It’s challenging and sad for you to accept the death of your hamster. Being the best pals with your hamster may be the greatest thing in the world until they cross the rainbow bridge, and then it becomes the saddest thing in the world.
Hamsters only live between 2-4 years, or even earlier if they were unethically bred. Whether they succumb to a disease, die of old age, or put by vets to sleep, it’s never easy. It is utterly heartbreaking.
It can also be a confusing time – what do you do when it’s time to say your goodbyes? How to bury a hamster properly? There are two options, and it’s either burial or cremation. Burial is a practical option and an excellent way to give yourself a moment to say goodbye properly to your lost furry one. While cremation doesn’t have much hassle and the most go-to-choice for most hamster owners. You can schedule it with a vet. Although there might be a waiting time, it shouldn’t pose a problem.
However, after you’ve confirmed your hamster passes away, we recommend you go through the process. If you have a young child who grew fond of the hamster, it’s an excellent time to sit with them and explain about death and, most importantly, how to correctly say their farewell.
This article is just for you. We created it as a means to extend a steady hand to all grieving hamster owners, to act as a guide as you go about getting ready on your hamster’s final hours.
HOW TO BURY A HAMSTER
We don’t simply share a space with our pets. They are a part of our family to whom we share a home and lots of memories. And when a beloved member of our family leaves early before us, we mourn as they go.
I’ll be frank. It was not a shock for me when my hamster Morty died. He was well over 2 years and 6 months old from the time I took him home. Morty was already starting to slow down. He breathes as if he’s losing air. He moves weakly, and his appearance gets frail. It was also reassuring to see that he has not suffered, and he died peacefully in his sleep, as heartbreaking as it was.
Prepare for the Hamster Burial
Preparing for a hamster burial can be as simple as saying a few words or as elaborate as a human funeral. Some owners design the box with hamsters’ memorabilia with a lovely matching message.
What’s perfect will depend on your personal preference. However, the best way to bury a hamster is to bury them in a standard box container because animals can scavenge and eat them. You don’t want that for your beloved pet, so instead, buy a biodegradable pet casket. And for environmental reasons, make sure that any embellishment to your hamster casket is biodegradable.
Hold a funeral
You have different options for holding a hamster’s funeral. Depending on the regulations in your area, you can hold a simple backyard ceremony. You can also call for a pet funeral home service. For a fee, you can have your pet burial and cremation service. They also provide caskets, urns, and gravestones designed especially for small pets. Funeral homes are crewed by folks who understand that a pet’s death can hurt as much as the passing of a close relative or friend.
To make the event more meaningful, consider inviting people that play a significant part in your pet’s time of life. Think of one of your pet’s favourite places and choose that as the location (if legally possible). Was it under the tree outside your backyard, the spot where you usually put the hamster playpen? Hold the funeral service on that spot.
You can look for readings or prayers and eulogies online or simply create or own. Perhaps a fun story you shared, or the day you brought your hamster home, whatever you feel like. You can even add things like candles, animal-themed foods, and flowers surrounding the missed furry one.
Choosing a Graveyard/Ethical Disposal Method
How to bury a hamster correctly or legally? The first thing you should do to dispose of your dead hamster is to comply with burial regulations. In some cities, health protocols mandate burial so that the left remains do not spread disease. If you’re in a town that pet burial is legal, you must check for this to follow a strict regulation or process.
Dug the grave three feet deep. If you make the grave too shallow, you risk the chance of wild animal digging the grave and making a mess. Others require four feet deep, and the body has to be blanketed by lime. Try putting rocks or paving stones on top of the pit to ensure birds or other animals don’t cause a disturbance. But make sure to buy biodegradable material to bury your pet. One last thing, the burial site should be away from any sources of water.
If, in any case, you find it impossible to find a graveyard. Perhaps it’s not allowed in your city, or you don’t have a backyard, you can try an alternative method. The potting method uses the same procedure, but instead of burying a hamster in your garden, you dug a pit in a wide pot and place your hamster (either their body or cremated ashes and plant a flower any plant on top.
Placing the pot around the garden or by your window sill is a lovely way to bury your pal and hopefully some closure to aid you. If you are worried about decomposition, you can place the pot in the garden or balcony for 1-2 months before bringing it inside your home. Make sure to put some stones so there won’t be any disturbances from animals and birds.
ALSO READ: If your hamster has a favourite plant, you can perhaps choose that as a marker
It will take 15-30 minutes before Rigor Mortis starts to set in after your hamster dies. Therefore, if you plan a garden burial, you have to keep the body cold by placing it in a sealed plastic bag or container box and a freezer while planning a funeral or a burial. However, you should make sure to start burying a hamster within 24 hours.
Hamster starts to biodegrade quickly, especially during the summer months; you may want to keep the body frozen. Likewise, if you are from a cold place and the ground is frozen due to snow, you can wrap him in some tissues inside a Ziplock, then a box that you lock tightly, and put them in the freezer until the ground starts to thaw.
Cremation is a good alternative if you do not want to bury your hamster. Right after your hamster passes away, call the vet or contact your nearest pet cemetery and seek help for a cremation service. You can buy your own urn or make a personalised one.
You can either keep this urn, bury it, or scatter it somewhere where it’s allowed. It is essential to consider that cremation is generally more expensive than the other type of burial.
Pet cemetery and creation might not be available in all countries, but it’s worth it to check out this option. Having a pet funeral in a pet cemetery can be a relief to the loss of a pet. The process of having a memorial service can ease the worries, particularly for your kid. It’s also wise to consider having your entire family gather around to make preparations and arrangements.
There is no wrong way on how to bury a hamster, there are no rules in how you wish to design a pet funeral or a memorials service. People have memorialised their beloved pets since the old times, and there are common elements pet owners include.
Marker for the Gravesite
Markers for the gravesite could be a small wooden sign with the hamster’s name, birthday, passing date, or it could be a simple flower on top, pretty stones. It’s good to add these little tokens to keep you and your family reminded that a beloved hamster lies there.
Burial or cremation is the last act of love that you can offer to your furry pet. This can be a closure with actually being able to say your farewells one last time. Whatever you choose, home burial, pet cemetery burial, or through a pet crematory, this shows you’ve wanted to treat your hamster with the same love you once did before crossing the rainbow bridge.
Feeling blue after your hamster passes away is entirely normal. That’s why a burial, funeral, and cremation at home or at a pet cemetery is an excellent option to cherish the last moment of your hamster. Holding even the slightest effort for a ceremony shows you treasure the time you spent together.
I hope that this guide on how to bury a hamster has been useful for you. If you have others ways to properly say goodbye to a hamster and want to share them, feel free to leave us a comment below.