What You Don't Know About Pet Cremation

What to do with your dog's remains is one decision we never want to make. But one we must. In many cities, including mine, burying in the yard is not allowed. That leaves either a very expensive burial plot in a pet cemetery or a cremation. Here are some things you need to know about pet cremation before choosing a crematorium..
Pet cremation is largely an unregulated industry.
Fraud is abundant in the industry. At one local clinic, the man who picks up the bodies for cremation has no license and pays someone to cremate the bodies for him. He is given a bucket full of ashes that he puts in boxes, tags them and returns them to the clinic. He has no idea what dogs are really in the boxes he returns. How do I know this? Because I did some digging. And I visited the crematorium  he used and asked questions of the half stoned teenager who was the only employee on the premises  watching over the cremations in progress. And I later found out that it is not illegal because the industry is unregulated. I then contacted a pet cemetery burial service that also offers cremation, asked a lot of questions, and learned a lot.
The terms used by pet crematoriums are not consistent and are not required to be by law.
For example, one crematory business may tell you that your beloved companion will be individually cremated and you will receive the ashes back in a lovely urn. But the term individual cremation does NOT mean your dog is the only one in the chamber! It only means that each dog was put in the chamber individually. That means they may share ( and probably will) the chamber with another dog or dogs. Small dogs are usually crammed in with larger dogs, the larger bodies fall onto the small ones and the ashes are mixed. Think about that..
You are not getting what you think you are paying for.
The crematorium owner I spoke with estimates that the majority of dog owners who paid for an individual cremation did not receive back their pets ashes. That means when you take your beloved dog to his favorite spot and bury his ashes it probably really isn't your dog. And all those little urns in your cabinet of each of your beloved pets probably also contain in part, someone else's beloved pet.
How do you avoid this? It isn't easy. Don't take the word of your veterinary clinic that their guy who does this is on the up and up. Engage a service that does both pet burial and has their own crematorium on the premises and does not farm out to other crematoriums. That is all you can do and  still there is no guarantee. Not until we demand regulations for pet cremation. My dog is family. I want him treated as such.