Talking about cremation process is hard. It’s hard because no-one wants to think about it, and quite rightly so. Facing up to the idea of losing your beloved friend is, sadly, one of the most awful parts of pet ownership. It must be done though.
We’d love to say it will be much easier to have everything planned out and know exactly what’s going on. We’d love to say that would make your pet’s passing much easier and allow you to move on much faster. It won’t. Knowing the process, however, might just ease some of the burden you’ll be facing at the time.
Planning a funeral is not something everyone would like to do, but we strongly believe it’s best to plan before your pet is even near to that point. Picking out things like an urn or casket before the time comes is a good way to get exactly what you’d like.
We’ve recently had a few questions on our various social media pages about the actual cremation process, which has inspired this blog. We’d like to take you through what happens from saying goodbye to your pet (either at home or at the vet) right up to your companion being returned to you.
Before the Cremation Process begins
Before your pet is cremated we ask that you select an urn or casket for them to be returned in. We have many to choose from, including a keepsake box, cat and dog specific urns and even a scatter tube to scatter your pet’s ashes. You may also wish to have a paw print cast as a keepsake. Please tell Petrest of these wishes before your pet is cremated.
What happens at the Crematorium?
From the moment you call us, we start to follow the cremation process. Our driver will arrive at either your house or your vets’ practise in an especially adapted vehicle. He will pick up your companion and bring them back to the crematorium closest to you. We have sites in Tewkesbury, Cambridge, Livingston, and Sheffield. If you would like a favourite toy or blanket cremated with your pet, this is possible. We have seen all sorts of keepsakes cremated with pets; children’s drawings, photos, collars, leads, balls, toys, blankets. Most things can be accommodated within reason.
Once your pet arrives at one of our crematoria, you have the option of attending the cremation. This is similar to saying goodbye to a human friend. Petrest have trained bereavement advisors at all of our sites and we are committed to giving you the time you need with your pet. One of our lovely staff members will lay your pet out for you to say goodbye to in one of our attending rooms. The attending rooms are private and you will not be interrupted.
We do have CCTV in our crematorium area, you may watch your pet being put inside if you want to, but we would advise against this. If you are concerned about your pet, and only your pet, being cremated, we have many, many checks in place. We have devised a very thorough process to ensure that there are no mistakes during the cremation; we can guarantee that you will get only your pet’s ashes back when you choose individual cremation through Petrest.
Your pet will be returned to you within 3 working days in the casket you have chosen. If you did not choose a casket or urn, they will be returned in a simple cardboard presentation box. You may wish to bury your urn or casket, or keep it somewhere safe. We have previously discussed some nice memorial ideas on our Pet Memorials: Dos and Don’ts blog.
You may wish to place a remembrance plaque in our memorial gardens. We have memorial gardens at all of our sites, taken care of year round by professional gardeners. Many pet owners like to keep generations of pets together in the same area. Our gardens are open Monday to Friday during normal working hours (0830-1800). Our Cambridge gardens are open on Saturdays until 2pm. Visitors are welcome to park up and spend as long as they like in the gardens without interruption, the gardens are free to enter and we welcome children and pets (dogs on leads please) in all of our gardens.
Managing The Grief
Even having your pet back and knowing they have been treated with respect and dignity cannot take away the grief. At Petrest, we have trained grief advisors who are just a telephone call away. Grieving for a pet can be just as hard as grieving for a human companion. If you feel like your grief is getting too much, there are thing that can help. The Ralph Website is a lovely resource for pet specific grieving, but please don’t be afraid to contact your doctor if you feel like your grief is spinning out of control.
At Petrest, we understand that discussing your cat, dog, or other pet’s passing is very hard. We hope, however, that by planning in advance and understanding the cremation process, some of that burden is lifted and made just a little bit easier for you.