One of the most common pets is the dog, whether it is a stay-at-home poodle, or chihuahua, or the German shepherd in the back of your pickup, the black Labrador in the duck blind, a beagle to find and retrieve game, a rottweiler guarding your valuable property, or just a beloved mutt.
Man’s best friend is like a family member and to varying degrees receives appropriate treatment as such. When a family dog dies, a great many owners choose to preserve the memory of the missing companion. To do this, there are numerous choices available.
In the past, the most common way to do this was burial with a marker to remember your friend. Preparation for burial or taxidermy, as some choose, come with significant costs. Interment requires an area of land that will remain undisturbed, adding to cost, especially if one lives in an apartment.
As our population becomes more mobile, the last resting place of the beloved pet must be left behind, with no guarantees that the body or the marker will remain undisturbed. To be sure of preventing the desecration of the burial site, the remains would need to be disinterred and moved and re-interred. Obviously this is not the most satisfying scenario.
With the increasing popularity of dog cremation and the saving of the ashes in an urn, the faithful friend may move with the family in when circumstances may require relocation. This solution has many advantages. Dog cremation is usually less expensive than burial or taxidermy.
Many veterinarians will arrange for the cremation of your pet, or may even have facilities of their own. A large number of Humane Societies offer dog cremation. As well there are many pet crematoriums that will undertake the final caring of your pet.
Placing the ashes in an urn requires another choice. There are literally hundreds of urn styles and sizes, with wildly varying prices. A question that may be asked is, “Why can’t I just light a fire in the back yard and collect the ashes afterward?”
Cremating your dog requires high temperatures and might draw complaints from your neighbors about the size of the fire, or the smoke, or the smell. If the fire is hot enough, there shouldn’t be any odor. Also, open fires of any kind are illegal in many communities and states. Dog cremation, therefore, is probably not a do-it-yourself possibility, if you are anywhere near an urban area and in all states. At the least it would require researching the relevant laws, which may be regulated by several agencies, including the local residents association, the EPA, fire department, the local town or city. township, county or parish, and state.
Cremation does not result in your pet being reduced to all ashes. It is quite normal for some small pieces of bone and teeth to survive the cremation process in tact. Reputable crematoriums will return all the ashes of your pet, especially if you have specified and paid for an individual cremation.
Usually ashes are not returned from a group cremation. This is not to say that there have been documented problems in the past with less than reputable crematoriums doing mass cremations and then returning mixed ashes to loved ones.