Nothing is easy when it’s time for a pet to die, and things can get even more complicated when their owner lives on a property they don’t own. How do you bury a pet without owning land?
If someone needs to bury a pet when they live in a rental or an apartment, they have a few options. They can find a pet cemetery, they can bury it at the home of a friend or family member, or they can choose an alternative like cremation. Local vets can assist owners in finding options.
Sometimes the choice is easy, and sometimes it isn’t. For more information on pet burial options when renting, keep reading below.
How to Bury Your Pet
Burying a pet is the option many people remember from their own childhoods, and it’s the option a grieving owner is likely to think of. If your pet is about to die or has just died, the idea of a little memorial service and being able to visit the grave is probably comforting.
Even if you live in a rental or an apartment, you have options that will help you to grieve your furry friend and keep their memories close.
Burying at a Friend or Family Member’s Property
With this option, you can bury the pet like you typically would. Things to keep in mind are whether the property owner will allow this, whether they plan on staying there, whether you have a strong enough relationship with them to ask for this option, and how close they live. If you have to travel an hour or more with your pet’s body in the back seat of your car, this may not be the option for you.
If the property owner feels comfortable with this option, scattering cremated remains on a garden or lawn could be a more manageable option.
Burying in a Pet Cemetary
Yes, pet cemeteries do exist! They’re not like the Stephen King novel at all. These specialized cemeteries are designed to help owners find a peaceful resting place for a beloved pet, where they can visit whenever they would like. This option exists with pet owners like you in mind.
You can contact the cemetery before or after your pet’s death to reserve a grave. While it may seem morbid to reserve a space before your pet’s death, it can make life easier on the stressful and sad days after their passing.
If a Pet Cemetary does not exist near you, you could see about starting one yourself. Many existing pet cemeteries were designed to honor one original pet and grew from there.
Cremation is an option that a surprising number of pet owners don’t know exists. In spite of this, it is a consistently popular option. Many owners have found comfort through a home memorial for their pet, having their ashes turned into a trinket or jewelry, or scattering cremated remains somewhere their pet loved.
Cremation is often offered directly through the vet or rescue where your pet was cared for in their last moments. There may be group cremation for a lower rate, where your pet’s ashes may be mixed with other pets, or cremation for individual pets that cost a little more.
Either way, your vet can walk you through the process and give you some reassurance. You can still choose to bury cremated remains, and that might be easier to find a resting place for. You can fly with cremated remains, drive long distances, or even choose to have the remains buried with you when you die.
Do I Have Other Options?
You do have other options! In a modern world where many pets and their owners live in apartment complexes or rented spaces, people are always looking for new solutions to problems like this. People love their pets, just like you do.
Letting the Vet Decide What to do With the Body
Some people are in a place where they really can’t handle their pet’s body themselves, whether for logistical or emotional reasons. That is okay, and you are not alone if you’re in this situation! Your vet can handle your pet’s body themselves.
Vets generally use mass cremation to respectfully dispose of animal bodies. They will handle everything if you decide you don’t want the ashes returned to you. This is a valid option that many good, loving pet owners choose, and you’re not a bad owner if you decide this is the route for you.
Donating to Science
Pet bodies can be donated to universities or vet schools, just like human bodies. Some people find comfort in knowing that their pet’s body is helping train a new generation of vets and other animal caregivers.
There is a lot of paperwork involved with this option, so this is something you should look into before your pet’s death, if possible. You also will not receive the cremated remains when the school is finished with the body.
This is a unique way to honor your pet’s memory by helping other pets and vets in the future. If your pet was always sweet in the vet’s office, this could be a good fit for you.
Yes, really. Taxidermy is most often an option for owners with a good sense of humor, and it isn’t a common one, but it does exist. Niche internet pet celebrities, like Tik Tok’s “Pot Roast the Cat,” have recently been taxidermied as a memorial. In Pot Roast’s case, it was a continuation of a running joke that she looked taxidermied in life, so she just continued it in death.
Everyone mourns differently, and this is no different. If getting your pet taxidermied is the way you want to celebrate their life and keep them close, then you can choose that! Make sure to use a studio with a good reputation and good reviews, and you can keep your companion around for years to come.
Who Can I Ask For Help?
Veterinarians, rescue offices, and pet cemeteries are all ready and trained to help when you need them. They can give you answers and resources for your area.
In addition, you can speak to other pet owners nearby. If someone in your building or neighborhood has pets and is in a similar living situation, you might get some comfort from asking them about the process and what they chose.
Above all, remember to get support for the grieving process. Your pet will want you to have love and support while you make this decision. If your grief is overwhelming, or it won’t go away, you can and should talk to a doctor for help! Grief is the price we pay for love and, as pet owners know, the price is worth it.