Making funerals and burial grounds pet friendly

17th April 2022#funerals#pet-burial#pet-friendly-funerals#planning-ahead#talking-about-death
Making funerals and burial grounds pet friendly

Can we bring the dog?

One question families ask is, ‘Can we bring the dog? or ‘Are natural burial grounds pet friendly?’ For those who want their furry family members at the funeral, we feel this should be allowed. This is why our natural burial grounds are pet-friendly, so our answer to this is, Yes of course!

Anyone who brings their pets must do this on the understanding they are responsible pet owners. This means keeping them on a lead when necessary and cleaning up after them.

Pets help with grief

We understand that pets help with grief. There has been some research into this and how they help to support us when we are grieving. We know that they help relieve anxiety and stress. They help children who are grieving and dealing will all the emotions that death brings. Sometimes cuddling up with a furry friend can help us get through this.

We can go to our pets when we are sad no questions asked and tell them things we don’t want to say to others. They pick up on emotions and sometimes even come to us when we are feeling upset. They also grieve the loss of those they love and miss us as much as we miss them. It can help to have them at a funeral, or when we are visiting a place that reminds us of someone that has died. This can be a resting place or somewhere special to us.

We know that this is an area that we are only just acknowledging in funeral practices. It’s not uncommon to see crematoria and burial grounds that do not allow pets. However, we have seen first-hand the benefits that pets can bring to those that are grieving. Here are a few ways that our natural burial grounds work with pets so that families who wish to include them can.

Pet-Friendly Funerals

Having a pet at a funeral is one of the ways that can help make a funeral personal and meaningful. Pets are an important part of our lives and sometimes it feels right that they should be with us on the day. They grieve the loss of their owners but they also help bring comfort and love and help keep us going at times. They remind us of shared loves that still live on and can bring a bit of laughter to the event.

Often family members ask if they can bring the dog, but it’s not only dogs we have had at funerals. We have had funerals with quite a few different pets. This includes horses. If your family member or friend was a horse lover you can bring the horse. It’s a wonderful way to lead the congregation over to the graveside. You can also bring a reminder of a beloved pet if you can’t bring them but want them there with you in spirit. This might be a paw print, photo or a malted feather. We know not all places can offer pet-friendly funerals but we are pleased we can.

If you have an idea to incorporate a beloved pet have a chat with us.

Permissive Walks & Woodland Trails

At our natural burial grounds, there are permissive walks and at Delliefure a woodland trail. This is because we understand being able to visit with the dog for a walk in peaceful, relaxed surroundings can help. It gives us the chance to stop, reflect and remember good memories. Someone once said to us, when we met them at one of our burial grounds,

This is my happy place.

It’s the last thing you would think to hear at a burial ground but we understand perfectly. This is because they have a completely different feel to traditional burial grounds and focus on life, not death. They are very welcoming, beautiful, and peaceful places. Areas of beautiful countryside that give us a moment away from the hustle and bustle of life. They also give us time to remember the lives we shared with those we love. It can be very therapeutic getting back to nature and being able to share it with our family including the dog is important.

Pets Ashes

Pets’ ashes can be included as part of a natural burial or interment of ashes at most of our natural burial grounds (excluding Aylesbury, Bath and Usk). If this is one of your wishes we would recommend that you write this down as part of your funeral wishes. This means that family and friends are aware that you would like to have your pet’s ashes with you. You can always jot this down on ‘For when I die‘ a free helpful guide we have put together where you can share your wishes.

At our Pembrokeshire and Delliefure natural burial grounds, you can also purchase a plot just for a pet’s ashes. If you want to find out more about please get in touch with us. We can advise if this is possible at the natural burial ground you would like to use. The beautiful woollen ashes urn below is made by Bellacouche.

Natural Pet Burial

At Pembrokshire Natural Burial Ground and Delliefure Natural Burial Ground we can offer natural pet burial in a special area we keep for pets.

We understand that pets are a part of our family. Their loss hits us just as hard as the loss of a family member or friend. We want them to be somewhere they love and we know how much our dogs love visiting our burial grounds. We have welcomed lots of different animals including dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits. All pets are welcome and we also have interment of ashes including for horses.

If you wish you can plan a pet funeral and we know some wonderful celebrants who can help with this. There are lots of simple ways you can say goodbye at our natural burial ground just as a family too. There are some wonderful natural coffin makers we can recommend, however, you may wish to use a woollen blanket. The beautiful woollen shroud below is made by Bellacouche.

Planning a pet-friendly funeral or pet burial

If you want to plan a funeral that includes your pets and would like some advice give us a call. This may be bringing them on the day or including their ashes as part of a natural burial or ashes interment.

You are also welcome to take the dogs when visiting the natural burial grounds. If you do please respect that it’s a place ​where loved ones are resting and clean up after them.

We are here to offer advice if you would like to arrange a pet burial with us. This may be a natural pet burial or an interment of a pet’s ashes. We have lots of experience and ideas we can share to help you with these arrangements. Heart of Pembrokshire Ceremonies shared with us the photo of a plantable wildflower seed card with pawprints.

You can also arrange memorials for pets at our natural burial grounds that can offer pet burial.

Sarah who is the landowner and custodian at Pembrokeshire Natural Burial Ground has said,

My nan had her dog Gina with her when we said goodbye to her back in 2007. We knew this was important to her. My parents have already told me that they want to be with their dogs. I want my pets nearby in my natural burial ground. We know how much offering this matters, because it matters to us.

Including your pet’s ashes or having them at a funeral is not for everyone, but for some, it’s a very important part of their wishes. We want people to be aware this is possible, it’s something they can do.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about any of the topics we have discussed in this blog please get in touch.