How Does Cremation Work?Back to Resources
Understanding how cremation works will help pet owners make a decision on if this is the best choice for them. Pet crematories will usually arrange to pick up a pet from a home or veterinarian hospital. The animal’s body is kept in a refrigerated cooler until it’s time for cremation.
Depending on the type of cremation, pets are placed in an oven with a temperature of up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It can take 35 to 45 minutes for a dog cremation and less time for a cat cremation. Large animals can take up to 2 hours to cremate. The length of time for a dog cremation or cat cremation depends on size and weight of the animal.
When placed in the cremation oven, the intense heat vaporizes the body. This reduces the organic matter to dust and dries the bones. The crematorium staff will then use a magnet to remove any metal objects from the ashes. In many cases, pets underwent surgery at some point in their life, which resulted in having pins or rods placed inside of them. Some pets end up with broken pieces of their collars inside of their neck or have tags inside of them such as the microchip that must be removed since the oven will not turn those to ashes.
After all metal is removed, the cremains (ashes) are pulverized. This results in a coarse sand-like powder with a uniform consistency. The crematorium will place the ashes in a sealed plastic bag, a cardboard box, tin, or some other container and deliver it to the owner.
The color of the ashes depends on the types of medications the pet took while alive and any health issues. The color can be much different for communal cremation since it’s a compilation of many animals’ ashes.