Time to say goodbye to your pet

When that day comes that we dread so much, what are my options when its time for us to say goodbye? 

We experience the same sorrow and heartache when we loose a beloved family pet, as we do for the loss of a relative or friend, and we need to experience mourning like any other family or friend that has passed on. This deep loss leaves us with an immediate hole in our lives and we all have options to fill that empty space in various ways: Don't you often feel that you want your pets to know - somehow by some telepathic connection that you shared - that you have not forgotten about them? Believe it, or not, but this is possible and you can share that connection with them if you really really want to.

The best time to 'connect' with your passing pet (or loved one) is when you are really really sad and in the moment.  That moment when nothing can make you think of anything else and nothing anyone says or does will take the pain away.  This is your moment.  Be sad.  Cry, talk and share happy memories and make sincere promises.  This is when your souls are connecting and this is your time when you can say your final say and share your final goodbyes.  For some this happens very quickly, a week or two, but for others it can take months.  Allow that connection to stay open for as long it has to.  Treasure that connection and absorb the time of mourning.  When you have done this, both you and your beloved pet will be able to move on, and they truly will finally be able to rest in peace.

Here are some ideas which you can consider, to say your final goodbye and possibly for memories of your beloved pet to last forever:


A very popular one is to have your pet cremated.  It takes about 7 - 14 days to be given to you. Once you receive the ashes back from your vet, you have a few options of what to do with them:

  • The ashes can be stored in an urn of your choice, for safe-keeping in a special place inside your home or garden.
  • Some people prefer to scatter the ashes in a place that was considered a favourite place that their pet used to love going to, that being either the beach, or on the path that they enjoyed going for walks on.
  • Plants grow very well with ash, therefore it is also a great idea to plant a special tree or flower on top of the buried ashes of your beloved pet.  You might want to plant a flower or a small tree inside a pot, so that you can take it with you, should you ever decide to move homes.


Start a RiP Memorial Service

In memory of your beloved pet, start a business of creating memorabilia that people can buy from you, and offer a part of your profit to a charity in your community.  Items to consider (amongst many others) are:

  • making personalised clay urns
  • create personalised candles
  • RiP and Condolences cards
  • portrait paintings of the pets



If you have the luxury of a Pet Cemetery in your town, this option can be considered with the traditional tomb stone.

  • Most people like to bury their beloved pets in their garden, with a plant planted on top of it.  Make sure that you bury the animal deep enough to not affect the plant, but also ensure that it is legally allowed in your area.
  • Sometimes people like to bury their pets deep in the forest where they loved to run and be free.  Again, make sure you are allowed to do this in that area before you consider doing so.



Giving new life (and a new home) to a rescued pet is one way to keep Fido's memories alive.  Often people also give the new pet the name of the one that has passed on, in memory of their good life that they shared with your family.  This is also a great way to show respect to your pet that has now gone to heaven, by giving its predecessor the honour of their name to carry forward.

Donating in memory of your beloved Pet:

Your pet might have taught you many lessons of unconditional love and giving during his lifetime, but saying goodbye like you would like to, does not always come at an affordable price.  This is a great opportunity for you to reciprocate that lesson of love - by helping someone else to also say goodbye in a nice way, when they can not financially afford to do so themselves.  Speak to your local vet and hear if they know someone that would benefit from such a lovely act.

These options will guide you and give you ideas to show that respect to your earth angels who have now passed on, and it is your final opportunity to give back the unconditional love that you received during their lifetime on earth.


Costs vary depending on the service and the provider of the service - which might also include the fee of the assisted service provided by your vet.  You could be expecting to pay anything from R200 to over R5000.  Pet Insurance companies do not cover funeral or burial costs, but they could sometimes pay out a claim for the cause of the death.  If the animal died by accidental death, you could also contact your Personal Home Insurance company who might have this clause to offer cover in the event of accident or death of a pet.


Companies who offer these Burial and Memorial services for pets in South Africa:

  1. Eastern Cape: Paw Print Cremations 082 783 7179
  2. Western Cape: RIP Pets Karin Matthews 082 772 7709
  3. Gauteng: Legacy Pet Crematorium 011 875 2099
  4. Kwa-Zulu Natal: Legacy Pet Crematorium 031 782 1384

Do you know of any other companies in South Africa that offer these services?  What has been your experience with them, we would love to know and share with the readers so that they too can make the most of this time of loss?




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