The Ultimate Guide to Pet Aquamation: An Eco-Friendly Pet Cremation Alternative
Pet parents think of their beloved pet – a dog, cat, bird, hamster, or any other animal – as a member of their family. Their pets are consistently given the best possible food, treats, beds, and other necessities and essentials of life. If the animal becomes sick or injured, the owners will do anything they can to return them to health. However, the end of the pet’s life is one of the most challenging times for the owners.
When a dear pet passes away, it is only natural that pet owners find a way to honor the animal’s life in a special way. Many pet owners and Veterinarians have begun to seek out companies that specialize in eco-friendly, green pet cremation services such as aquamation. These alternatives provide a dignified way for your pet to return to nature without the harshness of fire.
While you may not want to consider the possibility of losing your loyal companion, it is best to prepare for these circumstances and know exactly how you would like your pet cared for after he (she) passes on. At Compassionate Care Pet Aquamation in NY, we offer online arrangement services to help you plan for your pet’s end of life needs as well as eco-friendly pet cremation options to memorialize your pet and celebrate their life. Our specialists are available to answer any questions you may have and address all of your concerns about our pet cremation service. We understand the challenge and difficulty of losing the pet you have loved and cared for all these years and we strive to comfort you through the final goodbye. Compassionate Care Pet Aquamation is the best at making families feel at peace. Their reviews speak volumes in regard to the level of excellence when it comes to care, sensitivity, compassion and patience.
Their bio-friendly aquamation service is an alternative to burial or flame cremation that is gentle on the remains of your pet and is still able to provide you with the ashes so you can memorialize your furry or fuzzy friend in whatever way best suits you and your pet. In fact, families receive 20%+ more ashes back than flame cremation because their process is so gentle. The majority of people are unaware of aquamation as an option, and we are here to help fill in the blanks and assist you with all the details needed to decide the best disposition choice for you and your family. Our hope is that with education & more veterinarians seeking aquamation as a choice, we can all help towards a cleaner environment along with a quality memorializing process.
What Is Pet Aquamation?
Pet aquamation is also called alkaline hydrolysis, water-based cremation, bio-cremation, green cremation, and flameless cremation. This green cremation alternative is different from flame cremation because it uses the natural decomposition process to break down the body but does so at an accelerated rate. Alkaline hydrolysis is
a more eco-friendly pet cremation system because it is far gentler on the environment than traditional flame cremation. When it comes to the final disposition of the remains of beloved pets, aquamation is approved throughout the United States and Canada.
When a body (human or pets) is laid to rest in the earth’s soil during a natural burial, nature takes its course and begins to slowly decompose the remains. Just like any other organic entity, the body of the pet returns to the earth without harming the environment. When pet owners opt to use aquamation as an eco-friendly pet cremation alternative, the method combines gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity to accelerate the natural breakdown of organic materials.
What Are the Benefits of Pet Aquamation?
Throughout the course of veterinary medicine, there have been many innovations and remarkable advances to the treatment of our beloved pets. For over 4 billion years, burial and natural decomposition was the natural process that took place when a pet passed away until flame cremation became a standard. Today, the future of pet disposition is aquamation. Aquamation presents two distinct benefits to the remains of your pet as well as the positive effect on the environment.
Gentler Treatment of your Beloved Pet
Although using flame as a means to quickly incinerate the remains of your pet and provide you with the ashes to have and cherish, it tends to be a harsh process. Throughout the course of the life of the pet, they were treated gently and lovingly, and many pet owners have expressed that they would like
their pets to continue to be treated compassionately even after they have passed away. When pet owners do not want a burial for the pet, aquamation offers a gentle, water-based, eco-friendly aqua-cremation treatment with barely any carbon footprint, and the end result is 20-30% more ashes of their beloved pet returned to them for safe-keeping.
Eco-Friendly Alternative to Flame Cremation in Veterinary Medicine
The primary issues with the usual flame cremation are the emissions of greenhouse gases and mercury into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels. Typical cremation is also not energy efficient whereas aquamation saves more than 90% of the energy used in the traditional process. This eco-friendly, green alternative is 1/10th the carbon footprint of fire cremation. It is said the energy needed to operate a row of crematory ovens at 1800 degrees fahrenheit can light up a football stadium, while the energy needed to run an aquamation vessel is a 75 watt circuit breaker.
In regard to the water that is used during the aquamation process, the impact on the environment is also very low as it uses less water than the average single household would use in one day. This includes the aquamation process as well as the rinsing of the final remains inside the containment vessel.
Additionally, the by-product of aquamation is a nutrient rich water that can be used by municipal treatment plants to assist in the breakdown of waste. The end solution of aquamation is completely sterile and includes amino acids, sugars, nutrients, salt, and soap – products of natural decomposition. The nutrient rich water left over from the body acts as a natural fertilizer allowing your pet to live on. Read more about creating new life here. At Compassionate Care Pet Aquamation, we are fully licensed in New York and meet all the regulations set down by New York State.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Even though aquamation has been used by universities and scientific industries for over 25 years and by veterinary cremation since 2007, many families have questions concerning the science of it and how the process works when it comes to use in human and pet cremation facilities. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get at Compassionate Care Pet Aquamation:
How Does Aquamation Work?
One of the most important points to remember about the process is that it is actually the water molecules that break down the body as the mixture is 95% water and 5% alkali. In alkaline hydrolysis, a base is added to water in order to create the alkaline environment which causes the water molecules to react and separate into hydrogen and hydrogen ions. When the characteristics of the system, flow of the solution, and heat (~204°F) combined, the process successfully breaks down the body of the pet into salts, amino acids, small peptides, and sugars mixed with the water. Aquamation mimics the results of natural decomposition that happens in life during a natural burial.
How Long Does the Aquamation Process Take?
Because the water/alkali solution is heated to only 204°F rather than the standard 1400-2000°F of flame cremation, the process takes a bit longer. In about 18-20 hours (compared to 1-3 hours in flame cremation), the remains of the pet are cremated and far less energy is used and less CO2 (carbon) emissions are released.
Will My Pet Be Cremated Alone or with Other Pets?
Our cremation services include communal and individual aquamation. Those pet owners who choose to not get their pet’s ashes returned to them will opt for the communal option in which multiple pets are aquamated at the same time. Rather than possess the pet cremains, some pet owners would like memorial jewelry, pendants, and keepsakes. The communal option is good for this purpose as well as for shelter animals where no pet owner is involved.
For pet owners who would like to have the ashes returned, their pets will be placed in individual cradles along with an identifying token which does not break down during the process. This token ensures that your pet is returned to you in one of our beautiful Urns. Once the process is finished, the ashes are tagged for pick-up at our facility or mailed to you by USPS next day service with tracking number. For Veterinarians we generally bring the urns back to their facility for pickup from the families they serve. From there, families may opt for burial of the urn or memorialization in their home or garden.
What Type of Cremated Remains Are Produced?
The organic material of the pet is cremated leaving only the mineral remains of the bone. The bone is then dried and processed to ash through after the aquamation process is completed. Any inorganic remains such as calcium phosphate of the bone will not break down, so it is customary in North America to process the skeletal remains into a powder that can be placed in an urn. Compared to fire cremation, aquamation provides pet owners 20-30% more ashes and that color of the ash can be anywhere from white to tan whereas flame cremated ashes are usually gray charred by fire. Flame cremation also appears to be “chippy” bone fragments, but remains cremated using this water-based process come out usually as a consistent powder except for larger animals with a denser bone structure. And because of the process itself, no casket or box is required or used for aquamation since it would not actually break down during the aquamation process.Saving on wood and board means less trees are chopped down.
Does the Family Receive the Remains and What Can Be Done with the Ashes?
If families choose to have the ashes, yes, they will receive them. The ashes can be placed in an urn, but other pet owners want to memorialize the life of their beloved pet in a green way by choosing a living urn buried in the ground and watching as a living tree grows from the ashes. With the living tree, you never truly have to say goodbye. Other options also include hand-blown glass memorials, ceramic art, jewelry, paintings, and much more.
In some cultures, the remaining bones are kept whole following cremation for certain types of ceremonial burial. With the aquamation process, this request can be easily fulfilled since the water-based, green process is gentle on the remains and depending on the bone structure of the animal, leaves them whole for later processing.
Are the Ashes Toxic?
At the end of the Hydrolysis process, the only remains left are the bone, with two significant improvements over flame cremation – the bones from aquamation are whiter and cleaner as we are able to return, on average, 20%+ more remains because the process doesn’t involve fire and doesn’t involve a chimney so there’s no particulate loss! The mineral remains of the bone are then dried and processed into a powder (ashes as it is commonly known) for return to the family.
The ashes from Hydrolysis are cleaner. All euthanasia chemicals are neutralized and broken down completely in this process unlike in traditional burial. All pathogens are destroyed making the ashes completely pathogen and disease free, completely sterile and 100% safe to handle.
What Is the Cost of Aquamation?
The cost of aquamation varies by area and provider, and also varies by animal type, size and weight. In general it will cost about the same as a flame cremation. Overall, both options will be less costly than burial.
Small Animals and Exotics are Our Specialty
Because the aquamation process is so gentle, small animals like bearded dragons, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes, turtles, rats, chinchillas and all birds to name a few are perfect for aquamation. Check the 2nd video above, “we have an underwater go-pro to show you.” This gentle water flow guarantees all ashes are returned to you at very cost effective price points.
Contact Our Compassionate Pet Cremation Specialists in New York City & Surrounding Areas
When you want to preserve the dignity of your furry, fuzzy, feathery, or scaly friend our water-based cremation is an eco-friendly way to honor your pet’s memory, return them to nature, and be able to keep them close to the hearts of your family. From dogs to snakes, birds to cats, and any other type of animals, our pet cremation specialists can provide your companion a dignified and a green way for you to say goodbye.
Call Compassionate Care Pet Aquamation to learn more about our cremation service and to get personalized, detailed information regarding your specific needs. We know how difficult it is to say goodbye to the pet that has always been there for you and your family, and we want to do our part to help you find closure in a challenging time with our pet cremation service.
We serve the following areas for Eco-Friendly Pet Cremation:
- Nassau County
- The Bronx
- Staten Island
- Long Island
- Suffolk County
- Connecticut and beyond