A veterinarian’s role in pet after-death care

Handling remains requires careful selection of aftercare providers

By Coco Lederhouse
Published: 22 March 2023


The pet aftercare industry is one of the fastest-growing death care markets in the United States, with more than 700 pet cemeteries in the country as of 2020, according to the Cremation Association of North America. The death care industry consists of companies and other organizations that provide services related to death: funerals, cremation or burial, and memorials.

There are many considerations for a veterinarian when it comes to handling pet remains and interacting with the pet owner during this sensitive time. Practitioners are often the only source of information that pet owners have when choosing pet aftercare providers.

Dr. Mary Gardner is the co-founder and chief information officer of Lap of Love, a network of veterinarians around the country with the goal of empowering all pet owners with supportive resources and reliable information focused on caring for geriatric pets. Dr. Gardner also owns a crematory, Monarch Pet Memorial Services in Boynton Beach, Florida.

She stressed the importance of the golden rule during the pet aftercare process—treat the client’s pet the way you’d treat your own.

To see the full version of this story, visit the AVMA News website.