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Cremation vs. Burial for Your Pets Aftercare

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Have you been wondering which option for aftercare is best for your pet? The term 'aftercare' refers to a group of various options available to you after your pet passes away.

Many pets are euthanized either at home or in their veterinarian's office. If your pet passes at home, either naturally or with assistance from a veterinarian, you will need to arrange for an aftercare company to come to your home and assist you with your deceased pet. If your pet passes at your veterinarian's office, you can ask your veterinarian to hold your pet for a couple of days while you research your options and make a decision. Remember, your aftercare decision is final, so it is important to educate yourself on all of your options.


Water-based cremation

Never heard of it? Water-based cremation is also referred to as, aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis. It is an advanced technology that mimics the natural decomposition that occurs during burial. It reduces your pet's body to its mineral components, just as fire-based cremation does. It does this using the gentle flow of warm water. Benefits include no carbon dioxide emissions, low energy use, and more ash returned to the owner. Water-based cremation is the most environmentally friendly form of cremation.

Fire-based cremation

Like water-based cremation, your pet's body is reduced to its mineral components and returned to you as ash. Instead of water, this method uses fire. Your pet's body will be placed in an incinerator, and the use of fire and turbulence will help accelerate the decomposition process.


If you do not like the idea of having your pet cremated, then burial is probably the best option for you. If you consider a home burial (burying your pet in your backyard), you should look into the local laws regarding the burial of deceased pets on private property. Unfortunately, some local governments forbid the burial of pets on private property. This is because the natural decomposition process that occurs after a burial can negatively affect the water table—ultimately contaminating it.

But don't be deterred. Many companies offer pet burial in legally zoned cemeteries. Here you will be allowed to select the specific and final resting place for your pet. You will also have the option of choosing from a plethora of burial markers or headstones. The benefits include regular maintenance and upkeep, allowing you to enjoy the memory of your pet. There are sometimes yearly dues associated with the pet burial. Be sure to ask about fees when you inquire.

Whichever option you choose will be the best choice for you and your pet. After your aftercare decisions have been made, it is important to memorialize your pet in positive and productive ways to best help the grieving process. To read more about grieving the loss of a beloved pet, please click here.

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