully, he wasn’t in pain at this time but eventually, he stopped eating and wouldn’t move. The family knew it was time for him to cross the rainbow bridge and he passed peacefully and naturally in her brother’s arms. 

While the vet chose to use aquamation to decompose Milo's body and to provide the family with his ashes, where you choose as your pet's final resting place can depend on a variety of factors, including whether you live near a pet cemetery, if you have a backyard, and where you live. As responsible pet owners, it's also important to think about environmentally-friendly ways to lay your pet to rest.

We understand that saying goodbye to your pet is heartbreaking. After all, our pets are beloved companions, members of the family, and our best friends. Read on to learn more about how you can lay your pet to rest while reducing your carbon footprint, respecting our earth, and honoring your pet.

The Importance of a Green Goodbye

At some point in our lives, our pets will cross the rainbow bridge. For many people, the death of a pet is just as painful as the passing of a family member. Dogs and cats are beloved members of the family so it's no wonder we want to bury them with respectful consideration and honor their memory.

Unfortunately, many traditional funeral methods do not consider the impact on our planet. For example, a traditional burial relies on materials like embalming fluid, concrete, and wood. In addition, cremation uses no shortage of fuel.

A great way to honor the memory of your cat, dog, or other animal is by remembering their love for our earth. Remember how they used to run through the grass and roll around on the ground? Remember how they used to rest in the shade of trees and play with you outside? When planning their funeral, as sustainable pet owners, let's keep in mind the world that they loved so much by turning to eco-friendly burial methods.

Choose an Eco-Friendly Burial Box

Pet caskets are specifically designed to bury your pet. Similar to human caskets, they are built to be sealed tight to offer protection from the elements. They come in a variety of styles. But pet caskets aren't the only way to bury your pet with love. When burying your pet, you can choose to place the animal directly into a hole in the ground. This is the most eco-friendly and economical option. However, if your pet is not buried deep enough in the ground, other animals may dig it up so be careful about that. When thinking of an eco-friendly pet casket, simple is best. For example, a cardboard box makes a great dog burial box. It's economical, biodegradable, and sturdy. Just keep in mind the dimensions of your pet burial box and the size of your pet to ensure it is big enough.

Use Biodegradable Pet Urns

Instead of buying a pet casket or pet urns that are made from materials designed to last, why not opt for biodegradable pet urns instead? Biodegradable pet urns are safer for our planet because they allow your pet's remains to naturally merge with the earth without harming any ecosystems.

If you wish to keep your pet's ashes with you, instead of burying them, look for a secondhand vase or another object in which to keep them with you forever.

Compost the Remains of your Pet

If you're looking for a sustainable way to say goodbye to your dog or cat, consider composting their remains. This is a gentle and eco-friendly way to honor your pet's memory while nourishing the environment.

Bury your Pets in an Eco-Friendly Pet Cemetery

Eco-friendly pet cemeteries are a great choice for your pet's final resting place because they are run by organizations that exclusively use biodegradable burial caskets and only employ environmentally-conscious pest management techniques.

Create Jewellery out of their Ashes

Did you know that if you have your cat or dog cremated, you can turn their ashes into a diamond? Compared to diamonds that are mined, cremation diamonds are made in a lab. This means no fossil fuels are consumed, no water is polluted, and no earth is removed. What an eco-friendly and ethical way to pay tribute to the memory of your cat or dog. You can quite literally keep your pet with you forever.

Decorate their Grave with Nature

During the funeral for your cat or dog, you can create a memorial display by decorating their grave with nature. Children and other family members can collect feathers, bark, acorns, twigs, wood, leaves, shells, stones, and flowers to show your cat or dog love and care. What a beautiful way to keep your pet's memory alive in your heart without damaging our earth.

You may not have the choice in WHEN you must say goodbye to your pet, but you do have the choice in HOW to say goodbye. We hope these sustainable pet burial and cremation ideas will inspire you to consider your pet's ties with nature when it is their time for the ultimate journey home.