Once you’ve decided to cremate your pet, you might be wondering, should I keep my pet’s ashes? Or, what should I do with my pet’s ashes? The truth is, you have many beautiful options when it comes to deciding how to honor your pet. The one you choose ultimately depends on what speaks to you the most.
10 ideas for pet ashes: What to do after cremation
If you’re still deciding what to do with your pet’s ashes, consider our ideas below for inspiration. Here are 10 meaningful things to do with your pet’s ashes to honor and celebrate their memory:
Spread their ashes
Scattering their ashes offers you a touching way to commemorate your pet. You might consider spreading the ashes in your pet’s favorite place, such as your local park or backyard. Or perhaps you’d like to take them on an adventure and scatter the ashes as you climb to the top of a mountain, venture into the desert, or hike through a national forest.
Spreading their ashes in a peaceful place can be a deeply healing experience, but before doing so, consult state and local laws to ensure you’re following rules and regulations.
Plan a water burial
Did your pet love sailing with you or splashing in the waves? If so, then perhaps a water burial is the perfect option. Even if your pet never visited your local waterways, a water burial can still be an incredibly moving tribute. Rent a sailboat for a memorial out at sea or hop on your fishing boat and scatter your pet’s ashes along her favorite river.
Just as with spreading ashes on land, be sure to research to make sure scattering ashes on water is permitted in your area. Oftentimes, you can spread ashes on the water as long as you’re three nautical miles from the shore. You may also need to notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within 30 days of doing so.
Create a backyard memorial
If you own your home and plan to live there for a while, you might consider creating a memorial spot on your property. For instance, you could bury your dog’s ashes under his favorite tree in your yard, where he enjoyed laying in the shade. Or perhaps you’d like to spread your cat’s ashes in the rose garden, so you’ll always think of her when they bloom. Mark the special spot with a placard and add a bench so you can sit and reflect.
Consider a memorial forest
A memorial forest is another beautiful idea for your pet’s ashes, where you can mix their cremated remains with soil and return it to the base of a tree in a protected forest. Just like the backyard memorial option, a memorial forest invites you to visit your pet’s designated tree while enjoying the peace and serenity of nature.
Choose a pet urn
If you’d prefer not to spread your pet’s ashes, you can always store them in an urn in your home, like on your mantelpiece or dresser, so they always feel close to you.
Shop around until you find an urn that resonates with you. You’ll come across many options made from different materials like metal, stone, clay, and wood, and you can even have it engraved or include an image of your pet on it.
Design pet cremation jewelry
Another meaningful option is to turn your pet’s ashes into a keepsake. Cremation jewelry lets you place a small portion of your pet’s ashes into a special compartment like a charm or locket on a necklace or a keychain. With cremation jewelry, you can carry a piece of your pet around with you, so they’re always close to your heart.
Commission memorial artwork
Some artists specialize in creating masterpieces with pet ashes, such as paintings, pottery, and even glassware. For instance, you can commission an artist to paint a picture of your pet using small traces of their ashes in the paint. Or, you could have a potter create a clay urn made with a sprinkling of your pet’s remains. This incredible kind of artwork offers the perfect way to incorporate your pet’s ashes into a keepsake for you to always treasure.
Get a memorial tattoo
In the same way you can add your pet’s cremated remains into paint, clay, and glass, you can do so with tattoo ink, too. Believe it or not, some tattoo artists will use ash-infused ink to design a tattoo that honors your pet. While this is considered a safe practice, it’s best to go with a professional tattoo artist who specializes in cremation tattoo work.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree with ashes can be a beautiful way to create new life after the loss of your beloved pet. If you’re interested in planting a tree with your pet’s remains, we recommend purchasing a tree urn kit, which will provide you with special planting instructions.
You might be wondering, do pet ashes make good fertilizer? The short answer is no because ashes have a high calcium concentration and can alter the soil’s pH levels. However, combining the ashes with the proper manure, compost, and organic fertilizers shouldn’t harm the tree or surrounding plants.
Combine them with your future ashes
Your pet was your best friend and family member, so it makes sense that you always want to be close to your pet, even after you’ve both passed away. In this case, you might like your pet’s ashes to be mixed in with your own once your time comes.
Speak with your friends or family members about incorporating your pet’s ashes into your own cremation plans and final wishes. For example, you could arrange for your loved ones to combine your ashes in a memorial forest or scatter them in the same special place.
Our list just scratches the surface regarding the many touching things you can do with pet ashes. So when you’re grieving the loss of your pet, give yourself time and space to make your decision—there’s no rush. Whether you decide to turn your pet ashes into a keepsake or scatter them at sea, whatever option you choose is sure to honor how much your pet meant to you.