Believe it or not, we live in sacred times—really. More than any other folks on the planet, Americans are members of churches and synagogues. And those who are not affiliated with any particular religion very often consider themselves spiritual beings nonetheless.
Two plus two equals four in every sector of commerce, including the pet care marketplace. So, let’s take this simple equation one step further. With increasing numbers of pet owners viewing their companion animals as bona fide members of the family, they are—not surprisingly—welcoming them into the ethereal realm, a place once reserved for those on two legs.
The demographic reality is that there are not very many ordained priests, ministers, and rabbis availing themselves for pet memorial services. This, in turn, opens up jobs for pet ministers. That is, for capable persons who can lead pet-specific memorial services, be they on cemetery grounds or at private residences.
How Much Does It Cost to Forge This Kind of Career? Okay, you are giving serious thought to becoming a pet minister. No, you don’t have to attend a pet divinity school, or any other educational institution for that matter. You don’t have to serve as an apprentice to a religious elder in a particular religious domination. And, fear not, you don’t have to swear allegiance to some kind of pet religious cult—none exists. The bottom line is that you can become a pet minister with minimal monetary investment.
What Qualifications Do You Need for This Kind of Work? Above all else, what you really need to call yourself a pet minister is a kind and empathetic heart, as well as a measure of sophistication. In other words, you should be able to conduct a bereavement ceremony with both eloquence and substance. It would help if you entered this career with first-hand experience in having lost a beloved pet or pets. Being well read and informed on the natural grieving process, as well as on broad spiritual matters, can also go a long way in ensuring that you are a pet minister in demand.
Of course, while you don’t need any special brand of education, sporting a university sheepskin or two—and other pertinent credentials—can only enhance your reputation. For instance, having a degree in anything from psychology to theology will open more doors for you in this unique career province.
How Do You Find Customers? Grieving pet owners are increasingly on the lookout for persons who can say a few words—albeit the right words—at burial ceremonies commemorating the passing of their departed cats, dogs, and other pets. You can fill this niche by offering your services to pet cemetery owners and operators, as well as on an individual basis for private ceremonies.
To showcase your credentials as a pet minister, prepare an attractive-looking brochure, explaining exactly what you can do for your clientele. Make absolutely clear the kinds of things you will say—the quotations you will use, etc.—at memorial services. Also, make it known that you will tailor the service specifically for the deceased. You don’t want to offer the equivalent of a pet memorial service in a box—a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. The reality is that pet owners seeking out pet ministers for memorial services are going to want very unique and wholly special services for their very unique and wholly special animal friends.