Frequently Asked Questions

Are more pets cremated or buried today?
What is cremation?
Can my veterinarian help me with cremation for my pet?
Do I have to purchase a casket for my pet's cremation?
Are all crematories alike?
How long after my pet's death will it take to receive the urn?
What if my pet dies at home or when my veterinarian is closed?
Are more pets cremated or buried today?

Most pet parents today choose cremation for their deceased companions. In many communities, ordinances or a lack of space prohibit owners from burying their pets in the back yard. And as our society becomes more mobile, choosing cremation gives you the ability to take your pet’s cremated remains with you if you move to another home. Cremation is also a much more affordable and simple option than it was in the past.

What is cremation?

Cremation is the process whereby your deceased companion is reduced to bone and ash through the application of intense heat (usually 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit). This part of the process can take between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the weight of your pet and whether the companion is wrapped in a blanket or in a container. Following a sufficient period of cool down, remaining materials are removed from the crematory and then processed into a finer granular consistency. The cremated remains are placed in the selected urn and returned.

Companions For Life offers only two types of cremation:

  • A Private cremation means your pet is the only pet in the chamber during the cremation process. Our proprietary tracking process ensures that the identity of your companion is maintained from the time they are brought into our care, until the time that you receive the urn. This is the only option that ensures the cremated remains you receive are those of your beloved pet.
  • It is considered a Community cremation when multiple pets are cremated at the same time. Community cremation offers a dignified disposition for your pets, but the cremated remains are not returned to you because it is impossible to guarantee they are only those of your pet.

When considering cremation options, it is important to get specific explanations on which cremation option will best serve you and your family. Some providers will use the term “Individual” but this is not the same service as a truly Private cremation offered by Companions For Life.

Can my veterinarian help me with cremation for my pet?

We partner with many veterinary clinics in the areas we serve. However, if you are unsure, request that your veterinary provider contact Companions For Life.

Though many veterinarians understand the cremation process, their focus is on the health of your companion. By using a trusted, local provider like Companions For Life to handle your pet’s cremation, you can rest assured that you are being assisted by trained and experienced professionals. While your veterinarian is a trusted advisor when it comes to your pet’s health, it only makes sense to partner with a company that specializes in death care for pets.

Do I have to purchase a casket for my pet's cremation?

No. Often family members will wrap their pet in a favorite blanket or some other personal article of meaning to the pet or family members.

Are all crematories alike?

No. Most states do not regulate pet crematories. Thus, the quality of their facilities, services and staff can vary widely. Companions For Life operates only crematories designed with the same specifications as human cremation equipment with the only difference being size. While cremation and incineration are sometimes synonymous terms, there is a difference between the type of equipment that is used. Our crematories all have a refractory lined retort with technologically advanced control systems. These crematories offer significant efficiency and result in the final cremated remains being an almost white to off white/gray appearance. In addition, our crematories are located in professional and dignified cremation centers.  Incinerators that may be used by other providers are typically metal vessels that while operate similarly, offer reduced efficiency and result in cremated remains being a dark gray to black appearance. An incinerator is most often used in medical waste destruction and are often placed outdoors, exposed to the elements.

How long after my pet's death will it take to receive the urn?

Companions For Life responds promptly to requests and can bring your pet into our care right away. This means we can have the urn ready for you within days of your pet’s passing.

What if my pet dies at home or when my veterinarian is closed?

Companions For Life has professional staff “on call” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We realize that a death can occur at any time, and our compassionate staff is available to respond promptly to take your companion into our care.

What can I do to make sure my pet is treated in a dignified manner?
How do I know I am going to get back my pet's cremated remains?
Do most pet owners choose a private or communal cremation?
How much does cremation cost?
What are the cremated remains returned in?
What can I do to make sure my pet is treated in a dignified manner?

We advise that you ask your Veterinarian or cremation provider directly, if possible, three very important questions:

  • Where is the crematory located? Is the provider in your area, or will your pet be transported to another location hundreds of miles away?
  • When will my pet be cremated and then be ready for pickup? As pet parents ourselves, we wholeheartedly understand the need to have your companion’s cremated remains within a short time frame. With our extensive tracking processes, we are can will return the urn as soon as possible, often within 24-48 hours.
  • Can I come to visit your facility to learn more and inspect your operations? Companions For Life operates with complete transparency and welcome anyone to visit our facilities. Our crematories are all specially designed for pet cremation and we pride ourselves in our clean and welcoming cremation centers.
How do I know I am going to get back my pet's cremated remains?

Companions For Life uses a proprietary identification tracking process that mirrors the procedures used by our funeral service sister companies, Cedar Memorial and Iowa Cremation. From the time we take your companion into our care, our identification and tracking procedures are strictly followed. These processes provide peace of mind knowing that the urn you receive contains the cremated remains of your beloved pet.  Furthermore, we offer pet parents and families the option of witnessing the cremation to offer complete transparency of the process.

Do most pet owners choose a private or communal cremation?

While we find that a majority of our pet parents select a private cremation for their companion, we understand that this is a personal choice for each family based on a variety of factors. We always suggest to contact us and speak with one of our experienced staff members who can best explain to you our processes.

How much does cremation cost?

Pricing varies depending on your preferred type of cremation and the weight of your companion. We can best offer information on our services by contacting us at 1-855-378-8187 or Companions@CedarMemorial.com.

What are the cremated remains returned in?

Companions For Life truly always returns all private cremations in a hand-carved wooden urn. While this may be suitable for some families, we also offer a wide variety of urns, cremation jewelry, and highly personalized cremation options for memorializing the life of your companion.  Visit our online selections at Memorial Products.

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