RIP Pet: Burial Options for Pets in the Philippine

           We Filipinos are generally pet lovers. We own at least one dog or cat at home; some would own more.  Regardless of what pet we have and how many we own, we treat our pets like family members and give them unconditional love. We play with them, feed them and for some, sleep with them. Our pets give us the happiness of having a companion and the loyalty of a real friend.


            But no matter how we love our pets and how long we want them to stay with us, reality tells us that an animal’s life span is shorter than a human’s. A dog’s life span is 10 to 15 years while cats can live 12 to 15 years depending on breed. Sooner or later, we will have to part eternally with our animal friends. Being aware of this reality and as responsible pet parents, we must have a plan on how to give our beloved pets a decent burial and provide them an honorable resting place.


            In the United States, the pet industry is already a big business. Our foreign pet parent counterparts have a wide range of services to choose from when it comes to caring for their pets: from dog walkers and dog parks, to pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. They also have a variety of pet memorial services readily available whenever necessary.


            On the other hand, the Philippine pet care industry is still on its growth stage. In 2013, an increase in the Filipinos’ willingness and ability to spend on pets has been noted by the Euromonitor International – an independent provider of strategic market research. This increase however, is only based on the retail sales of pet food and pet nutritional products and the rise in number of pet friendly areas and events in the country. Pet Memorial Needs, or should we say, Memorial Pet Care, is yet to gain a solid market. 


            The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is one of the very few organizations that offer burial options for pets in the Philippines. A mass grave inside the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) located in Loyola Heights, Quezon City is available for pet owners for a fee of P500.00 up to P1,000.00 as long as the pets did not die of a contagious disease (i.e. parvovirus, distemper). Pet owners are not allowed to put a tombstone on the burial place itself but they can purchase a tile from the memorial wall in remembrance of their deceased pets good for five years with renewable agreement. The mass grave is also not advertised or offered outright to pet owners since it is nearing its capacity limit. PAWS still suggests for pet owners to find a place to bury their pets.


            Filipino pet owners may also opt for a more exclusive and intimate pet burial. A cemetery in Tagaytay offers a complete memorial service for pets. It offers pet cremation from P6,000 to P15,000 depending on the dog’s weight. This excludes burial services and memorabilia like paper weights, photo frames, hand and paw stamps and pendants for pet parents who want to keep a lasting memory of their beloved pets. Though this method of memorial pet care may be a little costly, there are already some pet parents who avail of these services. After all, nothing can be more comforting for pet parents than knowing that their departed pet children are well taken care of.




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