Importance of a reputable pet crematory and the questions you should be asking yourself and your veterinarian are crucial when faced with the passing of your BFF (Best Furry Friend). People are always surprised when I explain to them that when it comes to Pet Cremation & Aftercare services; regulations vary from state to state and even counties. With the pet industry booming in the last ten years, what used to be considered as a “back door service” with veterinarians is now much more of a personalized business that has become more closely compared to a “funeral home” experience. So when that time comes that your BFF is ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge, how confident are you on the service provider that your veterinarian has chosen? Have you done your research on the facility? And have you had your questions answered and your wishes fulfilled?

Pet Cremation a popular choice – 

Pet Cremation is at an all time high, with more pet crematoriums being built than pet cemeteries. People are more nomadic these days and/or do not have the means to have a “home burial”. Gone are the days that “Spot” or “Mr. Fluffypants” is buried under the tree in the backyard. So then what…cremation. Cremation is a beautiful way to memorialize your family pet, your BFF; or your choice to keep the cremains in a beautiful urn or jewelry or spread the cremains in a favorite place. With this choice of aftercare for your beloved family member comes trust in your veterinarian to provide you with this service. Why not…they have been apart of your pet’s life since day one; so shouldn’t they be the one person you trust to help you at the end of life of your pet? Have they chosen a caring pet crematory to provide the services you want for your beloved?

You do have options –

Veterinary Hospitals and Clinics all provide this service and choose a crematory facility (usually local) to contract with and supply the appropriate services. Just as any business should do, they will compare service types and pricing. All crematories offer different services, transportation and pricing structures. But what about regulations and ethics–Is this considered as well? In most cases yes…but you as the owner and pet parent have the right to ask what facility is your pet going to for his/her aftercare services.

Many pet parents have come to me and have said, “I didn’t know I had options!”

Well, you do. You not only have options but you now have the knowledge of what questions to ask so that you can make the best decision for your family.

desk with questions

Top 10 Questions to ask when looking for a reputable Pet Crematory near you:

  1. What are the different pet cremation services available to you?
  2. Can each service type be explained to you properly?
  3. If choosing a Private Cremation service, how do you know this pet is “actually” your pet coming back?
  4. If you choose no cremains back, what is the pet crematorium’s process and where are the cremains spread?
  5. Is the pet crematory facility associated with any reputable organizations, accredited and/or regulated?
  6. Has the veterinarian and/or staff visited the facility and know it is a reputable company?
  7. Does the crematory facility available for tours to clients? Or may you schedule a private pet cremation viewing with you pet?
  8. What is the identification process for your pet after he/she passes?
  9. When will your beloved be transported to pet crematory and do you have the option to take the pet yourself to facility or schedule a special pick up?
  10. What is the timing of your pet’s cremation and if you have chosen for cremains to be returned to you- when can you expect them to be returned?

Don’t be overwhelmed

I know…it’s a lot of questions…and there are more. I do feel these are the most pertinent and popular among our clients. Being in this industry for nearly two decades I can assure you that there is not one question more important than the other. When it comes to your BFF, your pet companion or your beloved family member…all questions are important when it comes to choosing a reputable pet crematory in your area.

In your research, you will start learning the lingo of what pet cremation services available to you– Private Cremation, Separated Private Cremation, Communal Cremation. These are all pretty standard…the important thing here is to remember this is a very personal decision. Just make sure the services can be explained to you in a clear manner.

It’s all about who you are associated with

Common concerns like “getting your pet back”, proper identification, procedures, record keeping, etc. can all be put at ease by one important factor— is the facility associated with national and international associations. Associations like: International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC), Cremation Association of North America (CANA), International Cemetery Cremation Funeral Association (ICCFA) and Pet Loss Professional Alliance (PLPA) are all great!

And even more important then being apart of these associations is the fact that many of these organizations offer education and accreditation programs.   Does the facility your veterinarian use have an accreditation or offer education to their staff? Eden Memorial Pet Care is not only the 1st and only IAOPCC Accredited Facility in California but we also have certified Pet Crematory Operators. picture of iaopcc accreditation

Follow the Code – the Code of Ethics

There is a Code of Ethics that these organizations stand by and in order to be associated with these organizations, pet crematories must abide by these ethics. Some may pay their dues…but many others are attending conferences, educating their staff and understand what honor it holds to have an accreditation. With accreditation, facilities are held to audits from organizations and must be following all rules and guidelines. So make sure your pet crematory is either accredited and/or at least highly involved with these organizations. Just posting the logo on their website doesn’t mean anything.   Call and ask them directly!

Goals turning into reality

My goal from day one with Eden Memorial Pet Care Inc has been to be above and beyond! Serving the Central Coast/Valley for 17 years and building a facility where people can have an experience which can leave them with some comfort has been a dream turning into a reality. My mission in the last few years has been to educate the public (everywhere) on services and options available to you. Encouraging everyone to ask questions and to feel comfortable with the answers you are getting so you can make the best decision. Cremation isn’t for everyone and that is ok…but if you do choose it then make sure you are getting what you want and from a reputable company.

What’s the big deal with Accreditation?

Pet crematories in the state of California are mainly regulated within each county by the Air Pollution Control District. There are permits to apply for and rules to follow but this has nothing to do with caring for a person’s pet and how the pet is actually handled from the veterinary hospital to the crematory facility. Additionally it has nothing to do with properly trained crematory operators and ethics within procedures. All of these things and more come from business that actively seeks out organizations and accreditation programs. With these associations come rules to follow, ethics to uphold and procedures properly learned.

The Short of the Long…

  • -Do your research
  • -Ask questions
  • -Feel confident in the information you have received
  • -Plan- Pre-plan if you can –making decisions in the state of grief is extremely difficult
  • -Go with the company who is reputable!!

We are always here for you…until next time.

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About the Author:  Owner of Eden Memorial Pet Care

picture of christine johnson author