Pet Funerals and Memorial Tips

A Funeral for a Pet Catfish

While some families choose to lay out their pet to view, others may prefer to hold the vigil with their pet safely inside his/her casket. This family from Brooklyn, NY decided to have a wake and home burial for their pet catfish.

The family describes their dear friend, "We couldn't agree on a name and he seemed like such a special little guy from the start so we simply named him 'Catfish - The Cutest Fish in the World'. He is a Striped Raphael. We have had him for about 7 years now and he has always amazed us."

As you can see, pet funerals are an important way to remember a special pet friend, whether furry, feathered, scaled or finned. Doing something on behalf of a beloved companion and creating memorial art is healing.

Tips to Create a Meaningful Tribute to your Beloved Pet

We recognize it is difficult when someone you love or a beloved pet passes away. The Backyard Burial Company provides families the information and goods to help design loving tributes to their pets as well as pet funerals, burials and cremation.

When a pet dies, preparing a home funeral vigil can be a healing way to say farewell.

Bringing loved ones together to acknowledge the years of happy memories with your pet, brings us both peace and closure and allows the healing process to begin.

Funeral Flowers

We use flowers to decorate and beautify the casket, altar and grave space. White flowers are reminiscent of heaven. Yellow flowers symbolize earth. Purple flowers are used for mourning.

Memorial Photos

Remind us of our beloved pet, happier times and cherished memories. Set up several favorite photos around the wake/altar.

Pet Treats and Toys

Arrange your pets favorite toys and treats as part of the altar to remind you what he/she loved best.

Pet Blankets and Sweaters

Inside the casket, lay your pet upon his/her favorite blanket. Some families prefer to dress their pet in his/her favorite sweater. Others may tuck the pets clothes or blankets inside the casket with their beloved pet. Your pet's favorite blanket may also be draped atop the casket for a personalized look and cozy feel.

Colored-Paper Cut-outs

Draw and cut out shapes that remind you of your pet. These paper cut-outs can be taped to the casket or laid out around the altar. Some people use dog bones for dogs or fish shapes for cats. Hearts are also a popular choice. Although any color you prefer may be used, certain colors are associated with healing: green and white.


Burning incense not only fills your home with pleasant smells, but is also used to promote healing. Although any fragrance of incense is part of a meaningful tribute to your pet, certain fragrances are associated with healing properties: amber, carnation, cedar, cinnamon, citron, citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, gardenia, honeysuckle, juniper, lavender, lemon, lotus, myrrh, peppermint, pine, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, and violet.


Candles give off soft warm light that is healing to the soul. Candles have a historic connection to our world, due to their use in rituals over the years. Candles can be used for meditation and focus and although any color may be used, certain colors are especially associated with promoting healing: magenta, turquoise, red, yellow, green, orange, blue, and lavender.

The above are just a few examples and ideas to help you create a healing and meaningful funeral or memorial tribute to your pet.

We hope these ideas inspire you and your family as you remember your pet together.