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Private vs. Communal Pet Cremation

Pet cremation is increasingly common in the civilized world. Some crematories accept pets’ bodies along with human ones.

Cremation is a procedure that involves exposure of a dead body to high temperatures and pulverization, to reduce it to a dust-like substance (ash). It takes from 45 minutes up to two hours to cremate a deceased pet, depending on the body size.

When the procedure is finished, the ash is placed in a sealed receptacle (urn) and returned to the owner. It is up to the owner to decide how to go about the cremains – bury, store, or scatter it.

There are two main types of pet cremation: private and communal.

Private pet cremation

Private cremation means that there is only one dead pet is put in a cremation chamber. The procedure is carried out upon agreement between the crematorium personnel and the pet owner.

This type of cremation has some advantages:

  1. The procedure guarantees a degree of freedom and peace: the owner can spend a bit of time in a quiet room to say his or her final goodbye.
  2. The crematorium personnel may let you stay in the chamber and watch the process. It helps some people to finally come to terms with the loss.
  3. The cremains are returned to the owner, and it is possible to imprint a little memory on the urn, like, for example, a paw print.
  4. As only one body is cremated in a particular chamber, there is no possibility of ash from the body of another pet mingling with that of yours.
  5. You can ask an employee to give you a fur clipping or save a piece of memory in a different way.

Private cremation appears to be the most attractive option. It has just one minus: it is the most expensive one and therefore not affordable for everyone.

Communal pet cremation

Communal pet cremation consists in cremating several bodies in the same chamber. Contrary to private cremation, communal is the cheapest one, which appears to be its biggest (and only?) advantage. Now, let’s see why one should or should not choose this type of cremation.

  1. Since several animals are created in one chamber, ashes will intermingle, and there is no chance to separate those of one pet from another.
  2. For the above reason, ashes are not returned to owners. Most likely, the cremains will be buried in a pet cemetery or scattered on a memorial area.

Other methods: Individual cremation

There is also so called individual (semi-private or partition) cremation. This is something like a cross between private and communal pet cremation: all bodies are cremated in the same room, yet separated from each other by some means, such as clay brick partitions. Some crematoriums provide separate cremation trays. If you choose this method, ashes may be returned to you. However, there is a possibility of mingling. This method is cheaper than private cremation, yet more expensive than communal cremation.

Which method should I choose?

Before choosing a method, you can and should do a little research, contact a service and ask whatever questions you have. Make sure that your final good-bye will leave only positive memories. Also, check with your local law and make sure it is legal in your area.

Dr. Rosen has partnered with Pets Above (www.petsabove.com), an accredited pet crematory that is committed to providing the best in pet aftercare services. As a family owned and operated company, the team at Pets Above understand the importance of dignified, respectful and compassionate aftercare and promise that your pet will be personally handled with the same amount of care and respect that they would show their own pets. If you have any questions about the aftercare process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Rosen.

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