How Does Human Cremation Differ from Pet Cremation?
The cremation process is an ethical, low-cost way to dispose of both human and animal remains. Not only can you avoid the costly steps associated with traditional burial by choosing cremation, but you can also receive the ashes afterward, to be buried or contained in an urn for safekeeping.
For decades, families have opted to cremate both their beloved pets and their loved ones. Although the two processes are similar, there are some differences between human cremation and pet cremation that should be noted by anyone considering either option.
In both cases, the cremation must be performed at anywhere from 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Because organic matter breaks down and loses its moisture at the same temperature no matter what kind of remains are in question, the heat of the cremation is the same. You’ll find similar ashes in both types of cremation, both of which go through further processing before they are ready to be taken home.
Length of Cremation
The cremation of a small pet (a rabbit or cat) doesn’t take very long, while larger animals (dogs or horses) can take hours. Most human cremations last between two and three hours, so you can determine a pet cremation based on relative size compared to humans.
Number of Bodies in Cremation
In human cremation, there are strict regulations in place to ensure that only one body is cremated at a time (unless special arrangements were made for family members who died together), and great care is taken to ensure each body is treated with respect. Most pet crematoriums do mass cremations unless you specify otherwise. In almost all cases, you’ll be asked to cover the cost of having your pet cremated separately.
Type of Crematorium
Although there are some crematories that handle both human and pet remains, most of them are separate entities. Human crematoriums work with funeral homes to provide services to grieving families, while animal crematoriums are often affiliated with local city or county organizations that handle the disposal of pet remains.
As part of a growing trend, some private pet crematoriums are becoming more mainstream, but only in larger cities.
In the case of both human cremation and pet cremation, there are places you can turn with your questions and concerns. Contact your local health board, funeral homes in your area, or these organizations for more information.
International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories
Cremation Association of North America