FAQ Group (16)

Why should I choose Only Cremations for Pets?

Only Cremations for Pets was established in 1995 to provide a more humane and dignified aftercare service to our community of pets and, more importantly, as an alternative to rendering (an inhumane manner by which the disposition of a pet is processed). We value the cremation process, a more sacred manner to memorialize your pet.

How do I know that these are my pet’s ashes?

Our commitment is to give each and every pet a dignified, sacred farewell. This is why our system is guaranteed to make sure you get the proper remains. Your pet is always given a color-coded tag, which includes all the most important information. When your pet is checked into our facility, the information is double-checked, then triple checked. Before the cremation process begins, the information is checked again. Pets are placed in a completely separate, closed chamber (no other pet is placed in that chamber), ensuring the integrity of the cremains. When removed from the process, your pet is again checked. The bones are processed individually and one pet at a time.

What is the difference between Cremation and Aquamation (or Bio-Cremation)?

When a body is cremated, the remains are burned to ash (sometimes called "cremains" or "cremated remains") and may be buried in the earth, kept by the family in an urn, or scattered. Like cremation, aquamation is a method for preparing a deceased pet for its final disposition. Understood as a more eco-friendly pet aftercare process, aquamation uses water instead of flame in a process called alkaline hydrolysis. Alkaline hydrolysis is the process a body undergoes after burial, which can take up to 25 years. Aquamation essentially accelerates this process.

Fire and Water are sacred elements in almost all cultures and societies. We carry their meanings of purity, healing, compassion, and empathy with our philosophy that each and every pet should receive a dignified and sacred farewell. This is why we give you the choice to either use cremation or aquamation for your aftercare needs.

For both cremation and aquamation, ash is returned in the same manner. With aquamation, the ash is lighter in color and has a powdery texture.

Can I view my pet being cremated/aquamated?

The cremation process can be viewed in our Private Viewing Room. Our warm and welcome viewing room provides a space where loved ones can come to memorialize their beloved pet. Beautifully decorated walls displaying a vibrant pet heaven mural, this room can accommodate your private viewing needs. We can help you tailor your memorial to be the most comforting for you – display a photo collage, play soothing music, or recite a beautiful reading. If you have any special needs for your beloved pet such as laying them to rest with a favorite toy, collar or blanket please ask us. Our memorial services are the perfect way to give your recently departed friend a final tribute for all the love and companionship they’ve provided over the years.

Private viewing, however, is only available for those who cremate their pet. Pet owners are not able to witness their beloved pet undergo the aquamation process because it is a completely closed off process.

Do you administer euthanasia at your facility?

No, we do not euthanize pets.

Is the ash loose in the urn?

No, your pet’s ashes are not loose inside the urn. They are placed within a secure, closed bag to protect the cremains from falling out when the urn is opened.

Do you need an appointment to come in?

If you wanted to schedule a private viewing, you will need to make an appointment.

After cremating my pet, can we bury the ashes?

Yes, after cremating your pet, you may bury your pet’s ashes.

Can we witness the communal scattering of ashes?

No, if you would like to witness the scattering of your pet's cremains, you must request a private cremation and then schedule a private charter. Communal cremains are scattered at sea by Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching. 

Do you have any pet loss resources?

Yes, please visit: http://www.onlycremations.com/pet-loss-resources

What’s the difference between communal and private?

With group cremations, pets are cremated communally with other pets. Cremains are then spread at sea by Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching.

When a pet is privately cremated, each pet is separated and cremated in their own individual compartment, ensuring that it is only your pet that will be returned to you in a special urn of your choice. We do not perform partitioned cremations; our private cremations are one pet each chamber at a time. Your veterinarian will then contact you when your loved one is ready to be picked up.

May I inspect the facility where my pet’s aftercare will be performed?

Absolutely. It’s best to call us in advance and make an appointment to view our facility.

What kind of animals do you cremate?

We cremate various animals but mainly dogs, cats, and horses.

What are ashes (cremains)?

Cremated remains, also known as cremation ashes or even "cremains," is what you have left after the cremation process is complete. Cremation ashes are made of crushed bone fragments. The cremation process applies extreme heat to the decedent's body, incinerating everything except the bones. Once the cremation chamber cools down, the bones are removed from the retort and pulverized.

The resulting material is sometimes called "ash" but in reality is more like coarse, pebbly sand.  Although the process is different, you will also receive “cremains” from aquamation. 

Apart from the weight of the pet, what are other factors that may contribute to the amount of cremains received?
  • The Type of cremation performed: Today, families in many states have the choice between traditional flame-based cremation and water cremation, also known as aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis. There are a few advantages to choosing water cremation. One of those advantages is receiving 20-30% more cremains compared to flame-based cremation. The reason there’s more cremains is water cremation preserves more of the bone. The process is gentler compared to incineration, which can cause some bone degradation and reduce the volume of bone that remains.
  • The Breed of the pet: Different pet breeds have different body and bone structures. Because of that, two pets of the same weight and different breeds, will produce different amounts of cremains after processing. 
  • The Age of the pet: As pets age, their bones become thinner and less dense. Because of that, younger pets tend to produce more cremains after cremation. Of course, height is an even bigger factor usually so that could offset the age factor in some cases.
  • The Gender of the Pet: Bone density is also different based on gender. Males tend to have denser bones, which means more cremains will be produced.
  • Even with Only Cremations’ exercise of reasonable care, and the use of the Crematory’s best efforts, it is not possible to recover all particles of the cremated remains, and some particles may inadvertently become comingled with particles of other cremated remains remaining in the cremator and/or other devices utilized to process the cremated remains.
  • The chamber is composed of refractory plastic, plastech, or other materials which disintegrates slightly during each cremation and the product of that disintegration is commingled with the cremated remains. Nearly all the contents of the cremator, consisting of the cremated remains, disintegrated chamber material, and small amounts of residue from previous cremations, are removed together and crushed, pulverized, or grounded to facilitate inurnment or scattering. Some residue remains in the cracks and uneven places of the chamber.