Want Fido or Fluffy to have an open-casket viewing and a graveside service, including burial in a cemetery exclusively for pets? Then you’re among the growing number of people who want to give their beloved animal a memorable sendoff.
It’s all part of a pet-care industry that has grown from $23 billion to $43 billion in the last 10 years, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. “For many people, the loss of a pet is just as devastating as it is for [the loss of] a relative,” says Bill Remkus, owner of the Hinsdale Animal Cemetery in Willowbrook, Ill. A typical pet funeral at Hinsdale, which includes the gravesite, costs about $500.
While pet burials are big business, cremation is also an option. If you prefer to bury Rover at sea, that’s available, too.
Also popular are memorials—from engraved garden stones to memory boxes holding ashes or a bit of fur, according to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories.
And to help owners cope with loss, pet bereavement counselors and support groups are available. For information, go to the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement at www.aplb.org.