Pets (particularly those of the furry, four-legged variety) can quickly win the hearts and minds of even the gruffest family members. The death of a beloved pet can feel no different than the death of a relative or other loved one, and you may feel bereft without the trappings of a traditional funeral -- including a formal burial and the purchase of a headstone. If you buried your pet at home, you may be considering the purchase and installation of a small headstone or grave marker to memorialize your pet. Read on to learn more about your headstone options, as well as some alternatives to help you and your family remember your pet.
What should you consider when debating a pet headstone purchase?
When determining whether to purchase a headstone, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
Unless your current home is your forever home, it's likely that you'll wind up moving to a new location at some point. This can present some problems if you've installed a pet grave marker. Not only may a potential buyer be turned off by the thought of a "pet cemetery" in his or her new backyard, you may be reluctant to invest money into a headstone simply to leave it behind when you change locations.
If you think you may have plans to move within the next few years, it may be worthwhile to purchase a more portable upright marker, rather than one that embeds into the ground. This will allow you to remove the grave marker for listing photos and transport it with you to your new location.
Like other types of headstones, pet headstones or grave markers can be as cheap or expensive as you'd like. If money is an issue, you may be inclined to purchase a small, flat grave marker with minimal personalization -- these factors can significantly reduce the cost, while still allowing you to have a physical memento of your pet.
On the other end of the spectrum, you may opt for a larger, upright stone with personalized photos or carvings of your beloved pet or an inscription on the rear of the stone. Most headstone manufacturers and engravers will charge a certain fee per letter engraved, so it's important to keep this in mind when selecting a quote or poem.
However, if you'd like a larger memorial but don't have the funds to support it, you may want to investigate some more functional alternatives.
Are there alternatives to a pet headstone?
If you'd like a way to physically memorialize your pet but don't think a headstone is in the cards, you may want to consider a memorial stone, garden bench, or other functional piece of decor. By choosing something more functional and having it engraved with your pet's name, image, or likeness, you'll still achieve this memorial while simultaneously providing your family with a comfortable place to sit and remember your pet.
Because these memorials aren't specifically associated with graves, they're also easier to move (and remove) when you sell your home, and can be passed down to other family members upon your own death.
If you've decided that you would like to memorialize your pet with a grave marker, then consider a company like An Thiel Monuments.