Pet cremation in South Africa started almost 30 years ago when there became a need for vets to dispose of pet remains in an ethical and humane way. If animals are not cremated they are dumped in a landfill. Pet cremation is a more dignified and environmentally friendly way to deal with animal remains.
Pet cremation is the process of using high-temperature flames to reduce a deceased pet’s body to ashes. The process involves placing the pet’s body in a cremation chamber, which is heated to a very high temperature. The heat from the flames causes the body to break down into its basic elements, leaving only bones and some ash behind.
The remaining bones are then cooled and processed to create the fine, white powder that is commonly known as pet ashes or cremated remains. These ashes can then be returned to the pet owner, who can choose to scatter them, bury them, keep them in an urn or have a little infused into glass as a way to remember their beloved pet.
Pet cremation can be done either individually or communally. In an individual cremation, the pet’s body is cremated separately and the ashes are returned to the owner. In a communal cremation, several pets are cremated together and the ashes are not separated, typically making it impossible for the owner to receive the ashes of their individual pet. The communal ashes are then disposed of in an ethically compliant way.
Pet cremation is also a helpful way for pet owners to work through the grief of losing their beloved companions. Knowing that their pet has been respectfully and properly handled through the cremation process can provide a sense of closure that is helpful for many pet owners. The option to receive their pet’s ashes provides a tangible way to remember their beloved animal and to honour their legacy. Pet cremation can be a helpful way to work through the grief that comes with pet loss.