Are you contemplating between pet water vs flame cremation? If you’re reading this, you probably just want simple answers at a time when you need to process more important emotions.
So, in short, pet water cremation is a more environmentally friendly choice of cremation than flame cremation, while pet flame cremation can be cheaper and is the more traditional choice.
Both types of pet cremation will give you ashes to memorialise your loved ones in a way that suits them most, and both are great ways to keep your pets close by, especially if you simply can’t bear the idea of being separated from them.
If you need to know more, we’ve tried to be as clear and impartial as possible about the difference between pet water vs flame cremation in the article below, with information on cost, timing, and processes so you can make a truly informed decision when it matters most.
Choosing Cremation for Your Pet Memorials
Firstly, remember that cremation isn’t your only option. Many pet parents choose to bury their pets traditionally, or plant trees in their memory (or both). However, cremation is a simple way to keep your pet’s remains safe and nearby and has long been used as a respectful alternative to burial for both humans and pets.
If you do decide to cremate your pets, find an urn that suits them first so they can be memorialised properly, and then decide between traditional flame cremation, and the new alternative of water cremation.
What’s the Difference Between Pet Water vs Flame Cremation?
Water cremation and flame cremation differ hugely in their process, but the end results are fairly similar, with about 20% of remains retained as ashes to memorialise your loved ones.
What is Water Cremation for Pets?
Pet water cremation uses less heat, combined with water, pressure and chemicals to produce similar ashes. By heating water to 160°C, and putting the chamber under pressure combined with potassium hydroxide, the natural process of decomposition, which usually takes around twelve years, can be reduced to as little as four hours.
The whole process is gentle and respectful of your pets, and the results are equal to if not better than flame cremation.
Benefits of Pet Water Cremation
The key benefits of water cremation for pets are environmental. It is a much more sustainable method of cremation, and the results are closer to natural decomposition, albeit, sped up.
As well as not producing harmful chemicals through burning, including methane and mercury, that are present in flame cremation.
The whole process is generally quicker than flame cremation, though the cremation time itself is longer. But, because it is currently less popular than flame cremation, water cremation tends to have your pet’s ashes back home sooner.
Negatives of Water Cremation for Pets
Pet water cremation is usually more expensive than traditional pet cremation. Partly this is because the technology is new, and initial investments are being covered by water cremation providers. However, in time, the carbon and energy costs are lower, so the cost to pet owners will fall.
The main negative of water cremation isn’t the process itself, but the fact that most of us only find out about it when the decision is imminent or on top of us. Anything that complicates the loss of a pet is bad, but it is worth taking some time to consider the many benefits of this method of cremation.
What is Flame Cremation for Pets?
Flame cremation, the traditional method, uses intense heat produced by flames (from gas in modern settings) and evaporation to preserve the most basic elements of your pet.
The controlled chamber means the process is done respectfully, and your loved pets undergo the process for a shorter period than that of water cremation, typically within an hour or two.
Benefits of Pet Flame Cremation
Flame cremation is the most traditional method of cremation, and the easy choice for most pet owners, because it’s often something you’ve accepted as an eventuality, making the process emotionally lighter.
Flame cremation can be cheaper than water cremation, because it’s a more popular choice, despite the energy costs being higher.
Flame cremation is a quicker process, typically taking no more than two hours, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to the delivery of ashes being faster.
Negatives of Flame Cremation for Pets
Flame cremation produces harmful greenhouse gases, including mercury from the process, and burns fossil fuels, either as gases or solids, depending on the individual provider. It is generally seen today as environmentally unsustainable.
Flame cremation is a more popular choice, so waiting times can be long, and it can take up to two weeks to get your pet home, depending on the individual provider.
Choosing Between Pet Water Vs Flame Cremation
Personally, I think water cremation is a better option. It’s not just that it’s more environmentally friendly, but it is one less thing on your conscience. In a few years, most pet cremations will be water cremations, not just here in Australia, but elsewhere too.
Your pet deserves a send-off that suits it. If that’s flame cremation, and if that’s what you’d planned, then go for it. It’s the right choice. But if you’re not sure, and you’re willing to think differently, you can do your bit, and leave a small legacy for your pet, by making a sustainable choice for their cremation with pet water cremation, rather than flame cremation.