More and more people are recognizing their own mortality and are making the necessary arrangements for their funeral well in advance of their passing. Few, however, take the time to think about how they will deal with this same situation when their pet is taken from them through accident, illness or old age.


When that fateful day does arrive, how will you cope with the loss of your pet? Will you have prepared your children for this event, and will you be able to help them cope with the loss? Will you have discovered beforehand what options you have with respect to burial or cremation? Do you know the costs, advantages, and limitations associated with each option?


At Thistledown we help pet owners prepare for and cope with the loss of their animal companion. Our selection of support literature, our indoor and outdoor niche walls for the placement of pet urns and the walking trails on our fifty acre property are all designed to help pet owners through this very difficult time. Bring your pet to Thistledown for a visit and let us help you do some preplanning. Call for more information or an appointment.



Questions to Consider When Pre-Planning For The Loss of Your Pet

  • ~ If your pet must be euthanized, would you prefer it to be performed at home, at your clinic, or at Thistledown Pet Memorial?

  • ~ If you prefer a home euthanasia, does your clinic provide this service?

  • ~ What would you like to do with your pet’s remains (your pet’s after-care)?

  • ~ To what extent do you wish to be involved in your pet’s after-care?

  • ~ Would you like a funeral service for your pet (a service of some type does help provide closure)?

  • ~ How would you like to memorialize your pet?

  • ~ Where are all of these services offered and what are the costs involved with each?


Many of our clients have found that having all family members participate in pre-planning for the loss of a family pet is beneficial for all involved. While we may have the advantage of preparing ourselves for the loss of a senior or ailing pet, when pets are taken from us through accident or sudden illness we do not have this same opportunity to prepare ourselves.

Remember, our pets’ lives are too short compared to our own, and their loss prior to our own demise generally is inevitable. Failure to undertake some pre-planning will only add to the trauma experienced when that fateful day does arrive.


When a pet passes, typical after-care options include cremation or burial. At Thistledown we do not accept any animal remains for burial; we deal strictly with pet cremation. We encourage pet owners to contact us prior to the loss of their pet to help educate themselves regarding:


  • ~ The after-care options available to them when their pet dies;

  • ~ Some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option; and

  • ~ How they might access these options, and typical costs associated with each option.


We provide information regarding the services we can provide at Thistledown and also suggest the pet owner contact their vet clinic to determine:   

  • ~ the nature of the services the clinic can provide;

  • ~ the time delay between a euthanasia and the return of ash (if cremation is preferred);

  • ~ the level of personal involvement they may have in their pet’s after-care;

  • ~ if any clinic staff or any other clients has ever visited the pet crematorium they use and viewed a cremation;

  • ~ what is actually meant by the terms “Private Cremation” and “Individual Cremation”;

  • ~ what is actually meant by the term “Return of Ash”; and

  • ~ the costs associated with the various cremation options offered.


For those pet owners desiring burial rather than cremation:   

  • ~ we suggest they look into possible by-law restrictions should they desire a “home burial”;

  • ~ we mention that burial costs in a pet cemetery may require an initial charge plus an annual maintenance fee;

  • ~ we tell them that we have been asked to exhume pets that have been buried in the past and the owners are considering the sale of their property; and

  • ~ we provide information regarding the locations and contact numbers for pet cemeteries in their area.