Plan Ahead


Should I plan ahead for my pet's passing? The answer is yes.

Death, or even planning for a death, is one those things that we prefer not to talk about. Some might say that it's taboo, or that karma would bite them for even thinking about it before it’s time, particularly for our beloved pets. Many of us have given thought as to what we would want for our own passing: Where do I want to be buried?  What kind of casket do I want? Where do I want my cremains to go if I decide to be cremated? Who do I want to write my eulogy? What type of memorial service do I want? Do I want a marker? People purchase plots, caskets and urns long before they pass, so why wouldn’t we do the same for our pets?

Preplanning for your pet’s passing provides you and your family time to discuss how you would like to memorialize your beloved pet and to celebrate the life that you all shared together. Making sure that your beloved pet is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve will be of the utmost importance at this time. Knowing your options in advance will help relieve some of the extra stress you may feel at the time of your pet's passing. It also allows you the time you need to honor the life of your pet and to ensure that they will receive the same quality care that was important to you for them in life. The following are just a few preplanning items to give thought to.

  • What do I do if they pass at home? 
  • Where do I take their body? 
  • If forced to make the euthanasia decision, who will help us with this? Where is the best place for me and my pet to have this done? 
  • Would it be beneficial for me and my family to have a funeral/memorial service? 
  • How will I inform my friends and family? 
  • Would I like memorial cards? 
  • Burial: Where? How? Who? What if it is winter? Is it legal? 
  • Cremation: Do I want my pet’s cremains? Do I spread them somewhere? Where do I keep them? What style of urn would work best for me and represent my pet best? What are my cremations options? 
  • Are there special items that I want to stay with my pet? 
  • What keepsake items do I want to help memorialize my pet? 
  • What resources are available to me and my family to help us through the grieving process? 
  • What are the financial obligations for all of this? Can prepayment arrangements be made?

Too many of our customers have stated, “We wish we would have known...” Preparing and planning ahead will give you the peace of mind in knowing that you’ve educated yourself on the many options available to you, and that you’ve done what’s best for you and your pet.

Click on “A Guide to Planning Ahead”, which can you help your through this process.

What every pet parent should know

  • As you prepare to say good-bye to your precious pet, it's important that you know that you have options.  Just as you were responsible for your pet in life, you also have that responsibility in death.  Your pet was yours during their life and their body is yours in their death.
  • The final decision of what you want to do is yours and not anyone else's.  Your veterinarian can guide you but know it's not your veterinarian responsibility to decide for you or to tell you what to do with your pet. Unfortunately, in many states, including Wisconsin, pets are looked as personal property, so know your local laws as every municipality has different rules related to pets.
  • Educating yourself on your options and having an idea of what you want to do before the loss of your beloved pet will eliminate much anxiety and give you incredible peace of mind.  Filling out a Guide To Planning Ahead will guide you through your options and what to look for as you pay tribute to your special friend.

J-O-U-R-N-E-Y-S Quality of Life scale

This quality of life scale is to help get you thinking about factors that affect your pet's happiness and sense of well-being.  This is only a guide.
Click here for more information

Thank you so much for your help during this difficult time. We had our Chula since she was born fifteen years ago and she was always a huge part of our family. I greatly appreciate the kindness of your staff and the way I was made to feel as if my pet was important member of my family. She was given dignity and respect I couldn’t ask for anything better. The thoughtful touches regarding the paw print and her remains helped ease the pain of losing my girl. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

- Chula Gamillo

Thank you so much for sending the plaque of our dog’s foot. I know this is part of your business, but thank you again for taking the time to ship it to me in Michigan. We loved our dog and she was a great companion to my son.


- Shirley