What Is Pet Water Cremation?

What’s the next step once your pet passes on? What if there’s a way to honor and give dignity to your pet’s end of life? For this article, we’re going to introduce what pet water cremation is, including its process, duration, and benefits.

What Is Pet Water Cremation?

Pet water cremation is an eco-friendly process that uses alkaline hydrolysis to speed up a body’s natural decomposition. Aquamation uses a gentle stream of flowing water combined with potassium hydroxide to break down an animal’s organic material, leaving only the calcium phosphate remains of the teeth and bones.A family enjoying a day at the beach with their loyal dog by their side

Perhaps your dog suffered from an illness, or your cat passed away due to old age. Either way, there’s an environmentally friendly alternative for saying goodbye to pets. Let’s go over what pet water cremation is, so you’ll see how this unique process can give your pet a passionate farewell.

How Does Water Cremation for Pets Work?

Aquamation or water-based cremation in pets uses gentle water flow, alkalinity, and temperature to accelerate the process of natural decomposition of soft tissue, leaving only the bones. Also known as liquid cremation or bio-cremation, it follows a similar procedure when the body’s remains return to the earth over time with less energy consumption. 

  • Your dog or cat’s body will be placed in a stainless steel pressure vessel that is water- and airtight. 
  • The chamber contains a mixture of potassium hydroxide and water.
  • The vessel is heated to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit at an elevated pressure to prevent boiling. The heat serves as a catalyst to speed up the process.
  • The water and solution will break down the animal’s body similarly to the decomposing process when buried. 

What Is the Product Used in Alkaline Hydrolysis? 

Liquid cremation uses a catalyst called alkali, which is the opposite of an acid, so there are no harsh chemicals used in aquamation. Instead, Aquamation in pets uses potassium hydroxide, an inorganic compound soluble in water.


A picturesque tree with hanging pendants and a picture frame nearby

How Long Does Water Cremation for Pets Take?

Compared to pet burials, cremating a pet using water can takes about 20 hours, after that, it may take two to three days to dry out the bones. 

What Happens to the Pet Bones After Aquamation? 

The mineral bone fragments will be crushed into ash after removal from the chamber and after days of drying. You will get 20% to 30% more ashes than flame cremation. Additionally, the ashes will appear whiter or like a fine tan powder instead of the usual black or gray rigid ashes.

Is Water-Based Cremation Better Than Regular Flame Cremation?

Water cremation is a great alternative to traditional fire cremation if you want a more environmentally friendly method of aftercare for your pet. The end-to-end process consumes about one-eight the energy of conventional flame cremation while generating 10% less carbon dioxide

Standard fire cremations consume large amounts of fuel. In contrast, Aquamation will only release harmless compounds formed in the process, such as amino acids, sugar, and salts. Since the water is sterile, it can also be safely disposed of by draining into the sewage system. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Water Cremation for Pets?

In 1888, farmer Amos Herbert Hanson developed and patented alkaline hydrolysis to make byproduct fertilizer from animal carcasses. Over the years, water-based cremation has become a non-toxic way of honoring your pet.A woman holding a framed picture of a heart and a black dog

These are the reasons and advantages why you should consider alkaline hydrolysis to give your cat or dog a peaceful and natural end of life:

  • Gentler process of cremation: While aquamation will decompose your pet’s body faster, the process is much more delicate than using flame or leaving the body  underground. Be at peace knowing there are no sharp tools or harsh chemicals used in the process.
  • Fast, natural decomposition: It can take anywhere from six months to 18 years for an animal’s body or organic matter to decompose fully. Alkaline hydrolysis uses controlled temperature and pressure to speed up the process.
  • Environmental-friendly: According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, fire cremation may release mercury and other pollutants into the environment. Liquid cremation won’t burn fossil fuels. As a result, there are no direct emissions of mercury or harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

Related Questions

Where Can I Put My Pet’s Ashes After Water Cremation?

After the water-based cremation, you can put your pet’s ashes in a biodegradable urn. You can opt for scatter tubes to bring bits of your pet’s memory anywhere you go. You may also remember your dog or cat by putting a pinch of their ashes in these unique memorial jewelry items

How Much Does Aquamation Cost?       

On average, aquamation costs around $175 to $400, depending on the weight. This type of clean technology is slightly more expensive than traditional flame cremation. However, you may also consider communal pet cremation if you have budget concerns.

What Animals Can Be Water Cremated?

Almost every animal can be water cremated, including dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, and exotic species weighing under 300 pounds. There’s usually a limit on the weight, so large animals like horses won’t fit into the Aquamation chamber. 

Conclusion

Pet water cremation is a delicate process of gently heating water and potassium hydroxide to decompose an animal’s body. We understand how valuable it is to feel assured that your pet’s remains are in good hands. Aquamation allows your pets to leave dignified mark on the world.

Testimonials

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who... read more

Renee C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him... read more

Diane C.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but... read more

Terry A.

Renee C.

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who came out to the house. She was so understanding and supportive. They were all so helpful, understanding and nice. My girl got to stay at home and say goodbye in the backyard (a hummingbird flew over and it seemed like a good sign too). So glad I didn't have to take her to a cold vet office.

Diane C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him with more medications which would make him even more miserable. I called and spoke to a very kind lady who was patient as I cried through making an appointment. We made an appointment for 1:30pm. Dr. Toni arrived. She was very kind, explained everything to us and gave us the time to be with our boy after the first shot. He wasn't relaxing enough so she gave him a second shot. We stayed with him throughout the entire process and I carried him to her car in the end. It was a very difficult decision but knowing that our boy is not in pain, gives us some peace. We are thankful to Dr. Toni for her kindness and compassion. They will arrange the cremation for us. Since we are in a pandemic, we had our masks on and said goodbye to our boy in our garden.

Terry A.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but before she attached the IV. We were relieved that we made the decision to let her go to doggy heaven at home. It was a tranquil and serene passing for her, and it very much aids us in the grieving and healing process knowing that she passed away so peacefully. Based on the grace and compassion Dr. Brown demonstrated on one of the most awful days of our lives we would not hesitate to recommend Paws Into Grace for others facing this very painful time.
San Diego Orange County Cremation Office