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Body Care

If your pet has passed away without being euthanized, weighs more than 100 pounds, or you prefer to make your own arrangements, here are options for care of the body


With Deepest Sympathy on the Loss of your Pet

If your pet has passed away without euthanasia, weighs over 100 lb, or you prefer to make your own arrangements, you have several options for care of the body. Regardless of which option you choose, the body should be cared for within 24 hours, or kept cool. Protect the body against flies and ants, and protect your floor from fluids that may leak over time. Because the body stiffens within one to two hours, it is a good idea to curl the body in a sleeping position before this happens. You may use a blanket or box to help hold the body in a restful position.


A list of Sacramento Area pet crematories is at the bottom of this page. With cremation, you have the option of having a private cremation with the ashes returned to you, or a communal cremation with the ashes not returned (they will be scattered or buried, depending on the crematory). There are several options for how to have your pet’s body transported to the crematory. If your pet has died on a Sunday or on a Holiday, you may need to wait until the next day to make arrangements. It is ok to hold onto your pet for 24 hours without cooling (see above).

  • Your pet’s regular veterinarian, or any nearby veterinary clinic, can arrange a private or communal cremation for your pet. Usually, there is only one crematory that the vet clinic works with. Whether or not your pet has seen the local vet in the past, you should call ahead to make sure that they are able to receive the body.

  • A 24 Hour Emergency Veterinary Hospital can take the body and arrange either a private or communal cremation. A cremation arranged through an emergency hospital may cost more than at your local vet, but they are open at night as well as on weekends and holidays. Call before bringing your pet’s body to an emergency vet. A list of Sacramento Area Emergency vets is listed HERE

  • You may bring your pet to a pet crematory. Advantages of bringing your pet to the crematory yourself may include: being able to select which crematory you use, having the option to witness the cremation, same day return of ashes, being able to see a selection of urns on display, and cost savings. A list of pet crematories is at the bottom of this page.

  • Pick up at your home: Some crematories are able to arrange pick up at your home. Please contact the crematory for details about scheduling and pricing. A list of crematories is at the bottom of this page.

  • Some city and county animal shelters are able to perform communal cremation at low or no cost (ashes cannot be returned). Proof of residency may be required.


Burial in a pet cemetery is another option. A list of pet cemeteries is available HERE  

Burial at home may be permitted in some municipalities – the pet owner is responsible for ensuring that all local regulations are followed. Where home burial is legal, make sure that the grave is deep enough to cover the body with at least 3 feet of packed soil, and cover the site with stones or pavers to prevent birds and animals from contacting the body. Do not bury near utilities, wells, waterways, or areas that are prone to flooding.

Sacramento Area Pet Cremation Facilities


Heaven’s Gate Pet Memorial Center in Wheatland (530)377-9709

Caring Pet Crematory in Sacramento (916)469-0801

Sacramento Pet Cemetery & Crematory in Sacramento (916)423-1042

Koefran in Sacramento (800)822-6768

Sacramento Pet Aquamation in Folsom. (916) 216-4352 Water Based Cremation only. This is a greener alternative to traditional flame based cremation, and more information is on their web site. They can pick up at your home within their travel area. The crematory is not open to the public for pet drop-off or witnessed cremation.

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