While most pet owners choose to bury or cremate their beloved pets, there are other options available. One of these is preservation, handled by a professional animal preservation specialist.
Markus Michalowitz freeze-dries about 80 pets yearly at his Amamoor, Queensland, Australia workshop. He says their owners come from all walks of life but share a deep attachment to their animals.
What to Expect
No matter how much you love your pet, it is a biological fact that he or she will eventually die. Dogs usually only live for 15 years, cats for 10, and some birds may only stick around for 25 years. This is hard to accept, especially when you feel close to the animal and have built a strong bond with it.
But what if there was a way to keep your beloved furry companion alive? Luckily, modern technology has advanced enough that this is now possible. Rather than burying or cremating your loved one, you could preserve him or her with freeze-drying or taxidermy.
Basically, freeze-drying involves removing all the moisture in your pet’s body using extremely low temperatures and a vacuum over an extended period of time. This method preserves the muscles, claws, teeth, and bones for a realistic look. The best part is that this is the least invasive form of pet preservation available.
It also happens to be the most cost-effective. However, the process can take up to a year to complete as each pet is unique. Posing your pet in a sleeping position is recommended for the most natural-looking results.
Traditional taxidermy is a bit more involved but is still popular with many pet owners. The process takes up to four months for small animals and longer for larger ones.
Cloning is another option, although it can be quite expensive. This is achieved by taking a sample of your pet’s DNA. The genetic information is then transferred to an egg cell, which will ultimately create a living, breathing clone of your pet.
While this is an option that is not for everyone, it is a good alternative for those who want to have their pet with them forever. It is also important to note that the human-animal bond goes beyond feelings of sadness and loss. Studies have shown that people with pets experience lower stress levels and depression than those without them. This is why it is so important to cherish your pet while you can.
Preparing Your Pet
Whether you choose to bury or cremate your pet is an entirely personal decision that can affect how you deal with losing your beloved friend. But many pet owners feel that a permanent memorial is the best way to honor their deceased pets, and one option that can be quite popular is to preserve them in freeze-drying.
This process removes all moisture from the body, preserving the skin, muscles, claws, and teeth to produce a lifelike look. It can be used for most animals, from dogs and cats to hamsters and rabbits. It’s important to keep in mind that a freeze-dried pet may not be as light and soft as one that is alive, but it will not break or crumble and will remain in almost exactly the same condition for years to come.
Preparing your pet for preservation is relatively simple and can be done at home. For hygienic reasons, it’s best to do this as soon as possible after your pet passes away. Be sure to wear gloves and clean out where you find the body to avoid contamination. After removing as much of the fluids as possible, wrap the body in a plastic bag (garbage bags work fine) and remove any extra padding, like paper or blankets, before placing it in a freezer.
Another option is to use a taxidermist to preserve your pet, which can be more expensive but will result in a highly detailed and natural-looking result. The main downside to this is that a taxidermist must be able to find or create a form for the animal, which may not always be possible depending on the size and type of pet.
Lastly, cloning is an increasingly common method of pet preservation, but it can be difficult to do and is usually reserved for the most beloved pets. In order to clone your pet, its genetic information must first be preserved and then transferred to an egg cell in a surrogate animal. The process can be extremely stressful for the surrogate animal and the owner, and it is not guaranteed to produce a viable clone of your beloved pet.
Keeping Your Loved One Safe
The loss of a pet is one of the most painful experiences for a dog or cat owner. They invest so much time, love, and care into their beloved pets and often wish they could be with them forever. While there are several options available for pet owners after a pet’s death, many are uncomfortable with cremation or buried memorials and want a more permanent way to remember their deceased friend. This is where freeze-dry pet preservation comes in.
Freeze-drying is a process that involves placing the dead animal in a freezer and leaving it there for a while. This is done so that the body can be preserved without the pet having to be cleaned or moved after death. Once the body has been frozen for a few months, it can be sculpted by a taxidermy expert to make it look as life-like as possible. This includes hiding any scars from stitches or IVs. It also involves posing the animal in a way that looks natural and mimics its normal behavior.
During this process, some owners choose to keep their pet’s favorite toys with their bodies to help them remember them fondly. Others add a small photo of the pet to help them feel closer to their friend. While this method of pet preservation is not as common as burial or cremation, it provides a meaningful way for owners to remember their loved ones and can be a healing experience.
A new trend in pet preservation is to freeze a pet’s body and reconstruct it with a life-like appearance. This is becoming more popular as an alternative to burial or cremation because it allows for a more personalized memorial. It is also less invasive than other methods of pet preservation. A professional pet taxidermist usually performs the process.
Despite the grief that can come with losing a beloved pet, staying positive and remembering the good times you had together is important. It is also essential to take care of the remaining pets in your home and to make sure they are safe from chewers. You should also keep them away from high-humidity areas like laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.
Taking Care of Your Pet
Whether you have your pet preserved, bury them, or have them cremated, saying goodbye to a beloved animal is hard to do. Many owners opt for pet preservation to keep a physical reminder of their beloved friend around. Pet preservation has existed since ancient times when the ancient Egyptians mummified their pets and other animals they revered. This type of preservation was a popular practice during the Victorian era, and it’s coming back in recent times as people look for alternatives to burial or cremation.
A company called Pet Preservation offers freeze-dried pets and traditional taxidermy services for those who want to have a stuffed version of their pets in their home. They have been in business for over 15 years and have preserved dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and even small mammals. According to their website, they can preserve a wide variety of animals and capture each individual personality. Their goal is to preserve the memories of a pet so that their owner can see them anytime they need to.
Preserving a pet can be expensive, especially if it’s a larger breed or exotic animal. Most people who choose to have their pet preserved are not looking for a full-body recreation of their furry loved one but rather something that looks like them. During freeze-drying, a pet is frozen while in a curled-up position. Once the pet is finished, it will be ready to ship overnight to its owner.
If you’re going on vacation and will be leaving your pets with a house or pet sitter, it’s important to leave them with detailed instructions about how to care for them. Ensure you include your contact information, any special dietary needs, and any medication they may need to take while you’re gone. This will make the pet sitter feel more confident, and your pet will be less stressed while you’re away.
Another important part of pet preservation is to keep your pet active while you’re gone. This will help prevent health problems and be a good way to bond with them. If you’re going to be away for more than a day, try to get them outside or into the yard as much as possible.