My Pet Cremation Experience in SG


A vet injecting a young alsatian in a vet clinic

My Pet Cremation Experience in SG

On my pet

In this blog post, I would like to share my personal experience of pet cremation in SG. My Alsatian peacefully went to sleep for the last time in November two years ago. She was fourteen years old, which is very old for a dog of her size, and I had noticed for six months that she was beginning to wind down and that the good times were outweighed by the bad, healthwise. The death of my dog was actually a relief that her suffering had ended, more than grief that she had gone away, because as a pet parent, I’ve always placed my pet’s well-being above my own need for their companionship, although, as I really do know, I need their support so much. 

As such, I took some leave from work and spent a really happy week with her. We didn’t go to the dog park or for long walks, the way we used to when she was younger. Instead, we just spent a lot of time watching the birds outside the window and enjoying the weather on the balcony. I think she also knew that the end was near, as I noticed that there was an attitude of relief in her demeanour, as if she knew the suffering would soon end.

A peaceful death

Then, on the appointed day, I took her to the vet. I remained in the room when the vet administered the injection and held her as her eyes closed and her laboured breathing finally stopped. (For anyone else who will go through this process, always remain in the room when you put down your pets. The vet told me, they always look for you if you leave.)

Since my dog’s death was planned, I was able to make an appointment to perform her pet cremation. The vet kindly agreed to keep her body in a refrigerated container in her clinic until the pet crematorium came to pick up my dog. 

Pet cremation in SG: My experience

I had booked a private cremation so that I could have a pre-cremation viewing of the body. In SG, there are three different types of pet cremation available: communal and individual cremation do not allow for bereaved pet parents to attend the service, as such I opted for the private cremation as it was most important for me to be able to attend the service.

The pet crematorium laid her out so that she looked like she was asleep, and arranged flowers around the body.

On the day of the cremation, friendship came through

I had invited my friends and some dog parents who we used to meet up with in the dog park, mainly because they knew my dog, and also because some of them were curious about what pet cremation in SG entails. I felt that it would be good to use my dog’s death to educate and reassure other pet parents that pet cremation in SG was not an unfeeling and commercialized process, and that it could be an important stepping stone in the grief journey.

During the pre-cremation, my guests were kind enough to bring things that my dog liked, like her favourite brand of dog treats and dog food. We chatted about all of the happy times together and the funny things she liked to do, and her intelligence. It was a healing experience to be able to share my grief and reminisce about the good times that we had together. 

The process of the cremation

Also, strangely, watching the cremation was also a deeply healing experience. Contrary to my initial impression of what a pet cremation in SG would be like, the pet is not burned by fire.

The pet’s body will be wrapped in a sheet and placed into a cremation machine. After that, the air in the chamber will be heated and, simultaneously, water mist will descend to minimize the chance that the body will combust. It is the heated air, and not fire, that vapourizes all the organic matter from the bones of the pet. 

I personally find the cremation process to be comforting as, unlike when burying the pet, the organic matter is vapourized and therefore will not go through the decomposition process. 

Beginning the healing process

After the cremation service, my friends and I donated the pet treats and food to a local dog sanctuary for stray and abandoned dogs. Their kind gesture of bringing the items and then donating them to dogs that could enjoy them really comforted me as it let me know I was not alone in grieving my dog. The best possible outcome of my dog’s death was that it gave rise to a gesture that helped living dogs.

To sum up, my pet cremation experience in SG was one of grief, but also bonding and remembrance. The pet cremation gave me a chance to gather my fellow dog parents to celebrate the life of my dog, help them figure out what they should do on the occasion of their own pets’ deaths, and also to bond by helping other dogs.

These days, I keep a jar with my dog’s ashes on a shelf, and also have a clay imprint of her paw and framed photographs of her. Being a dog parent gave me joy and I will be the parent to another dog, again, but for now, I just want to focus on remembering my departed animal.

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