Losing a pet could be akin to losing a family member or close friend.
Dogs are especially hard to lose as their unwavering loyalty, hyperactivity, and positive attitude make them a deep-seated fixture in their owners’ lives.
Unfortunately, many dog lovers have to outlive several dogs in their lifetime.
When this happens, pet owners should take some steps to properly mourn their loss and acknowledge it.
For this, they may want to consider a proper send-off for their canine friend.
Along with a funeral, many bereaved families may want their dog to be either buried or cremated.
Animal cremation could be a way of keeping your pet close to you even in death.
Each option comes with its pros and cons, and the best choice changes according to the specific situation.
However, before you go online and type ‘animal cremation near me,’ below are a few things you should consider.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a pet, but knowing what to ask about its aftercare services can give you a lot of closure.
Range of Services
If there is a service handy that could cremate your dog for you, check out its reviews online. Visit the place beforehand and ask around to see if anyone you know has experienced its services first-hand. Honest reviews and your own instinct would tell you if these are the right people to be handling your dog’s body for the last time.
What you want to look for is a service that gives room to your family for saying goodbye in a proper manner. You may also want to ask about any memorial services that could let every friend of your dog have a part in cherishing its memories.
Losing a pet dog is no small deal. Many dog owners can find themselves coming out of depression when they finally get a canine companion of their own. When their dog passes away, they may retreat to their depressive shell and become worse than ever. Children may be especially traumatized at the death of their once-active friend. In fact, it may be their first experience with mortality.
These are just a few reasons why you may want to go for an animal cremation service that would also offer some grief counseling afterwards. Having someone understanding to talk to and walk you through the grief process could make a world of difference.
Types of Cremation
Many may not know that there isn’t just one kind of cremation. Animal cremation services usually offer no less than three choices: communal cremation, individual cremation, and private cremation.
The names of these choices are pretty self-explanatory. Communal cremation involves several deceased pets being cremated together. The resulting ashes are then scattered on an area that would be decided upon beforehand.
With individual cremation, the dog’s ashes would be cremated separately. This way, the family could take their own pet’s ashes home and keep them in an urn if they so wish. The pets would be in the same cremation unit but would be kept separated.
A private cremation ensures that the dog’s body has its own cremation unit. The last two choices make sure that the family gets their pet’s ashes back. They may then opt for personalized urns stamped with the pet’s paw print or even shaped to resemble the dog itself. There may also be other options such as compressing the ashes into a diamond or inside tiny vials to be worn around the neck.
Choosing a Service
Whichever kind of cremation you use would depend on what you want to do with the ashes and your own budget. Communal cremations are the cheapest of all, so you might want to go with this one if you’ve already spent a lot on your dog’s illness. On the other hand, you may want to get your dog’s ashes back to have a memento to remember them by. This would cost you a little extra, but it would probably be worth it.
The Vet Factor
Most veterinarians who perform euthanasia on a dog won’t be cremating it themselves. Cremation involves a whole another procedure, which means that animal cremation is usually outsourced to a cemetery or undertaker services.
You may or may not want to go with the company your vet recommends or is affiliated with. There is a choice, so you can conduct your own research and get some feedback on whichever service you think is best. You may also choose a service based on your budget. Remember, cremation services usually cost around $200-$400, which is no small amount.
You want to make sure that the pet cremation service you choose is actually licensed to do the job. The last thing you want is your beloved dog’s body to be handled poorly or not getting the right ashes. This is why it’s important to ask for a copy of the service’s state license.
The organizations that pet cremation services are usually affiliated with include names like Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, the Cremation Association of North America, and International Cemetery. If any one of these or other well-known names are mentioned in the service’s license or brochure, you may relax and count on them. Being a member in any of these organizations is a sign that the service is committed to high industry standards for the handling and cremation of pets.
Finding out that you got the ashes of the wrong pet could be severely traumatizing. Hence, you may want to ask and ensure that the animal cremation service provides a tracking system for each pet it handles.
This tracking system is usually a sturdy tag that has a unique code/number. If the service doesn’t have anything like this in place, it should raise a lot of red flags for you. If you don’t have any other service to fall back on, you may want to insist on being present at the cremation in order to avoid any unfortunate mix-ups.