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What is Aquamation for Pets: A Sustainable Alternative to Traditional Cremation

Pet owners have long looked for gentle, environmentally friendly ways to remember their cherished friends after they pass away. At the same time, traditional cremation, a common practice, raises questions about how it may affect the environment. It uses an excess of energy and creates greenhouse gases.

Aquamation is an environmentally friendly substitute for pets. This process is becoming popular in the pet aftercare sector. In this article, we will share “What is Aquamation for Pets” and many other things you should know.

What is Aquamation for Pets?

Alkaline hydrolysis, water-based cremation, green cremation, bio-cremation, and flameless cremation are other names for pet aquamation. With this green cremation alternative, the decomposition process (as it would occur in the ground) is sped up. At the same time, it maintains the same natural process of breakdown as flame cremation. Because alkaline hydrolysis is far kinder to the environment than standard flame cremation, it is a more environmentally responsible method of pet cremation. In the United States, aquamation is accepted as the ultimate aftercare for the remains of cherished pets.

During a natural burial, when a body, human or pet, is buried in the earth, nature takes its course and breaks down the remains. The body decomposes naturally and returns to the ground, like any other organic matter. Aquamation is a more environmentally friendly option for pet owners than pet cremation. This process accelerates the natural breakdown of organic components using a combination of alkalinity, temperature, and moderate water flow.

what is aquamation for pets

The History of Aquamation

The practice of aquamation has been around since the 1800s. Amos Hanson, a farmer, invented the process to hasten the decomposition of animal carcasses. The material was then turned into fertilizer for agricultural use. Animal carcasses were eventually disposed of using this approach in scientific labs. Medical schools started utilizing commercial aquamation equipment in the 1990s to assist with the disposal of corpses.

Over the next decade, many hospitals and schools have adopted this practice and, unsurprisingly, veterinarians soon started using aquamation.

How Does the Aquamation Process for Pets Work?

Aquamation is the process of pet cremating by alkaline hydrolysis. It is a natural decomposition process using a combination of potassium salts, warmth, and water. Once this process is finished, it provides a compassionate substitute for customary cremation. It restores the pet's body to its original state in water.

As with cremation, the only residue left over after the aquamation process is the mineral ash of the bones. Because aquamation preserves more minerals, it is cleaner. It does not result in carbon staining. The ashes are softer and whiter than those from standard flame-based cremation. Additionally, aquamation yields a safe liquid solution to discharge into the environment. Farmland and the planet as a whole will enjoy the residual nutrients for years to come.

Energy and Natural Processes

Furthermore, aquamation requires only 20% of the energy required for cremation by fire. Eco-minded families find this appealing. They want to be sure that, throughout the cremation process, every precaution has been taken to protect the environment.

The Benefits of Pet Aquamation

Selecting aquamation (alkaline hydrolysis) for your pet's aftercare has many advantages. Here are the top 2 reasons to consider aquamation.

1. Gentler Treatment of Your Beloved Pet

Pets were given gentle, loving care throughout their lives. Many pet owners have stated that they want their animals to receive this kind of care even after passing away. Aquamation is a gentle, water-based, eco-friendly aqua-cremation process with almost no carbon footprint. Pet owners can use it if they do not want their pets buried. The end result is 20–30% more of their pet's ashes given to them to treasure and remember their companion.

2. Eco-Friendly Alternative to Flame Cremation in Veterinary Medicine

There are several issues with traditional flame cremation. Burning organic material releases greenhouse gases and toxins into the atmosphere. In addition to being inefficient in terms of energy, traditional cremation uses more than 90% more power than aquamation. This green, eco-friendly substitute has a carbon footprint a tenth that of fire cremation. An aquamation tank requires the energy of a 75-watt circuit breaker. Yet, a row of crematory ovens operating at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit is reported to need enough power to light up a football stadium.

Less water is required during the aquamation process than the typical single home would use daily. There is also relatively little environmental impact. This covers both the final residues inside the containment vessel and the aquamation procedure.

Also, municipal treatment facilities can utilize nutrient-rich water produced as a byproduct of aquamation. It can aid in the decomposition of trash. The final aquamation solution is sterile and contains a natural breakdown of soap, carbohydrates, amino acids, nutrients, and salt. The nutrient-rich water left over from their body is a natural fertilizer. We at Peaceful Veterinary Care and Peaceful Waters Aquamation comply with all state rules and hold a valid license in the state of California.

aquamation process for pets

The Cost of Pet Aquamation

In general, aquamation cost for pets is comparable to flame cremation cost. While cost can vary, $200-500 is a general price range. Aquamation yields about 25% more ash debris than a regular fire cremation.


How Long Does the Aquamation Process Take?

The water/alkali solution is heated to 180°F, far lower than the usual flame cremation temperature range of 1400-2000°F.

This is why the process takes longer. The pet's remains are burned for 18 to 20 hours, which produces less carbon dioxide and consumes less energy.

How Does Fire Cremation Pollute The Environment?

The EPA states that dangerous air pollutants are released during fire cremation. It includes dioxins, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, mercury, and nickel. An estimated yearly amount of non-renewable fossil fuels is used in human cremations in the United States. This could power an automobile to go 40,000,000 miles. The typical human crematory can cremate 8–10 humans per day.

Yet, the average pet crematory can cremate more than 50–60 pets daily. Dead animals are often burned in body bags at pet cemeteries. This produces toxic fumes and distorts the pet's image.

It’s been reported that just one pet cremation produces 100 pounds of greenhouse gases on average daily, amounting to tons of emissions.

What Do You Mean by Alkalinity? Is that an Acid?

No, it is the antithesis of an acid. Acids are neutralized by alkalis. For the pet aquamation procedure, very little alkali is required.

Does the Pet Aquamation Process Use a Lot of Water?

Water conservation concerns are reasonable. The water used for approximately 20 hours is comparable to what a regular family would use in the same amount of time because of the low flow of water required. The released water is a sterile solution that has no negative effects on the wastewater treatment plant or the environment.

In The End

The exploration of "what is aquamation for pets," it's crystal clear that, pet aquamation is a sustainable substitute. It provides a calm farewell for cherished animal friends. San Diego's Peaceful Veterinary Care is notable for its creativity and compassion. We're dedicated to providing the best end-of-life care possible. Each pet's trip is treated with honor and consideration. Furry family members find comfort in a gentle return to nature through aquamation. A legacy of love and environmental sustainability is left behind by this. Put your trust in Peaceful Veterinary Care for a considerate sendoff for beloved pets.

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