For several reasons, the majority of pets are cremated today. First, in many urban communities, ordinances or space prohibit owners from burying their pets in the backyard. Now, cremation is an affordable and simple option that did not exist in the past. Finally, with our society becoming more mobile, choosing cremation gives you the ability to take your pet’s cremated remains with you if you move to another home. This trend of cremation becoming the preferred method of disposition also is common to the human funeral business, where it is predicted that more than 50% of all human deaths will involve cremation as soon as 2025. Thus, you are making the right choice by selecting a funeral home that specializes in pet cremations.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the process whereby your pet’s body is reduced to bone particles and ash through the application of intense heat (usually 14001800 degrees Fahrenheit). This part of the process can take between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of your pet and if they are in a special pet casket or cremation container. Following a sufficient period of cool down, the bone particles and ash are retrieved from the cremation equipment and then processed into a fine, consistent granular quality. The fine granular matter is placed in the urn and returned to you for final memorialization.
Can my veterinarian help me with cremation for my pet?
Yes. People typically chose veterinarians for their heroic life prolonging or sustaining capabilities. Though many veterinarians have some knowledge of the cremation process, this is not their specialty. However, by using your local trusted funeral director to handle your pet cremation, you can rest assured that you are getting a professional who has been highly trained with much experience when it comes to cremation. Although your veterinarian has been a trusted advisor to you when it comes to your pet’s good health, it only makes sense to seek out the professional assistance of local funeral director when it comes to his or her death care needs.
Do I have to purchase a casket for my pet’s cremation?
No. Often family members will wrap their pet in a favorite blanket or some other personal article of meaning to the pet or family members.
Are all pet crematories alike?
No. Most states do not regulate pet crematories. Thus, the quality of facilities, services, and staff can vary widely. What most pet owners don’t realize is that the majority of pet cremation providers are not even located in their community. We operate our own local crematory.
How long after my pet’s death will it take to receive the urn?
Since we are local funeral directors, we guarantee a quick response when your pet dies, either at your home or vet clinic. We always respond immediately and take your pet into our care right away. This means we are able to return cremains within 48 hours. This is not the same timeline for the standard pet cremation providers. Most of these providers are located far away, which means, though not by choice, your veterinarian will have to hold your pet at his or her facility for as long as a week until the standard cremation provider makes its next scheduled visit to your community. Then, it may be another week before the urn is ready for you to pick up.
What if my pet dies at home or when my veterinarian is closed?
As a local funeral home providing pet loss services, we always have professional staff “on call” 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Our funeral professionals realize that death comes at all hours on any given day. Thus, we are ready to respond immediately to take your pet into our care whenever you may need our services. Never hesitate to call on us, irrespective of the day or hour.
Is there only one type of pet cremation?
Unlike the human cremation industry, there is very little or no regulations when it comes to pet cremations. Thus, different providers might be using the same terminology but for different types of cremation services. Basically, there are two types of pet cremations.
A “private” cremation is one where your pet is the only pet in the equipment during the cremation process. This is the only option that ensures the cremated remains you receive are those of your beloved pet.
A “communal or disposal” cremation is one where the cremation equipment is filled to capacity with pets and all of their cremated remains are commingled as a result. With this type of cremation, it is impossible for the provider to return your pet’s cremated remains to you.
Because of the lack of regulation, it is important for you to ask your pet cremation provider what they mean when they use terms such as “private cremation” or “individual cremation”.
Since there is very little regulation in the pet cremation industry, what should I be doing to make sure that my pet is being treated with respect and dignity?
We advise that you ask your veterinarian, or the cremation provider directly if possible, three very important questions:
Where is the crematory located? As mentioned above, most families are shocked to learn that their pet is going to be transported several hundred miles away.
When will my pet be cremated and then be ready for pickup? Many are shocked to learn that their beloved pet is going to be held in a freezer at the vet’s facility for up to a week before being picked up by the cremation provider. Then, it will be another week before their pet’s cremated remains are ready for pickup.
When can I come and inspect it? You can learn a lot about the cremation provider by not only inspecting their facilities, if possible, but even by how they respond to your request. Please note: We are an open facility and welcome your request to inspect our premises.
How do I know I am going to get back my pet’s cremated remains?
Most pet cremation providers do nothing to answer this oft-asked question. However, as a funeral professional, we use a pet tracking system, which entails the same procedures we use for our human cremations. By using this system, we can provide you with absolute proof that you are receiving back your pet’s cremated remains. Furthermore, if you desire, we can facilitate arrangements for you to be present at your pet’s cremation for the ultimate peace of mind.
Do most pet owners choose a “private” or “communal” cremation?
Just as cremation has gained in popularity over the past two decades, the preference has changed here as well. Fifteen years ago, only about one in four pet families chose “private cremation,” as most chose not to receive back their pet’s cremated remains. Today, that ratio has flipped, as research indicates about 70% of all pet families choosing cremation want their pet’s cremated remains back.
How much does cremation cost?
We offer special packages depending on your preferred type of cremation. Please call one of our affiliated pet loss professionals who can give you specific pricing and answer any other questions you might have.
Is an urn required and where do I get one?
Many pet cremation providers return the pet’s cremated remains in a temporary container, often a tin can or cardboard box. However, as a funeral profession, we understand the dignity your pet’s cremated remains deserve. Accordingly, we use a very simple, yet dignified urn in all of our cremation offerings. Additionally, many families choose to upgrade to an urn that speaks of their pet’s life. We offer an assortment of memorial urns, jewelry, garden stones, and other products. Visit our online Pet Remembrance Store at your convenience.