When a pet passes, the owner has various options to choose from regarding how they plan on disposing the body. Some people prefer to bury their faithful companion in the yard or cremate the body; some don’t want the remains afterward and only need a pawprint of the animal. For a lot of owners, they select cremation because it is the easiest, plus there are more ways to memorialize your pet with their ashes.
If this is the decision you want to make for your furry friend, you probably have questions for your vet about the process. Below, you can find a list of possible questions and concerns you might have. However, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to ensure you understand exactly what will happen throughout the process.
Types of Cremation
To begin, you must understand that you can choose three types of cremation for your pet. Your choice could depend on personal preference or how large or small your pet is. Consider your options below before diving into the questions.
Communal cremation is more for the owners that do not necessarily want the pet’s ashes but still want them cremated, or the owner leaves the option up to the vet. Animals are not separated in this process; instead, the ashes mix together. Afterward, the staff may send these ashes to the landfill or scatter them near the facility.
Separate cremation still cremates a group of pets together, but in different reciprocals, so the ashes do not intertwine. This is the cheapest option if you want to keep the animal’s ashes. This works great for smaller cats and dogs because more can be done simultaneously, saving the crematorium resources.
A private cremation means your pet will be the only animal in the incinerator during the process, so you can guarantee that it is only their ashes you are receiving. Owners choose this route for sentimental purposes, or they might not have a choice because their dog is too large to fit with others. Speak with your vet about the options available to you.
Questions To Ask the Vet/Crematory
The following questions will help ease your mind about the cremation process so you can get a glimpse into the procedure and its details. If you do not see a question you want to ask on this list, do not hesitate to broach the subject with your vet. Understanding the process will alleviate some anxiety you could be feeling around the situation.
Can I Spend Time With My Pet Beforehand?
If your companion passes away at the vet, you will be able to spend time with them before they take them away to the crematorium. The staff is typically very accommodating and sensitive to your emotions throughout the process. Spend as much time as you need with your pet and say your goodbyes.
Where Will My Pet Go Before Cremation?
Just as a hospital uses a morgue to preserve bodies, so does a crematorium. To avoid the smells a decomposing body makes, the staff will keep your pet in the cold morgue until they are ready for cremation. Once they are ready, they gently remove your pet and begin the process.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The actual cremation process does not take long at all. Most of the time it depends on how many animals are in the incinerator or how large your pet is. It can take anywhere from one to several hours—it’s a very straightforward and simple process.
Will My Pet Be Taken Care Of?
Do not worry; clinics train their staff to be sensitive and gentle with the animal because it means a great deal to the owner. At Eternity Pet Memorial, we take it very seriously. We can assure you that your dog or cat will receive proper and delicate care when they are cremated at our facility.
How Long Until I Get My Pet Back?
When you receive a service like a cat cremation, a huge question is how long you’ll have to wait until you get the ashes back. The most significant factor affecting the timeline will be where the pet is cremated—typically, the process should not take longer than a week. If it takes longer than that, do not hesitate to contact your vet about questions or concerns.
Not every veterinarian facility has the capacity to cremate their own animals. Many clinics send the animals to a third-party crematory. If this is the case for your companion, it can take longer because they need to receive the animal, cremate them, consult with the vet, and send the ashes back.
How Can They Ensure I’m Receiving My Pet Afterwards?
A significant concern for pet owners is ensuring that you are receiving your pet’s ashes afterwards. The paperwork and documentation involved help staff keep track of each animal. Furthermore, they keep labels on bins throughout the process that identify your companion; some facilities, like ours, issue an official certificate with the ashes to authenticate that it is indeed your dog or cat.
What Will My Pet Be Returned In?
Once the process is over, the ashes will be put in a clear, enclosed plastic baggie. The staff might insert the bag into an urn for further safekeeping upon transport. Each urn will differ from facility to facility. For example, at Eternity Pet Memorial, after your pet is cremated, their ashes are put in our shadow box urn, which can host a picture of them.
What Should I Do With My Pet’s Ashes?
After receiving your pet’s ashes, you may need guidance on what to do with them. The vet or crematorium might have some ideas for you to try or even have customizable memorabilia for you to purchase. Some ideas you could try are scattering the ashes in a location like a hiking trail or making a piece of jewelry from a portion of them—there are many options available on the market.
What other questions do you have for the vet? Ask and voice your concerns throughout the process to ensure your pet receives gentle care. The loss of your faithful friend will be tough, but receiving their ashes upon cremation will give you a sense of closure and a way to memorialize them forever.