Many times the question asked when your pet dies is “Do you want the cremains returned to you?” But, is that really the right question for you and your family? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have been asked “How would you like your pet treated?”
Typically, when cremains are not returned to the family your pet is cremated in a group (Communal Cremation). But, even with the return of the cremains, your pet could be cremated by itself (Private Cremation), with a few others at the same time (Partitioned Cremation) or as a Communal Cremation (which is deemed to be unethical within the profession and potentially illegal). Having knowledge is having power. Ask about the process that your provider plans for your pet to make sure it is right for you and your family. Then YOU can tell them how you want your pet treated.
I suggest that your first statement to anyone in the pet after-care profession be “This is how I want my pet to be cremated (Private, Partitioned, Communal)” and the secondary statement would then be “I would/or would not like my pet’s cremains returned to me.”
In that way you will know exactly how your pet is to be treated and you can feel assured that it was treated with the dignity and respect it deserves.