What Is Pet Aquamation?

Cremation vs. Aquamation Ashes

Pet aquamation is the water-based alternative to conventional pet cremation. Once your pet is in Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation’s care, we will gently place their body into an alkali bath consisting of the salts from the soil that would help their body breakdown if they were buried instead of cremated. The result is the same ash received from flame-based cremation; in fact, about 20% more ash on average with a 95% reduction in energy use.

Aquamation is the pet-related, trade name for the process called “alkaline hydrolysis.” Watch this video to learn more: Alkaline Hydrolysis Overview

What If My Veterinarian Does Not Offer Aquamation?

You may request aquamation services at any vet office, regardless of the aftercare vendor your vet currently uses. Most vet hospitals are willing to help with your preferred after care arrangements, but typically you will have to ask if you want to know all of the options available to you.

Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation also offers peaceful and private euthanasia services in our comfort rooms, eliminating the stress of the vet hospital and aftercare arrangements. Learn more at our Pet Euthanasia Information Page.

For aquamation service for any non-partnering veterinary clinics please either submit an online vet release or print, complete, and take our printable vet release form to your vet appointment and leave a completed and signed copy with the hospital. We recommend letting Heavenly Paws know you’d prefer our services as soon as you decide to move forward with aquamation for your companion.

If you have any questions about how to make final arrangements please contact us.

What Should I Do if My Pet Dies at Home?

The most important thing to remember when a pet passes at home is to keep the body as cool and dry as possible and away from other pets.

A List of Things To Do and Consider:

  • As soon as possible, following the passing of your pet, it’s best to place pee pads or plastic under the pet’s head and rear end as they may begin losing fluids.
  • It is okay to wrap the body in the pet’s favorite blanket or place them in their bed. Alternatively, wrapping the body in a blanket or towel you do not mind getting soiled or disposing of and placing the body in plastic/pee pad lined box or tote will help keep your home and vehicle more sanitary.
  • If there are items you would like to keep, such as a collar or ID tags, please remove them prior to releasing your pet into Heavenly Paws’ care.
  • If your pet passes outside our normal business hours, there is little risk to keeping the body for up to 24 hours in your home if your companion is kept cool and dry. If you are uncomfortable keeping the pet’s body until we open, Heavenly Paws answers our phones 24/7 and provides after-hours service for an additional fee.

How Can I Be Sure I Am Getting My Pet’s Ashes Returned?

We utilize our “PAWS” Tracking System to ensure your are pet’s ashes are returned to you. Each pet receiving an individual aquamation service is issued a Heavenly Paws numbered stainless steel tag at the time of pick-up at your home, arrival at our office or at your veterinarian’s office. The stainless steel tag stays with your pet at all times throughout our care. Strict quality controls are followed each step of the way. When you opt for an individual aquamation, the steel PAWS ID tag and certificate of aquamation with the same PAWS tracker ID number you are issued on your pet’s release form will be returned.

Can I Pre-Plan For My Pet’s Passing?

Yes, Heavenly Paws knows it is difficult to think about, but we encourage all pet parents to have a plan in place for their pet’s passing. Too often we are asked to care for pets that were too young to cross the rainbow bridge, and too many of our pet parents say they wish they had planned ahead. Having a plan will help prepare you for one of the most difficult times of your life. A time when you should be remembering a life well lived and not burdened with the hassle of making after care arrangements. We offer the opportunity to complete a simple form to get your wishes on file with your veterinarian and Heavenly Paws so you can focus on healing and let us take care of the rest.

Please complete the pre-planning form online below, call or email us to begin your consultation, or visit us in-person to complete paperwork. We will be proud to support you and care for your companion.

Complete Pre-Planning Form

How Do I Know If It’s Time To Euthanize?

The decision around euthanasia for a beloved pet companion is never easy. There is no substitute for the feedback of a trained veterinary professional, but to help assess your pet’s quality of life The Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement offers a quality of life scale you may find useful. Here is the link to Villalobos Quality of Life Scale: APLB – Villalobos Quality of Life Scale

What Should I Do With My Pet’s Belongings After They Pass?

We recommend donating your pet’s belongings to charity. There are some wonderful organizations in the Atlanta area, and Heavenly Paws is proud to support Ahimsa House. If you would like to drop off your pet’s belongings (e.g. litter, litter box and scoop, leftover food, bedding, collar, heart-worm preventative, leash, crates, etc.) when your pet enters our care, we are more than happy to distribute the belongings for you. If you are planning for us to pick up your pet at your vet’s office, please consult with your vet prior to leaving these items with them.

What Is The Cost of Aquamation?

While cost isn’t always a factor in the loss of a beloved companion, Aquamation is priced competitively with traditional fire cremation and burial. Heavenly Paws offers pricing from $69 for aquamation services with pricing based on the pet’s weight in pounds and whether you would like your pet’s ashes returned. To know exactly what the cost for your beloved companion will be please follow the pricing link below:

Aquamation Pricing

How Does Fire Cremation Pollute The Environment?

According to the EPA, fire cremation releases harmful pollutants into the air including dioxins, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, mercury and nickel. It is estimated the amount of non-renewable fossil fuels consumed in the US annually for human cremations is enough for over 40,000,000 miles of driving in a car. This number does not account for pet crematories; the average human crematory can cremate 8-10 people per day while the average pet crematory in Atlanta may cremate more than 50-60 pets per day and operates around the clock. On top of this pet crematories will often burn the pet inside their body bag never laying eyes on the pet they are serving and adding to the toxic emissions.

Every 5th pet Heavenly Paws cares for saves, on average, enough fuel to drive across the country.

Why Have I Never Heard of Aquamation?

Aquamation (alkaline hydrolysis) was originally patented in 1888, however only in recent years has it gained increasing popularity within households. In fact, the popularity began to grow when it was discovered aquamation was the best way to neutralize the dangerous mad cow disease pathogen.

Heavenly Paws is proud to be the first to offer aquamation services in Georgia. Aquamation has been used for decades as a final disposition (for people and animals) at organizations including: UGA, UCLA, the Mayo Clinic, Duke University, Colorado State University, Texas A&M, Kansas State University and the US Government.

Why Use Aquamation (AKA Alkaline Hydrolysis)?

Aquamation returns ~20% more of your pet’s ashes, uses no fire and therefore produces no toxic emissions, and does not directly contribute to greenhouse gases. Moreover, aquamation:

  • Has 1/10 the carbon footprint of conventional cremation
  • Uses >90% less natural gas
  • Reduces >90% of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Conserves >66% more electricity
  • Is 100% mercury free
  • As a green alternative, uses 95% less energy than traditional fire cremation

It is a gentle process preserving your pet’s dignity. For those who trust Heavenly Paws with their pet’s care, making this gentle, environmentally conscious choice is the best way to honor your beloved pet.

How Do I Submit a Tribute For My Pet?

Please follow the link below or mail your tribute to us (please include the photo you would like used and a stamped return envelope if you would like the photo returned):

Submit a Tribute

Mail: Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation, 6990 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Ste J, Peachtree Corners, GA 30071

How Long Does the Aquamation Service Take?

Because we conduct our aquamation services as eco-consciously as possible, it takes a bit more time than conventional cremation. Our turnaround time is approximately one week and varies a bit based on the size and condition of the pet when they enter our care.