Pet Aquamation vs Flame-based Cremation: Which is the Better Option?

Losing a beloved pet is an incredibly difficult experience, and the choices you make to honor their memory can feel overwhelming.

Many pet owners seek ways to say goodbye that are both respectful and environmentally friendly. Two primary methods have emerged as popular options: pet aquamation vs flame-based cremation.

In this article, we will delve into these two methods, examining their processes, benefits, and drawbacks. By understanding the differences between pet aquamation and cremation, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that honors your pet in the most meaningful way.

Comparing the Process: Pet Aquamation vs Flame-based Cremation

Pet Aquamation

Pet aquamation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, eco-cremation, green cremation and bio-cremation, is a process that uses water and natural salts to break down the body of a deceased pet. This method mimics natural decomposition but accelerates it significantly, resulting in a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional flame-based cremation.  This process uses electricity only.

In the alkaline hydrolysis process, the pet’s body is placed in a solution of water and alkali. This solution is heated and agitated, which helps break down the body into its basic components over a period of several hours. The remaining softened bone are then processed into cremains. This is similar to what is produced in flame-based cremation, as that process results in charred bone which is processed into what is referred to as “ash”. Water-based decomposition process is a gentler and more natural method compared to traditional fire cremation.

Flame-based Cremation

Flame-based cremation uses high heat to reduce the pet’s body to bone and it utilizes natural gas. This method has been a traditional choice for many years and remains widely used due to its familiarity and accessibility.

In flame-based cremation, the pets are placed in a retort where they are exposed to intense heat. This process typically takes a few hours, and the resulting bone fragments are processed down into what is referred to as “ash”

Pros and Cons of Pet Aquamation vs Flame-based Cremation

Aquamation is recognized for its minimal environmental footprint. It uses about 90% less energy and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 90% compared to traditional cremation.

Flame-based cremation may be more familiar to many pet owners.

Water-based Pet Aquamation

Pros Cons
Environmentally Friendly– Significantly reduces carbon emissions and avoids releasing toxic substances into the atmosphere. Availability– Not as widely available as traditional cremation services.
Natural Process- Mimics natural decomposition  Awareness– Although this may be less familiar to many pet owners, it is quickly gaining in acceptance and preference.      
More Remains– Produces about 20% more cremains for owners who wish to keep them
Cost-Effective– Generally comparable in cost to traditional cremation.

Flame-based Pet Cremation

Pros Cons
Accessibility- Widely available and known, making it an easy choice for many. Environmental Impact- Higher carbon emissions and release of harmful pollutants.
Established Process– Well-understood and trusted method with a long history. Lower Yield– Produces less remains compared to aquamation.
Energy Consumption– Uses significant amounts of natural gas and electricity.

Making the Right Choice for Your Pet

Researching and understanding both options can help you make a decision that feels right for you and your pet. Each method has its own merits and can provide a respectful and meaningful way to say goodbye.

If you’re choosing between pet aquamation and flame-based cremation, you might want to  consider the following factors:

  1. Environmental Impact – If sustainability is a priority, aquamation offers a greener alternative.
  2. Cost –  Both methods are similarly priced.
  3. Personal Preference – Consider which process aligns more closely with your values and how you wish to honor your pet’s memory. Whether you prefer an eco-friendly, sustainable option like aquamation or a more historical method, it’s important to choose what feels right for you.
  4. Availability – Depending on your location, one method might be more available than the other. 


Both pet aquamation and flame-based cremation offer ways to honor your pet’s memory after their passing. Aquamation stands out for its environmental benefits and natural approach, while flame-based cremation remains a trusted and familiar method. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that aligns with your values, preferences, and circumstances. By considering all factors and researching thoroughly, you can ensure a respectful farewell for your cherished companion.

Find the help you need today. Call us to discuss the best option for you and your pet.


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