Many pet owners choose pet cremation as a proper send-off for their furry companions' final journey. When the time comes that your pet has to say goodbye, the decision to bury or cremate is a personal decision that you have to make.
If you are looking to have your pet cremated, but don't know where to start, our pet cremation services guide will help answer your questions about the process, costs, and other aspects of the service.
- 1. What are communal pet cremations?
In communal pet cremation, your pet will be cremated together with other animals. During this process, his ashes will be combined with all the other pets.
More often than not, you won't be able to bring only your pet's ashes if you choose this type of pet cremation.
- 2. What is individual pet cremation?
Individual pet cremation service is done by cremating pets individually inside an enclosed chamber. After each cremation process, the ashes will be gathered separately.
Pet parents will be able to take home the remains of their deceased furry friend.
- 3. What is pet water cremation?
This type of pet cremation comes in many names, including flame-less cremation, water reduction, green cremation, and bio-cremation. It is considered as an eco-friendly alternative to the usual pet cremation.
In pet water cremation, alkaline hydrolysis is used to speed up the natural decomposition of the deceased pet. After several hours, you will have the mineral ashes of his bones left. It would take a few days for these remains to dry and be returned to his family.
- 4. Are pet cremations regulated?
The practice of pet cremation is unregulated in the UK. However, the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) serves as an overseer to ensure that the services provided by pet crematories are done honestly and ethically.
The APPCC expects crematories to strictly abide by The Code of Practice and provide reputable and caring service when handling departed pets.
- 5. Are all pet cremations legitimate?
No, not all pet cremation services are the same. Pet cremation is a legitimate practice. However, pet cremations must follow the strict standards set by the APPCC. Crematories must adhere to the rules and operate responsibly and ethically.
Pet owners must be wary of animal cremation scams and pet cremation companies that have subpar services.
We made a to-do checklist below, which you can follow, to aid you in picking out a suitable and trustworthy pet crematory:
- Contact the local veterinary practices in your area and ask what pet crematories they often use.
- Call the pet crematories and enquire about their available services and prices. Take this time to observe their customer service as well.
- Visit the pet crematories and inspect their facilities. Note that some might require scheduled visits. Thus, it is best to call ahead and inform them of your plans.
- Do not go for pet crematories that never allow public viewings. Same goes for those that don't offer witnessed pet cremation services. This is to prevent the risk of mixing up your pet's remains with others.
- 6. How do pet cremations work?
Pet cremation typically has a four-stage process: transport, storage, cremation, and returning the ashes. Let's take a close look at how it is done:
After your pet's passing, he will be transported to the crematory. If your pet passed away in the vet, you could take your pet's body directly to the crematorium.
Alternatively, the vet can arrange the cremation for you. If you choose this option, the vet will keep the pet's body in cold storage until it's picked up by the crematorium. Your pet will most likely be cremated together with many other pets. If your pet passed away at home, contact a trusted crematory in your area.
Whether your pet will be cremated individually or by group is entirely up to you. Check with the vet if you don't have a specific requirement of how your pet will be cremated.
Depending on the crematory practices, you may be asked to deliver your pet to the crematory or arrange for pick-up.
Deceased pets in the vet clinic may have to wait for 1 or 2 days before getting picked up. Your pet will be placed in a cold storage room to keep his body in good condition whilst awaiting collection.
When he arrives in the crematory, he may need to be kept inside cold storage again until the crematory process starts.
Flame-based cremation, which uses high heat between 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius), is used to reduce the departed pet into ashes. Any metal that was in or on your pet will be removed by hand or by using a magnet.
Bone fragments may also be present in his remains. These will be processed and broken down into smaller pieces then added to the ashes. The ashes will be stored inside a plastic bag and placed inside an ash container or an urn.
- Returning of the Ashes
Crematoriums will return your pet's ashes to you. If the vet arranged for the crematorium on your behalf, then it is more likely the ashes will be sent to the vet and you need to pick it up from your vet.
If you reached out directly to the pet crematorium, you could go there directly to collect your pet's ashes.
- 7. How much time does pet cremation take?
The length of the cremation will depend on the size of the pet. Cat cremation and dog cremation that involves small animals will only take 30 minutes to over an hour.
Cremation of larger dogs and horses may take more than two hours to finish.
- 8. Who does the pet cremation?
Cremation technicians are responsible for cremating the animals.
In cities, there are pet crematoriums solely for pets and are separate from human crematoriums. It is not uncommon for veterinarians to be hired by pet crematoriums.
Meanwhile, in small towns, it is possible that human crematoriums also handle the cremation of pets. There are separate areas for pet cremation.
- 9. What do pet cremation ashes look like?
The ashes of your beloved pet may have a colour of pale white or grey. However, if your pet suffered from health problems, the ashes may be of a different colour. The texture may be sand-like powder.
There are many ways to memorialise your pet's ashes. You can turn the ashes into jewellery such as a necklace, ring, pendant, earring, and ring. Or you can scatter his ashes on private or public property. Keep in mind to check local regulations beforehand to ensure that you are not breaking any rules.
- 10. How much is pet cremation?
Pet cremation cost will depend on the type of cremation. If you opt for the communal cremation, the cost ranges from £40 to £100 depending on your pet's size. The cost of individual pet cremation is between £75 and £200, depending on your pet's size.
There may also be additional charges included such as transportation fee which could cost £100 to £150. You may need to pay around £25 for the urn.
If you would like to have a customised urn made to celebrate your beloved pet's life, the price can be as high as £180 depending on the material of the urn and the craftsmanship.