7 Questions To Ask Your Vet About Cremation

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” says our childhood friend, Winnie the Pooh, created by A.A. Milne.

Saying goodbye to our special pets is always hard.  It often seems as though there isn’t anything that could possibly make this terrible part of our human/animal partnerships any easier.  When you know your beloved pet is getting close to crossing over the “rainbow bridge”, you should consider your end-of-life plan options and consult your veterinarian.  Having a “plan” will make saying goodbye just a little bit easier.

Here is a short list of questions that will get the process started

Discussing these things with your veterinarian as a good place to begin.

  1. What options are there once the difficult task of putting your animal down has occurred, and who handles the cremation option? You should be able to get the name, website and a brochure.
  2. Be sure you understand the difference between a private cremation and a communal.
  3. If you choose the communal, where will the cremains be spread?
  4. Ask about options for memorial engraving on an urn for a private cremation.
  5. Know that a horse can only be cremated in a private cremation.
  6. If your pet needs to be euthanized, ask where this procedure can take place – in the home/facility or at the vet hospital.
  7. If a private cremation is planned how will you know you will be getting your pet back?

Know You Will Be Getting Your Pet Back

Eden Memorial Pet Care is the only cremation service that uses electronic ID pet cremation software. Your pet’s information is entered on-site by the Vet or Tech. A tag is created, printed out then attached to the cadaver bag. At pick-up the tag information is scanned into the cremation process system and then can be tracked. “We always cross-reference all paperwork,” explains Christine Johnson of Eden Memorial Pet Care. “We verify where the pet is placed in the chamber, then verify the pet’s ID with the pick-up log and return the cremains in an urn along with all the paperwork, which followed the pet from the beginning.”

Equine Cremation Process

Equine cremations are by nature a little more difficult, and thus are handled slightly differently. Manual tags are produced on site, or by hospitals who use Eden’s services. Special requests, such as save the tail, forelock or anything else is noted. “Even though horse cremations are all private, we still fill out forms and verify information with the owner or the vet,” assured Christine.

The average horse cremains fill a five-gallon bucket, and you as the horse owner (unless other arrangements are made) will get the remains returned.  This is why purchasing an urn is highly recommended, as you will likely want to keep a portion of the cremains and scatter or bury the rest.

Eden Memorial Pet Care personally picks up your horse and transports it to their crematorium.  Dignity and careful handling of your special friend are always the top priority.  “We load the horse in a certain way because of how they go into the chamber. This is better for the whole process,” Christine explains.  “We want the process to be as dignified as possible.”

Eden Memorial Always By Your Side

Senior man with dogs and cat on his lap on bench

Our friends at Eden Memorial Pet Care are here to assist you with the tough job of making an end-of-life plan. When it comes time to put that plan into action, they will be your most trusted assets.  Most small animal cremations are done through your vet hospital – Eden Memorial has a long list of veterinarians that they work with. You can make Equine cremation plans directly with Eden, unless your vet can assist you with the process.

In the end, when it comes time for your beloved pet to leave this world, the last thing that you need is to deal with the anxiety surrounding “what comes next”.  Having a plan in place will give you that little bit of extra control and comfort. It will allow you to focus on the task at hand – which is difficult enough on its own.  Your veterinarian should be able to give you information and answer any questions that you may have, but remember that Eden Memorial Pet Care is just a phone call away should any other questions arise.  We spend our lives taking the best care possible of our four-legged friends, so when it comes time to say goodbye, give yourself the gift of preparation and information.

Photos: Eden Memorial Pet Care files


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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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