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by Veronique Fournier November 11, 2019 5 min read
Whether your companion is a dog, a cat, a rat or a horse, several options are available to you to honor your pet following its death.
Firstly, if you just lost a loved one, I'm sorry. The fact that your companion is an animal does not make your loss less real. I lost my pet rats (yes, you read that correctly) a few years ago and it was truly painful. My thoughts are with you.
Let's take a look now at how to honor the life of your little animals by considering the different options available to you.
During the cremation process, the body of the deceased animal will be placed in a cremation chamber and subjected to temperatures ranging from 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the weight, this process can take up to a few hours.
Heat and steam reduce the organic matter to dried dust and bone, which is then crushed to form sand-like ashes.
You can choose from the following options if you want to use this service:
During a private cremation, only one animal is placed in the cremation chamber. The ashes produced are therefore strictly those of the animal in question. This is the option to choose if you want to receive your pet’s ashes.
During a communal cremation, several animals are placed in the chamber at the same time. You might choose this option for ecological or economic reasons.
This option is not offered by all companies, but is a good alternative when available. Several animals are placed in the chamber at the same time, but are isolated from one another by a separator. The ashes produced are therefore separated at the end of the process and it is possible to recover them.
The price of cremation varies depending on the option that you choose and the weight of your pet. Private cremation with the return of ashes is more expensive than a communal cremation.
For a pet, it's about $50 to $350 depending on the cremation company. For a horse, the amount to be expected is higher, and can reach a few thousand dollars.
This does not include any costs related to euthanasia.
This service, offered through your veterinarian, can save you the hassle of burying.
In fact, if you choose burial, you should know that the body must be placed where it is inaccessible to wild animals, especially if the animal has been euthanized. A burial that does not meet the necessary standards can attract wildlife on your land and expose them to the toxic product used during the euthanasia of your animal.
Each city has different regulations regarding the burial of pets. You should consult them if this option is the desired one. You should also know that there are cemeteries for animals. Doing business with them could simplify the process.
Cremation remains, in my opinion, the simplest solution because generally, the veterinary team takes care of everything that is necessary. You just need tell them your cremation choices and mention to them if you would like a memento item as well. They will take care of the body after euthanasia and will be happy to contact the company for you.
Yes. Most companies offer this service. They usually have a room reserved for this purpose. Some people feel that attending the cremation helps them with the grieving process.
Many people opt for the distribution of ashes at a location that is significant to the animal. You should also make sure that your municipality authorizes it.
Some people may see environmental concerns with this or prefer to keep the ashes of their pets near to them. In this case, they may prefer to choose one of the following alternatives instead.
At the veterinary clinic where I worked, when a client chooses a private cremation for their pet, the cremation company provides a standard wooden urn to accompany the ashes. In addition, the customer also has the choice to browse a catalog with different urns offered by the cremation company if they want to pay extra for a more personalized urn.
Some people may then decide to bury the urn or ashes of their animal. Cremation companies often also offer customized gravestones in their catalog.
Many companies also offer some jewelry that can contain the ashes of your pet. This is an interesting alternative where you can keep your pet with you at all times.
The paw of the deceased animal is delicately pressed on a clay disc. The result is sent to the cremation company who cook the clay and produce a magnificent souvenir in the color of your choice. This is a very popular option as you can customize it how you like.
A discussion with your vet will guide you to the right choice for the comfort of your pet. This decision is always very difficult to take, and you will not be alone. Once the time has come, you will go to the vet with your furry friend's bed, blanket, favorite toy and treats, and really anything that could make its final moments happy.
Each vet has their own euthanasia protocol. Generally, lethal injection is an overdose of anesthetic. First and foremost, the veterinary team will place a catheter in your pet's paw to ensure fast and painless intravenous access.
Some veterinarians believe that the administration of a sedative may be appropriate before the final injection, the goal being that the animal leaves in peace.
Then the lethal injection is given and its effect is fast. The animal will give its last breath in peace.
If your pet is the sort that hates the vet, some clinics offer home euthanasia, to allow your pet to leave in the comfort of your home.
In any case, each euthanasia is difficult and know that all veterinary teams will be with you in this tragic moment and will give you all the time necessary for your goodbyes.
They will guide you through the process of euthanasia and will accompany you in the choices to be made following the death of your companion. Moreover, if your pet died at home, your vet will always be a resource to accompany you in the necessary steps following its death.
And we are here for you too. Do not hesitate to write to us if you feel like it.
I will be pleased to answer your questions and I wish you a lot of quality time with your faithful companions!
ANIMAL HEALTH TECHNICIAN
Véronique Fournier uses her extensive knowledge to write articles about pet health for Zumalka.
She earned her degree in Animal Health from Cégep La Pocatière in Quebec. Her experience includes internships on animal production farms and rehabilitating birds of prey; managing the care of up to 100 wild animals in a day at the SOS Miss Dolittle Refuge; working at the Aquarium of Quebec, where she monitored 10,000 animals of 300 different species. She worked as a chief animal health technician in a veterinary clinic in British Columbia, as well as a few contracts in various other veterinary clinics.
She also makes lots of canine friends by volunteering at local shelters, fostering, and dog sitting for friends.
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