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What to Do with the Pet Remains?



The passing of a pet is pretty devastating for most people. Sometimes even more than with people. You lose a constant companion and wholesome friend. With the development of technology, there are many ways to deal with the pet remains and commemorate them in a more economical and eco-friendly way. This article will discuss pet burial, cremation, and pet remains to donate to scientific study.


While some owners preserve their pet's cremated ashes in an urn, others prefer burying their remains. You can simply bury their remains in their special spot. Or else some organizations offer green burial by growing a tree or flowering shrub over the burial site.

Safe and legal spots to bury

Many spots are deemed legal for burying your pet's remains. But, there are some sacred spots where this is not allowed.

  • Own backyard/property: It is legal and safe to bury your pet's remains within your property. You can keep them in a shallow grave in your backyard or woods behind your home, where they won't be dug out easily.

  • Dedicated urn garden: An urn or cremation garden is a space dedicated to a cemetery where you can bury your pet's remains. Some gardens even have plots that display markers too.

  • Natural burial grounds: These are former burial grounds, also known as woodland burial grounds, which are not inhabited by people or are simply overgrown by natural vegetation. You can also bury your pet's remains here in completely natural surroundings.

Pet cemetery

Another safe place for your pet's body is a pet cemetery. These are like normal cemeteries, but for pets. You can bury your pet's remains here in a shallow grave. Mark it with a grave marker after that.

Another great idea is to keep them in the urn gardens of a cemetery. You can even keep a small prayer service for them before or during the burial. Add a pretty gravestone or plant a small tree or flowering shrub over it.

A dog gravestone in a cemetery.
A dog gravestone in a cemetery.


For many, burying their pet's remains can be very painful. They may even want to keep a part of their pet with them by creating a memorial keepsake. At such times, cremation is the best option.

Individual vs. mass cremation

Each one of us loves our pet. And so, we want their funerals to be like grand farewells.

Most of us probably will opt for individual cremations. But, if we cannot afford a private cremation, a mass or communal cremation is also a good choice.

After a mass cremation, the cremation institute will scatter the ashes in a remembrance garden, bury them in a common grave, or keep them in an urn garden. In mass cremations, some companies even burn medical waste along with your pet's body. After an individual cremation, the owner can get back the pet's ashes in order to preserve, scatter, or bury them. In this way, the pet's bodies are treated with respect and dignity.

Both individual cremations and mass ones have their cons and pros. Communal cremations are also cheaper than private ones. So for those on a tight budget, the latter is more feasible. In individual pet cremations, the pet owners can get back the pet's ashes, while the owners can not get the ashes back in a mass cremation.

Flameless cremation

We also call it water or aqua cremation, an environmentally friendly alternative to regular cremation. It uses the process of alkaline hydrolysis, where they break down your pet's body into its chemical components and minerals. We do this using elevated pressure, potassium hydroxide, and water.

The service fees vary significantly by region and company. Alkaline hydrolysis is almost the same price as flame cremation and considerably less expensive than burial.

Depending on the temperature, the process requires around 6-8 hours at 300°F or 18-20 hours at 200°F.

They use a mixture of 95% water and 5% alkaline. The complex chemical bonds are completely broken down to give base nutrient elements. The pet's body is placed in a steel stainless chamber while this liquid washes over them gently. At last, we will get a liquid tinted green-brown containing sugars, peptides, and amino acids. It also has porous, soft bone remains. Then, they turn the residual liquid into white or yellow-coloured ash using a cremulator and return it to the pet owner.

This method is legal in around nineteen states in the US. Other countries include where it is legal, include South Africa, Australia, Mexico, and parts of the Netherlands. It requires way less energy compared to fire cremation.

What to do with the pet ashes?

Our pets are not only part of the family but slowly become part of our hearts and souls. They are with us for their entire lives. They laugh with us, play with us, and bring comfort when we are sad.

The loss of a lovely pet makes us devastating. When the pets leave, most of us keep their remains, and others want to set them free to be one with the universe. Here are ways you can deal with your pet's cremated ashes respectfully.

  • Scattering: Sometimes, it brings great comfort to owners, knowing the pet is physically in their favourite spot forever. Scattering the pet's ashes in their favourite park or the beach makes this come true.

  • Memorial tree: Wouldn't it be wonderful to know your pet is helping another living thing thrive? A memorial tree is in this case. Simply bury your pet's ashes near the tree's roots or as a part of the soil.

  • Memorial jewellery: It is a beautiful way to preserve your pet's memory forever by turning their ashes into diamonds. Companies like Lonite™ make cremation diamonds from the ashes through HPHT processes. Lonite™ also offers fancy cremation jewellery.

  • Memorial painting: Create a lovely painting of your pet by using their ashes. Simply ask the artist to mix the ashes with the paint and work their magic!

A pear-shaped blue diamond made from pet ashes.
A pear-shaped blue diamond made from pet ashes.

Remains to donate for science study

For the more philanthropic-minded out there, perhaps cremating or burying your pet's body isn't enough! You want them to help others even in death. Donating your pet's remains to your local university or veterinary school is great in this case.

It helps the next generation of veterinarians and animal caregivers train better. Using tissue samples from sick animals, the cure for their illnesses is researched. This helps other animals fight the same diseases in the future. Veterinary students learn surgery, pathology, and anatomy using these remains.

After using their body for research, your pet's remains are cremated by the institution. You will not receive the ashes, however. You need to do thorough research and apply in advance to go down this road. Proper paperwork and concerned authorities must be notified before putting your pet up for donation post-mortem.

Handling your pet's remains is a tough affair if you can't decide which path to take. In general, if you want a keepsake, storing their ashes is a good idea. You can also turn those ashes into diamonds. However, if their memory is too painful to keep, burying them is a good option too. You can visit their graves whenever you remember them. We hope this article helped you see things clearly and make a sound decision.

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