Just as it has for people, cremation is becoming a more and more popular form of disposition for those who have lost their beloved pet. Pet cremation is ideal for many, for a variety of reasons – such as elderly people who are not able to physically handle their pet for burial, or individuals who do not have property in which they can inter their companion. More over, pet cremation offers a number of ways one can honor the final remains of a companion animal, such as burial of the ashes, scattering in a favorite location, or the more popular choice for many – placement in a memorial ash vessel. In recent years, the death care industry has certainly expanded to offer truly fitting memorial urns, and this expansion is, perhaps, most seen in the vast array of pet cremation urns available. From pet urns that feature a favorite photo, to dog cremation urns aimed to pay tribute to man’s best friend, and even one-of-a-kind ceramic and glass vessels created by artisans to honor a truly special friend – these ash urns offer a befitting remembrance to capture and honor the countless memories left behind by a lost companion animal.
Pet owners searching for a memorial to their beloved friend often wonder what size urn they will need. Because the amount of ashes a cremation produces varies significantly depending upon a myriad of factors, it is often best to determine the urn size after the cremation has taken place. But, in cases in which that is not practical, a common rule-of-thumb typically works well to assure that you do not select an urn that is too small.
The rule of thumb:
In general, you should select an urn that is about 1 cubic inch for each pound that your pet weighed. Typically, it is a good idea to add 10 cubic inches to that number, to help ensure the urn will be large enough (i.e.: A pet weighing 60 pounds would need an urn that held 70 cubic inches).
It is important to note that this rule cannot be counted on to give reliable results all of the time. But, many memorial industry professionals have found that it is very useful in a vast majority of cases. The rule typically produces a very conservative estimate of the amount of ashes that a cremation will produce. Therefore, following this rule will usually guide you to select an urn that is large enough for your pet. There is a risk, of course, that the urn will be larger than you actually need, but, for many pet owners, that is not a significant concern.
How to arrive at a precise measurement:
If the cremation has already been performed and ashes are available, it is possible to figure precisely how large an urn you will need. Just follow the steps below:
1. Measure the width and depth of the temporary container provided to you by the crematory.
2. Open the container and measure and measure to the top of the ashes, which are usually provided to you in a separate plastic bag. (If doing this makes you uncomfortable, do not hesitate to ask someone at the crematory to do it for you. Most will gladly do it.)
3. Remembering from geometry that the volume of a container equals the product of the length, width and height (v=l * w* h), multiply the numbers in step one and then multiply that answer by the number in step two. You will then know the exact size (in cubic inches) of the urn you will need to select.
It certainly goes without saying that the loss of a pet can cause an amount of grief that often surprises many pet parents, especially when that loss is unexpected. The silent nature of a special companion can cause one to not recognize the impact they have in our lives until, unfortunately, after they are gone. Because many feel the dire need to honor their lost pet, a lot of thought often goes into finding the right urn for their final remains. For this reason, among many others, it is very important to know what size urn will be right for one’s needs. Knowing what to look for in size can certainly help find the perfect vessel for a pet’s remains, and facilitate obtaining that final tribute – which goes a long way in helping one gain closure, and heal from the grief felt after the loss of a treasured friend.