Pet Crematorium Services – Questions To Ask

Our pets are precious members of our families, filling our lives with so much joy and love. Losing them is devastating, and dealing with the grief is a traumatic experience. When it comes time to deal with your pets body, knowing your options will help you cope with the decisions you need to make.

You will have to face the hard decision of whether to bury your pet or have your pet cremated. If you chose to go with cremation I would like to help you chose the right crematorium for you by explaining what you should be looking for from pet crematorium services.

Preserving Your Pet While You Make A Decision

Firstly if you have lost your pet tragically or unexpectedly you do not need to panic. Placing your pets body in a thick plastic bag, well sealed, and then into the freezer, will help to preserve their body for a short period while you make the decision on which crematorium you would like to use.

If you have had your pet euthanized ask your vet if they will be able to keep your pets body in their refrigeration units until you can contact a pet crematorium.

Finding A Suitable Crematorium

The next thing you will need to do is look up animal crematoriums in your area. You do not want to have to travel too far if you intend going to the crematorium. I would suggest trying to contact at least three different crematoriums to get a feel of which one will better suit you. They can vary in pricing and the service offered. I know this is an emotional time, but if you are able to take the time to do a small amount of research, you should not have any regrets about your decision after your pet has been cremated.

You can search for pet crematoriums online, through your local white pages, or speak to your veterinarian. The majority of veterinarians will have a pet crematorium they have used or recommend.

Pet Cremation Services

Once you have a list of pet crematoriums, or even just the name of one, here is my list of questions you should ask to determine the quality of the crematorium and if they feel like a place you will be confident to entrust with your pet.

General Information About The Crematorium

I would suggest starting with some general questions about the crematorium, Ask how long they have been in operation? Is the crematorium for pets only? Do they have a website or Facebook page you can look at, and if so are there any customer reviews? If they do take your time to look through their website and to read the reviews.

Information On Their Service

The next information you want to find out is, if you need it, will they come to your home or the veterinary practice, if your pet is there, to collect your pet? If they offer this service, how will your pet be treated? To give you an idea of what you should expect, when I was in the pet cremation business, this is how I would collect someones precious fur baby. I would arrive in my vehicle, dressed in uniform. I was on 24 hours call out, and would do everything in my power to respond to a call within the hour. Depending on the size of the pet I was collecting I would carry in a basket with me, with a white blanket. I would place the pet in the basket and cover it’s body. If the pet was larger I had a hospital size bed I could wheel in, again with a white blanket to cover the pet. I would spend some time with the family to help them cope with their grief, and to give them a chance to trust me, that I was going to treat their pet with respect.

If you do not require your pet to be collected from your home, ask when your pet will be picked up from the veterinarian. You should also ask if you have the option to bring your pet to the crematorium yourself if you think you may want to do this.

What Does The Actual Cremation Process Entail?

Do not feel uncomfortable asking about the cremation process. If you do not want to do this you may prefer to read my post on the cremation process.

Essentially you should have two options. Firstly the choice to have your pet cremated individually, this way you are guaranteed that it is your pets cremains that will be returned to you. This is the more expensive option at most crematoriums.

The second option is a mass cremation, where a number of pets are cremated together, and while most crematoriums will try to return as much of your pets cremains as possible to you there is no guarantee that there will not be ashes from other pets mixed in with your pet. This is the less expensive option.

Returning Your Pet Home

Once you have decided on the cremation option you will want to ask about the options to receive your pets cremains. Most crematoriums will have a number of different options to choose from. You normally have the choice to have the cremains scattered in their pet garden if they have one, or you can have your pets cremains returned in a simple plain box. From there the options expand to include different urns and memorials that your pet can be returned in.

image of cremation dog urn for review

If you want to have a special urn or memorial for your pet but find this too expensive, or you simply do not like the choice of urns they are offering, you have a flexibility to buy your own urn or memorial when you are ready, and this will probably be at a reduced cost. I have done a number of reviews on unique urns in a range of prices and styles. Another option is to capture the spirit of your pet by having their cremains formed into a diamond, you can find out more details on this incredible service here.

Extra Services

Some crematoriums may offer a range of extra services. These may include a private memorial service at the crematorium, viewing of the cremation. Most crematoriums will offer to do a paw print for you, or take a lock of fur, or a feather. They may also give you a certificate.

If you are having a small pet cremated, say a rat or guinea pig, find out how the crematorium goes about this in order to not lose your pets cremains. Some crematoriums will cremate what is termed ‘pocket pets’ in a tin.

Cost of the Cremation Service

You will obviously need to discuss the cost of the service your require. Please be sure you know what is included. If you have pet insurance you may want to find out if it includes cremation fees.

If finances are tight, simply having your pet cremated is inexpensive and you have the option on how to deal with your pets cremains at a later stage.

Making A Choice

My advice to you would be to take your time and find out as much about the crematorium as you need to. The most important thing to me is to establish that your pet will be treated with love, respect and dignity.

I will leave you with this quote by James Cromwell – “Pets are humanizing, they remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.”

Sending you pet hugs

 

Denise

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12 Replies to “Pet Crematorium Services – Questions To Ask”

  1. Thank you for this detailed insights. I own 2dogs and one of them is very old. Though I do have an insurance on them but I am not sure it covers any crematorium service but then, I’m not looking forward to their demise. But if that was to happen, I think I’d go for the private cremation for my dogs.

    1. Hi, and thank you for your comment.  The problem with loving our pets is we often have to accept that they age and we may need to make a very hard call on their health.  I hope you have a number of healthy years ahead of you with your dogs.  I have in the last 2 months lost my two 17 year old cats, and it is not easy to deal with. 

      If your insurance covers cremation it would be outlined, this is still a fairly new clause in insurance policies. 

      As I noted in my article private cremation gives you the satisfaction of knowing it is your pet you have brought home, this can be very comforting.

      Sending you pet hugs, and I sincerely hope you are not faced with this hard decision for a number of years to come.  Denise.

  2. Hi Denise,

    I had not thought about a pet crematorium until I read your article. Now that I think about it, it does make sense. I have often seen human crematoriums during my travels, but I have never seen a pet crematorium. 

    Whenever my pets passed away, they would be put into a makeshift coffin and buried in the garden. As kids, we would have a little ceremony. It wouldn’t be long before we would ask our parents, can we have another ‘Biff’. Our dogs we always boxers, and we always called them ‘Biff’.

    Many thanks for your informative article. It is a subject I had never given much thought. Are their things I should consider for pet burials?

    Kind regards,
    Paul.

    1. Hi Paul, thank you for your comment, children need to have a ceremony of some form when a pet dies, it helps with closure. 

      How many ‘Biff’s” did you end up having as a child, by the way, boxers are great dogs. 

      For a pet burial the main thing to consider is if it is legal in your state to bury a pet, once this has been clarified you need to ensure you have the space to dig a deep enough hole for the pet to be buried in.  People often underestimate the size of the hole that is required.  The other factor is that if you move, your pet’s remains stay behind, not always a satisfactory outcome for some people. 

      The reason you have probably not noticed pet crematoriums is they pretty much look the same, only they are dedicated to only cremating animals. 

      If you have any further questions please leave a comment, pet hugs Denise.

  3. Well thank you for the well-written article (and pet hugs). This is very helpful because my uncle just lost his 12-year old fury buddy due to some illness. He kept the body in the vet’s refrigerator unit, but he was told that the burial decision must be made within one week. Due to your article here, I can forward to him some of possible questions to ask when he finally decides to cremate his buddy. But maybe, do you know any advantage of pet cremation compared to burial? Thank you.

    1. Hi firstly please pass my condolences on to your uncle, losing a pet you have loved for 12 years is never easy.  I am pleased he had the option to leave his buddy at the vet while he comes to terms with how to take the next step.  Deciding between burial and cremation can be difficult.  Burial requires having the space to bury a pet, plus having to dig a deep hole.  There is also the downside that if you leave you are not able to take your pet with you.  However, a number of people find cremation easier to deal with and it is often, surprisingly a less expensive and far easier choice to make. I have left you the link here to a blog I wrote on how to make the decision on what to do with your pet’s earthly remains, your uncle may find this of use.  Sending both you and him pet hugs.

      Denise

  4. We have lost count of the number of pets we have had over the years. When they first passed away, we buried the whole body in our back yard. It was like a pet cemetery. Later we decided on cremation. I liked your advice on how to freeze your pet while deciding what crematorium to use.

    Sadly, our finances were tough so we opted for a low cost option. We got our pets remains back in a nice looking box with a cloth cover. We never thought about selecting any particular crematorium. We let our vet take care of that. 

    In future I shall refer to your article when the time comes to decide in the future. We have four cats and three dogs. I feel they will outlive me so I may not have to face that problem. 

    1. Hello Edwin, thank you for commenting, it is great to hear from another pet lover, though like you I have had to bury too many pets over the years.  Four cats and three dogs, that must be one happy house! 

      Pet crematoriums are growing in popularity, and most offer a great service, but like in any industry, there are always unscrupulous businesses, so it is worth asking some questions. 

      Most of us have budget constraints, here is a review of great but not so expensive pet memorials I wrote, which may be of interest to you.

      I believe both you and your pets will have many more happy years together, sending you pet hugs, Denise.

  5. I thought it was interesting when you mentioned that each crematorium will have different options for you to choose from on how you want to return your pet home. It’s easy to imagine that losing a pet for many people is like losing a family member. I think that families shouldn’t be judged on if they decide the best way to honor the memory of their pet is through cremation.

    1. Hi Dennis, thank you for your comment. Yes I agree with you, we have to bring our pets home in a manner that suits us both emotionally and financially. I see you are with a Funeral Home, it is incredible to look after someone’s pets once they have passed over. Thank you for your comment, pet hugs, Denise.

  6. I think that it would definitely be better to have the single cremation done for your pet. I would want to make sure that I have my pet’s ashes and not someone else’s. If I decide to have my dog cremated when he dies, I’ll have to make sure to go with that option.

    1. Hi Tyler thank you for your thoughts on this matter. Unfortunately not everyone can afford single cremation, so this is at least a way of having your pet cremated. It is great to have choices. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Have a great day Denise.

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