by Dachary Carey
Losing a pet is never easy. Whether you’re saying goodbye to a child’s first dog, or bidding farewell to a longtime feline companion, dealing with the death of a pet is difficult enough without worrying about the practical arrangements surrounding such an event. A common method for bidding farewell to these beloved family members is pet cremation. As human cremation has grown in popularity, so to has pet cremation. Pet cremation offers an affordable, loving tribute to longtime companions, and provides a way to keep the remains close and keep the memory alive long past the lifetime of these special companions.
How Does Pet Cremation Differ from Traditional Cremation?
One of the biggest differences between pet cremation and traditional human cremation is the availability of communal cremation. Some families choose private cremation for their pets, and the pet is cremated individually so the remains can be returned to the family for memorialization. Others choose communal cremation, an affordable option for families who don’t want to inter their pets’ remains in an urn or other keepsake at home.
Group or communal cremation entails the simultaneous cremation of a group of pets, and often concludes in group burial or the donation of ashes to local farm properties or gardens for eco-friendly purposes. This is a good option for families who want affordable pet cremation, and like the idea of their beloved companion returning to the earth and helping to nurture new life.
Making Arrangements for Pet Cremation
Families can make arrangements for pet cremation in a few different ways. A common way to set up pet cremation is through a veterinarian. If the family vet is treating a pet at the time of his death, or if a family veterinarian must euthanize the pet, pet cremation is a service the vet typically offers at this time. Alternately, if a pet isn’t currently under treatment but has died in the home or as a result of an accident, many veterinarians offer a service where families bring the pet’s remains to the practice, and set up cremation through the office.
In other cases, families make arrangements directly with a pet crematory. When selecting a pet crematory directly, people should search for a trusted partner with a good reputation. Some pet crematories offer certification and human grade services so that families can be sure a pet’s remains are being treated humanely and appropriately. When families want private cremation, individual cremation or priority cremation for their pets, these arrangements must typically be made directly with a pet crematory.
Pet Urns for These Beloved Family Members
For many, pets are beloved family members, and families like to keep the remains of these pets in a decorative pet urn or other keepsake urn. The average pet creates between one and five pounds of cremated remains, so a small pet urn is sufficient for most pets. Pet urns range anywhere from $20 to $400, and may consist of a traditional vase style urn, or a more decorative pet figurine urn. Families select the type of urn that is most consistent with the way in which they want to memorialize their pet.
Ultimately, pet cremation is an affordable and viable way for families to deal with the loss of longtime companions. The right pet cremation depends on the circumstances of death, the budget and the provider that the family selects.