Understanding Cremation

Posted: Apr 29, 2019
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If you are a pet owner whose pet is in failing health, or if you have sadly experienced the recent passing of a pet, the following information may help guide you through this difficult period with knowledge, understanding and peace of mind. This information can also be shared with clients if they are searching for aftercare options.


Pet loss, whether anticipated or sudden, is a heart-breaking event. Pet owners facing the loss of their pet are often overwhelmed- finding themselves unprepared to make a quick and clear decision regarding disposition of their beloved companion. Just as we pay tribute to human loved ones, pet owners understandably feel they deserve similar options for a much-loved pet.

Today, many pet owners opt for cremation since it both provides a way to keep your pet near you and allows you to bury or scatter some or all of your pet’s ashes in your yard and/or favorite places you both enjoyed. Many families choose pet cremation in order to keep their pet’s memorial with them if they move. If you are like many pet owners, you have probably heard about pet cremation but you may still have some questions about the process.

Cremation involves the incineration of the body in a specially designed crematory, thus reducing the remains to bone fragments. Cremated remains are usually light in color, but can have other colors due to temperature variations, minerals or items placed with the animal prior to cremation. Special care is taken to remove the cremated remains. The crematory operator has special tools for this part of the process. After the cremated remains have cooled, anything metal is removed using a magnet. The cremated remains are then processed in a canister with a blade at the bottom to create a more ash-like appearance.

It is important to know that there are several options that exist within pet cremation. Here at DoveLewis, we use a cremation service called Dignified Pet Services, but there are many options out there that you can offer to your clients. While there are many organizations that vary depending on your location, often the services themselves are comparable.

  • Private Cremation: Your pet is placed in the cremation chamber. Upon completion of the cremation, your pet’s cremated remains are removed from the chamber, processed and returned to you. This option allows you to continue to keep your pet with you, regardless of where the future may take you. Often times the remains will be delivered back to the hospital for the client to pick up.
  • Witness Cremation: Similar to a Private Cremation, but the pet owner, friends and family are permitted to be present during the cremation. This is an option that many families take part in after they have lost a pet, such as their first dog or cat. Talking to kids about death is a difficult topic, but involving them in the process can help start the healing process.
  • Communal (Mass) Cremation: With this alternative your pet is cremated along with a number of other pets, and the cremated remains cannot be separated. No urn or cremated remains are returned to the pet owner.

A client may have many questions about the specific services that your clinic offers, and it’s important to remember that they may need time to make a decision. By giving them information to review in your clinic or take home and discuss with their family, they will be able to make a decision that they feel good about forever.