By Managing Editor Courtney Gould Miller, CSO of MKJ Marketing
After years of laughter, companionship, and plenty of sloppy kisses, families form remarkable bonds with their pets.
When a pet dies, it can feel similar to losing a family member. As families grapple with the loss of their beloved pet, they also are unsure how to move forward, wondering what, if anything, they should do to honor their pet’s life.
You can see the need clearly in how people respond in droves to funeral homes hosting educational or support events with a PowerPoint presentation on pet loss, regardless of whether firms offer pet services directly. Sharing pet grief resources with families, such as a brochure or a blog, demonstrates that you care and understand the loss they’re experiencing.
Further, some funeral homes have added pet services, merchandise, and memorialization to their service offerings so they can have an additional touchpoint with their community at a time of loss.
John Williams, co-owner of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory and Venice Memorial Gardens, has provided compassionate care for Florida families mourning pets for years.
“I started to build a connection to the cemetery and wanted to serve more people because they were asking for pet urns, caskets, or mausoleums,” Williams said.
Williams created a one-acre cemetery for pets next to his existing cemetery property. Pet owners can be buried on the other side of an invisible line separating the two properties, meaning they can be buried directly next to their pets.
“One person brought out his bulldog to pick out the space,” Williams said. “His bulldog is now in his spot, and the owner bought the plot right next to him.”
Families have even traveled all the way from Panama to utilize the options the firm provides.
“MKJ did market research and discovered our cemetery could benefit from additional traffic and eyes to our cemetery brand. Pet services and cemetery options accomplished this. We co-branded everything, including the business cards,” Williams said.
“The bonds we create with our pets can be so powerful. Man’s best friend really isn’t just about dogs, but about any animal companion that brings us joy and unconditional love,” said Valery Bayliff Fultz in a video promoting the service.
Are you already offering pet services at your funeral home? Here’s what you can do to make sure your community is aware:
- Have a designated page on your website (or maybe even its own website) so users can easily find and learn more about your services.
- Promote your services on your social media pages and blog. Share the stories of the families that you’ve helped.
- Offer aftercare resources for families, perhaps by holding an annual pet memorial service that pet owners can attend to honor the life of their furry friend.
- Host an educational event for families, perhaps utilizing a PowerPoint presentation and handing out brochures that they can take home with them.