A big downside of getting a pet is that it might have to leave this world before you do. But that also makes every moment with your pet sweeter and more valuable. With that, knowing how to send off your beloved hamster through cremation properly is one of the best ways to celebrate it.
You can follow these steps to prepare for your hamster’s cremation:
- Preserve your hamster’s body while you mourn.
- Research available pet cremation services near you.
- Decide on what kind of cremation service you want.
- Opt to cremate your hamster at home.
- Determine what you’ll do with your hamster’s ashes.
- Dispose of your hamster’s ashes in the way that feels best.
Cremation is a procedure many pet owners have for various reasons, whether personal or economical. This article will discuss how you can move forward in the process and help your hamster find peace. Keep reading.
1. Preserve Your Hamster’s Body While You Mourn
Understandably, you may need more time to accept your pet’s death. It’s healthy that you allow yourself to grieve over your hamster’s passing since it was also a significant part of your life. However, you might have to preserve your hamster as soon as possible since animal bodies can decay quickly.
First off, make sure that your hamster is dead. Many new hamster owners mistake a hibernating hamster for a dead one, which is a blunder you wouldn’t want to make.
Wear a pair of gloves for safety, especially if your hamster was sick prior to its death. Then check for breath mist using a spoon or mirror, stroke your hamster’s body, or check its body temperature. See also if there is rigor mortis.
Once you are sure that your hamster has passed away, get a box or plastic, sealable bags for you to place it in. Keep your gloves on while removing your dead hamster. Then, you can preserve your hamster in a freezer while you make decisions or arrangements for how you want to bury or dispose of it.
Your hamster can stay in the freezer for a couple of hours but should be disposed of within 24 hours. You should also make sure that nothing would be contaminated while your hamster is inside and that it is preserved well in its container.
2. Research Available Pet Cremation Services Near You
In some USA states, while cremation is necessary for a sick or contaminated pet, it’s just a preference for some.
Whether you have to do so or have decided on cremation, you should conduct research on cremation services near you. While it’s possible to cremate a pet at home, doing it alone may not be possible for everyone.
Consult a Veterinarian or Animal Shelter
If your hamster died in a veterinary clinic, they might offer to arrange the cremation process—you can opt for that.
However, if your hamster passed away at home and you don’t know of any nearby services, you can contact a veterinarian or animal shelter if they know of one. These places often have arrangements with pet funerals or cremation companies.
Search for Cremation Services Online
If you cannot get information from a vet or animal shelter, you can also conduct quick research online. See if there are pet cremation services nearby, what kind of cremation they offer, and if they can pick up your hamster or you would have to bring them. You can also see what kind of reviews they are getting and ensure that your pet is in the right hands.
All-Tenn, for example, offers cremation services for various animals, from hamsters to horses. It’s worth calling them, even if they might not be able to cremate your hamster for you; you can ask them if they know other companies that can help you instead.
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3. Decide on What Kind of Cremation Service You Want
If you have found a pet funeral or cremation company you like, you can decide what kind of cremation you want for your hamster. There are different kinds of cremations, all of which vary in advantages and costs.
Some of these services may also come with an urn or columbarium package. Others would also offer to pick up your hamster and deliver their remains to you after the process.
Some pet cremation and funeral services are open 24 hours in the United States and other countries and can attend to your needs immediately. For example, Rainbow to Heaven offers pet cremation services in Southern California, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Private Cremation: Personal but Expensive
Private pet cremation is the most expensive type. Your pet is cremated alone, ensuring that its ashes don’t get mixed with others and that you can take their remains back afterward. Some companies would even allow viewing the cremation process for an additional fee.
Partitioned Cremation: Less Personal but More Affordable
In a partitioned cremation, your hamster is cremated along with other animals, but a division separates them to ensure none to little mixing of remains. Viewing may not be possible for this kind of cremation.
While you can get back your pet’s remains, keep in mind that your pet’s ashes might have mixed with those of other animals.
The partitioned cremation is cheaper than a private cremation but more expensive than a communal type.
Communal Cremation: Least Intimate but Cheapest
Communal cremation is the least intimate but most affordable cremation type. In this option, your hamster would be cremated along with other animals, with no divisions or partitions present.
Thus, the remains would all be mixed, and you wouldn’t get your hamster’s remains or watch the cremation process. Your pet’s ashes would most likely be spread across a memorial park or space for pets.
Aquamation or Alkaline Hydrolysis Cremation: Gentle and Eco-Friendly
A new type of cremation you can opt for your hamster would be aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis cremation. It is also called pet water cremation. In this process, water and alkali salts are used to speed up the natural decay of your pet’s body.
It is also environmentally friendly compared to flame-based cremation. Like the private cremation type, they will return your pet’s remains afterward.
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4. Opt To Cremate Your Hamster at Home
If you wonder whether you can cremate your hamster at home, you’d be happy to know that it’s possible. But it can be a challenging process and may not give the same results as a crematorium; thus, a home cremation is not recommended. But you can do it if you prefer.
A scorching fire is necessary to turn your pet into ashes, and such temperatures are hard to achieve. It may also be dangerous and not the most efficient when done at home.
If you decide to cremate your hamster at home, make sure to check with your local government to see if it’s legal. Then, you would need a vast, open space to perform the cremation. You would also need kindling wood, charcoal, potassium nitrate, a barrel, and a metal pan.
Follow these steps if you prefer to cremate your hamster at home:
- Check if at-home pet cremation is legal. Consult with your local government or fire department regarding your plans. Some states in the United States may allow it, but others may not. See if they can check the space you plan to conduct the cremation in. Also, make sure to inform your neighbors so they won’t be alarmed by the huge fire.
- Find an ample, open space. Home cremation may only be an option for those living in rural areas or places with a big, free backyard. Fire can spread, so make sure that trees, bushes, and other stuff that can catch it are at least 20 ft (6.10 m) away. Have the fire department assess the area.
- Prepare the necessary materials. Some of the things you may need would be a barrel or metal drum, wood or charcoal, and a metal pan. A barrel or drum would help you contain the fire and your pet. To reach the right temperature, you would also need potassium nitrate, which is used as a stump remover. You might also need a sledgehammer to crush residual bones.
- Make a fire and set out your drum or barrel in the open space. Place your hamster on a metal pan or some container to help contain the ashes. Then, surround it with wood or kindling. Make a fire using wood and charcoal. You would need to reach the incredibly high temperature of around 1500°F (816°C) needed to cremate your hamster. To achieve that, you may use potassium nitrate or even gasoline.
- Stand back and wait. Allow the fire to burn and add wood, gas, or potassium nitrate when needed. It may take some time, at least half an hour, for the process to finish. Bones will take longer to turn into ash.
- Crush the bones and retrieve the ashes. If the fire has cooled down a bit, crush the bones before they totally cool down. Then remove the metal pan with the ashes. Place them in an urn or container.
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5. Determine What You’ll Do With Your Hamster’s Ashes
Once you have your hamster’s remains, what you would like to do with them is up to you. Make the decision that would best bring you and your pet peace. Some options may be more convenient, while some may be more sentimental.
These are some options you can choose from for your pet’s ashes:
- Transform the ashes into jewelry. Many individuals or companies now offer services to use your pet’s ashes in making jewelry. Your pet’s ashes may be placed in a locket or pendant you can wear. This keeps your pet close to your heart and is a sentimental way of making sure it stays forever with you.
- Incorporate in some artwork. Aside from jewelry, your pet’s ashes can also be incorporated in artwork. Glass art, paintings, and resin art are just some creations that can make use of your pet’s ashes. These can be displayed and serve as a beautiful reminder of your pet.
- Store the ashes in a columbarium or pet memorial. Some pet cremation services also offer their columbarium or memorial places where you can lay your pet to rest—a columbarium where the urns of cremated remains can be stored. By storing them here instead of burying them in your yard, you can visit them when you want, even when you have to leave your current home.
- Store the ashes in an urn and display the urn at home. This is a common course taken by pet owners and other people who have their loved ones created. An urn helps keep pet ashes at home. It’s also easy for you to bring it with you when you need to move to another place. Some pet cremation services offer urns to choose from, or you may buy one from a preferred shop.
- Scatter your pet’s ashes in the sea or at the park. You can also scatter their ashes in a special place, like the sea, memorial garden, or your backyard. Make sure it is alright to scatter ashes in that place.
- Plant the ashes as a tree. You can use your pet’s ashes in planting a tree, but make sure they don’t have substances that can be poisonous to plants. Water-based cremation remains may be suitable for planting because of their mineral content.
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6. Dispose of Your Hamster’s Ashes in the Way That Feels Best
If you have reached a decision, you may now dispose of your hamster’s ashes the way you see fit. Make all necessary arrangements and do it when you are ready.
If you opt for jewelry or artwork, look for credible artists who will treat your pet’s remains with respect and deliver a quality memento. Decide what kind of jewelry and artwork you would want, and you may even include some of your hamster’s fur if you have kept some of it.
If you prefer a memorial site or columbarium, you can consult with the cremation services or search online to check if there are any nearby. Some donate to animal charities if you choose to store your pet’s ashes with them.
Letting go of a pet is difficult. There’s no blueprint for grief and mourning, and the best way to move forward is a personal choice. Some prefer burial, while others prefer cremation. Either way, make the decision that helps you bring peace and honors your memories with your pet.
Cremating our hamster is a long process filled with decision-making. You have to choose the cremation type you want, where to cremate your pet, and what to do with the remains after. But hopefully, this article has provided you with a guide that’ll make it easier for you.
You may like the following hamster articles:
- Can You Get Rabies From a Hamster Bite?
- What To Do When Your Hamster Dies
- How Often Do You Change Hamster Bedding?
- Why Is My Hamster Itching?
- How To Get Your Hamster To Like You
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more