When faced with the prospect of losing a pet, having clear and organized thoughts can be quite challenging, if not impossible. To complicate matters further, you and your family can find yourselves in the difficult position of needing to make decisions regarding the harsh realities that come with declining health and end of life care.
It’s not an easy time, and as many who have been in this situation can attest, anticipatory grief can begin to set in as you wait for the telltale signs that your pet’s suffering has reached an intolerable level for both the pet and the family as a whole . At this point, many families will euthanize both as an act of compassion and to relieve the extreme burden created by the stress, helplessness and pain from the pet’s decline in health.
Some people know exactly what they are going to do with their pet’s remains and have a plan in place. For many, though, minimal thought has been given to exactly what options they would like to choose. Often, families are presented with overly simplified and inadequately explained service options at a veterinary hospital immediately following the death of their pet.
Going into these types of scenarios armed with knowledge can help individuals begin their grief journey with a higher likelihood of obtaining the closure they deserve. The following guide to aftercare is intended to help educate consumers on certain aspects of pet cremation about which many people (if not most) are unaware. By reading this, you are taking the first step to ensure you and your family are aware of the nuances of pet death care and can memorialize your pet the way that best suites your needs.
It is understandable that thinking about pet funeral options before they are needed is not always the most pleasant thing to do. It is absolutely imperative, however, to have some sort of idea about what you want as well as a plan for what you want to do. It is critical to note that many businesses presenting themselves as “cremation” providers are nothing more than licensed disposal companies with cute sounding names. What cannot be underestimated is the fact that it is absolutely vital to be aware of the differences in quality and dignity that are available to you through your veterinary hospital or your community.
A sad fact nationwide is that in most instances where pet owners do not want remains returned, the pets incinerated remains end up in a landfill. Furthermore, due to an appalling lack of oversight and legal standards, when return ash cremations are performed, many providers do so by cremating several pets together in a group at one time. Be aware that many companies call this practice semi-private, individual cremation, or use some sort of language to infer that your pet is alone- and in many cases, disposal companies are using deceptive language intentionally. Oftentimes when referring to multiple-pet cremation procedures where remains are returned, substandard providers claim to have a partition of some sort between the pets. Be aware that space is “technically” a partition and even in the event of a physical partition being used, commingling will absolutely occur . If any provider or veterinary hospital tells you otherwise, it is strongly suggested that you find a different cremation provider… (to be continued)