Be careful when choosing to have your pet cremated

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If your pet has recently passed away or is set to pass away in the near future you are likely thinking about what to do when that moment comes. Pets are an incredibly important part of the family and when they pass away we want to honor them in the right way. To some, this means burying them somewhere special. To others, it may mean cremating your pet and keeping their ashes in a safe place. Whatever option you choose you will want to know that you are honoring your fallen friend correctly.

While many people opt to bury their pet in their backyard, this is becoming increasingly difficult and may not be a good idea. According to some leading veterinarians, there are huge risks to other pets in the area. If your pet is put down using an anesthetic it is often done with a drug called pentobarbital. This chemical will remain in the body of your pet for a year after they are buried. Any pet that comes along and happens to dig up the animal will be poisoned and possibly die. Even if a chemical was not used, if your pet died of disease it may contaminate other animals with whatever caused its death. This has happened on a number of occasions already and has led to many veterinarians asking people to stop this approach.

In fact, in many places, it is now illegal to bury your pet in a backyard for environmental concerns. This has led many people to cremate their pets instead. The option is relatively inexpensive, costing around $200 depending on where you get it done. It can also be a nice way to honor your pet as they can present the ashes in beautiful ways after death. To some people having their pet with them in the form of ashes can be very consoling.

However, if you take this option, please check the procedure and approach the crematorium will take care. In most countries, today animal ashes do not have the same rights as human ashes. Ashes are technically waste. While this is sad to hear it can raise huge issues about the process of cremation. When a human passes away and is cremated there are very strict rules about the cremation process to ensure all of the remains are cared for properly. With an animal, this is not the case.

There have been many cases of animals who have been cremated where some of the ashes were not returned or some of the ashes of one pet were mixed with another. There is no legal requirement (in most countries) to cremate animals separately and so you must check carefully how they say they will process the remains. There are many misleading titles used such as ‘private services available’, ‘independent’, and more that would lead you to believe they will be processed on their own. Often this is not the case. In many cases, animals are created together to save on cost or are cremated individually but proper care is not taken in cleaning out the facilities. 

Of late, some members of the community have been asking people to donate their deceased pets to science. While this is an unusual request a lot can be done from animal remains to stop diseases in both animals and humans. If there is no suitable alternative available this does seem like one way to ensure the life of your pet did not end in vain. A pet is an important part of any family and should be treated as such. To have their ashes classified as waste is a terrible wrong that needs to be corrected.