How to memorialize your pet

Whether furry, finned, feathered or otherwise, we form a strong bond with our pets from the moment they enter our homes. They add structure to our day, keep us active and even provide a sense of meaning and purpose to our lives. However, we rarely spare a thought about what happens once these friends pass away.

For this reason, we at Village Vets have partnered with Pawprints Cremations to give bereaved pet owners peace of mind while they come to terms with the loss of their beloved pet. In addition to providing dignified and respectful cremation services, we’ve compiled tons of advice for owners struggling with the loss of a pet.

To begin with, there are many amazing things you can do to immortalise the memory of a friend no longer around. Things like:

  • Eternalise your pet’s memory: If you decide to cremate your pet, their ashes can be eternalised in a variety of ways. While Pawprints Cremations offer traditional urns, caskets and scatter tubes, owners can also opt to keep their pet close to their heart with discrete memorial jewelry. Another touching keepsake to consider is a framed paw print to remind you of your beloved friend.
  • Get a memorial tattoo: For tattoo enthusiasts, getting a memorial tattoo is the ultimate way to help the healing process. Whether it’s a picture of your pooch or its favourite chew toy, their memory will live on forever on your skin, no less. It doesn’t have to be a full arm-sleeve; less is often more!
  • Create an outdoor memorial: Set aside a peaceful part of your garden to create a dedicated memorial to heal at. This might be as simple as installing an engraved memorial stone with your pet’s name by their favourite tree, or planting a beautiful forget-me-not memorial by mixing your pet’s ashes with seeds and letting their memory flourish with every passing Spring.
  • Compile a photo album or scrapbook: Create a photo album or video tribute of you, your pet and your family. It will help make a legacy to celebrate their life, encourage laughter about the funny moments and help you to grieve. There are also tonnes of websites available that can turn your pictures into beautiful canvas prints, ideal for hanging on the walls of your home.
  • Donate to an animal charity: Why not honor your pet by making a donation to one of Ireland’s many amazing animal welfare charities, such as the DSPCA? Most organisations accept financial contributions online, either as a one-time donation or a recurring gift, and you can often donate in memory of your beloved companion.
  • Host a charity walk or climb in memory of your pet: Following on from the point above, sponsoring yourself to raise funds in your pet’s name is a great way to memorialise your pet and raise money for vital causes such as Guide Dogs Ireland. You’ll need to go through the proper channels, of course, but if done correctly it could become a yearly endeavour!
  • Adopt: Often the best way of all to memorialise a pet is to take the next step and bring a new animal into your family, especially one in need of a home. Adopting after a pet has passed can feel like you are trying to replace a cherished friend, so don’t feel guilty for taking your time to grieve before you feel ready to move on.

However you decide to remember your pet, know that as long as it helps ease the grief of their passing it isn’t such a bad idea. In any case, we at Village Vets and Pawprints Cremations are always on hand for a chat or for advice.

Individual Cremations

If you’ve decided to have your pet cremated, the last thing you want to hear is that your best friend will be joined by other animals in the cremation chamber. Unfortunately, that can be the case with some pet cremation services – and sometimes it could be worse as some companies will even incinerate pets alongside clinical or general waste.

Thankfully, this isn’t us.

Pawprints Cremation Services offers you and your pet a dignified and personal experience where your wishes for your beloved companion will be followed to a tee. Our individual pet cremations also mean that no matter the size of your pet – from Great Dane to Hamster – there will only ever be one pet in the cremation chamber at any time. We believe that each pet deserves a respectful send-off and cremating each animal individually is the only way to ensure that grieving families are receiving their pet’s ashes alone – something that we will never change.



We store all pets in our cool room prior to cremation, where they are left peacefully in Pawprints Cremation beds before being moved onto a bespoke stretcher and gently laid in the cremation chamber. We also have an attended service if you wish to see the process and stay with your pet
until the end. Once the cremation is complete, we carefully remove and cool them before they are reduced to ash. They are then placed into a sealed plastic bag and transferred into your choice of container.

Our range of urns, caskets and memorials are all optional but provide a beautiful way to remember your pet. We also have scatter tubes or caskets for burials, photo frames with hidden ash compartments and even jewellery that can contain a small amount of your pet’s remains. When you enquire about our services, we will give you an individual cremation cost which you can add as many additional services to as you wish.

However, there are plenty of options available to you across all of Ireland. Your Vet may even offer you information on their pet cremation provider, but make sure you’re asking the important questions before you agree to go ahead with their service, questions like:
• How will my pet be stored?
• Can my pet be collected from my vet or delivered to my home?
• Can I spend some time with my pet before and after?
• Can I have a full description of the way the procedure is carried out?
• Can I see the cremation, the crematorium and any other part of the process?



Of course, there are many other questions you may need to ask depending on your individual wishes. Keep in mind that this is your pet and it will be the last time you get to say goodbye to them, so do not agree to anything that you are unhappy with. Ultimately, your personal preference for the service you want for your pet is what matters most. It’s important to say farewell properly and that is the service we offer, no more and no less.

If you’d like to know more about individual pet cremations or, sadly, need to use our services, please get in touch with a member of the Pawprints team on 01 6409901. Otherwise, you can click here where there is plenty of information on each service we offer.

Stages of Grief

Grief is the catchall term used to describe the five stages that one goes through after having suffered
a loss. Naturally, when you lose a pet you will experience grief just as you would when losing a
human companion. A great analogy I once heard was that grief begins as a large ball in a box with a
button on one of its walls. When the ball is huge (when the grief is fresh) any movement to the box
will cause it to press the button and subsequently hurt you. With the passing of time the ball will
become smaller and will eventually stop pressing the button every time the box is moved.
This period of grief or mourning is a complex and lengthy process that will differ in intensity from
person to person. Today, we’ll look at these five stages in no particular order.

Denial can be the first or the last thing someone will experience and refers to the ignoring of a
hurtful event, going so far as to say that it never happened. The mind refuses to believe that which
brings it sadness; rejecting the information. This can manifest in pet owners by them still believing
that their pet is alive.

Anger is a common response to loss; the mind floods the body with adrenaline and our fight or flight
response is triggered. It is most commonly associated with a feeling of having been able to prevent
the death or being angry in oneself that more couldn’t be done; of course, this mightn’t always be
the case. Anger is dealt with over time like the rest of these stages.

If only it could be done… Bargaining is the offering of a trade — the mind offering whatever it thinks
is valuable in exchange for the loss to be reversed or perhaps that by changing an aspect of one’s life
can the departed return. In reality, this can never be done which is why bargaining can quickly lead
to anger or depression.

After the shock of death comes the first confrontation to the absence of a pet or loved one. This can
result in physical, behavioural and emotional manifestations (crying, loss of appetite, sleep,
palpitations, fatigue, migraine, aggression, guilt, isolation…) comparable to depression, but a normal phase in the throes of grief.

Finally, Acceptance:
To mourn is to remember a pet for the love they brought into your life. It is accepting their death and learning to live without them. We reorganise, we restructure and we keep going, to get out of that black torpor of pain and to remember the parts of them that we cherished in life.
The loss of a pet is something that you and your children do not have to go through on your own.
Family and friends will always be there for you, to support and help you process it. The loss of a
beloved pet can be one of the most difficult times in our lives.
If someone you know has suffered or is currently suffering the loss of a pet; be there for them, offer
them your support or time to talk and make sure they have no regrets with their pet. It can be just as devastating as losing a family member and there is a grieving process just like any other loss.

Helping your Child Overcome the Death of a Family Pet

Unfortunately, there are two sides to owning and caring for a pet. One of them is loss, and loss can take a serious toll on us and our families, especially the youngest members of which. Whether it is a dog or cat, rabbit or hamster, parrot or horse or even a fish; suffering the loss of a pet is a process of grief and hardship for children of all ages, because those pets we lose so easily became part of our families in the first place.

My first ever pet, back when I was only a young man, was Bagpuss (named after the haggard looking pink and white cat from children’s TV). Bagpuss and I were inseparable for most of his life and it absolutely rocked my little world when he passed. In-fact, I didn’t think he would ever pass; I didn’t believe that he could. Luckily, I had a pair of great parents watching my back. They coached me through the entire process, albeit in rather realistic fashion, and agreed to all of my idiosyncratic burial requests (I wanted him buried with his bed, and his toys, etc…).

For any parent who has a child dealing with the loss of a beloved pet, it is vital that they aregiven time to process the ordeal and given plenty of opportunities to talk about their feelings; perhaps how this miss their best furry friend, or how they cannot stop thinking of them. It is completely normal and healthy for them to express their grief in a variety of ways and it is up to you, as parents, to listen to your child, reassure them, explain in full what has happened (leading up to the passing and after) and comfort them. Of course, your child will have many questions, and depending on their age, you may want to answer them differently. I firmly believe that honesty is the best policy. Children are inquisitive by nature and will seek out their own answers; either through their friends or through whatever limited internet access they are granted. A simple lie told now will have far reaching consequences!

Choosing the long sleep for any pet is a difficult task. It takes courage but also a lot of love for your pet, to be able to put them before yourself and your children and how much you want them to still be a part of their lives. However, a symbolic gesture such as burial or cremation can help a young child put a full-stop under this period of grief and gives closure to the whole affair. This symbolic gesture can be anything that your child wants it to be, but ideas should be suggested to them; perhaps they’d like them to be cremated and for their ashes to be scattered somewhere, or maybe for them to be buried with their favourite toy (like me). The important thing is to provide gentle guidance to your child, while using a balanced hand to be real about the situation with them.

I remember (so long ago, admittedly) that there were no objections from my parents as to Bagpuss’ funeral arrangements and even now, when I look down to the back wall in our garden, to a tiny patch of grass which is greener than the rest, I am reminded of him and how he had affected me as a person, and how he still makes me smile though he is no longer with us. I have one printed picture of Bagpuss as he existed before a time when smartphones were affordable, but it still has its prominent place in my room, among my family and my friends and those I hold most dear to me.

The loss of a pet is something that you and your children do not have to go through on your own. Family and friends will always be there for you, to support and help you process it. The loss of a beloved pet can be one of the most difficult times in our lives. If someone you know has suffered or is currently suffering the loss of a pet; be there for them, offer them your support or time to talk and make sure they have no regrets with their pet.

It can be just as devastating as losing a family member and there is a grieving process just like any other loss.

Not all pet crematoriums are the same

Our pets are more than just a fixture within our homes. For most pet owners, their pets are a massive part of their family for years.

Over the course of their lives, you and your pet will have developed thousands of memories, connections, and emotional bonding moments together. When a pet passes away, it can leave a lasting impact on your home and family that will be felt forever. 


That is why we at Pawprints Cremation aim to make the passing of your pet as easy as possible, with our tribute pet cremation. Cremation has been a popular way of honoring those who have passed for centuries among human societies. Cremation is a great way to preserve the body of a loved one, and send them off in the fire that represents purity. From the old Norse traditions, to ancient Asian cultures and traditions, cremation is no foreign concept to most of us. Although, cremation for pets, is in fact a relatively new concept. With that new concept in mind, we at Pawprints Cremation have been engaging in pet cremations since 2011. 


We believe that cremations are a great way to honor, and give tribute to the years of loyalty, friendship, and love that pets give us over the course of their lives. However, it is important to remember that not all pet crematoriums are the same. We did not invent the concept of pet cremation, but we have worked hard to perfect it. We believe in paying tribute to, and caring for the body of your beloved pet. We do this by working closely with pet owners, and veterinary practices to ensure that we understand the wishes and desires of the pet owners–no matter what. We guarantee that you will have the ashes of your pet back within 24 hours, and can even facilitate same day cremations if the owner requests it. 


We are pet owners and pet lovers ourselves, and we understand how important it is for you to have the ashes of your friend back as soon as possible. We know how concerning and disheartening it can be for a pet owner to have to anxiously wait to get the ashes back from their pet. We always aim to make sure that you never have to endure that wait. Our services are always fast, careful, and tastefully done.

When you choose Pawprints Cremation, you are choosing a team of compassionate and caring individuals who are experienced at the delicate nature of pet cremations. We want to ensure that the love and body of your pet is handled with care, dignity, and compassion. Through our services, you can honor the life of your pet forever, with pet cremation.


How long does it take to get my pets ashes back after cremation?

Losing a family pet is a difficult time for every person and their families. The heartache and sense of loss are tremendous and hard to rationalise. It is a reminder to us all of how precious life is.

Coming into the room where they once slept, looking at the area where they would always greet you, the silence. All of this is a timely reminder of the joy that a pet once brought to all our lives

But what happens after their passing? There are many questions that you might have.

Where do they go?

How long will they be gone for?

How do I know what happens when they get there?

Why does it take so long?

Not all pet crematoriums are the same. We know that but not all pet owners do. Here at Pawprints Cremation in Trim, County Meath, we know how loved, how important and how special each pet was to their owners and their families? We know the special place that they held within that home and we are mindful of that each and every time we do a cremation.

We handle each and every pet with the love, dignity and respect that they deserve. We know the anguish that the wait causes when a pet owner is waiting for their ashes to be returned. We understand that you want your beloved pet ashes back as soon as possible. It’s important to you and it’s important to us.

At Pawprints Cremation, we can have your pet ashes returned to you within 24 hours.

You can visit our crematorium in Trim where you can either drop your pet off or even collect the ashes afterward.

Alternatively, you can always bring your pet to your local veterinary practice and have the ashes returned to the veterinary practice for you to collect. This can be done as quickly as within 24 hours. At Pawprints we know how important this process is.

We always want to get it right and we always want to make sure that you get the ashes of your beloved pet back as quickly as possible, to make the grieving process easier for you and your family.

Please call us at Pawprints in Trim or ask your local veterinary practice, do they use Pawprints Crematorium. We’re here to help.

We’re here to make the end of the life journey that bit easier for you and your family.