Even if we are not assisting you with the euthanasia, if your pet passes away on his own, or you prefer to use our team for aftercare, we can help with this. We are able to come to your home or veterinary hospital to take your deceased pet into our care, or you can bring him to our office in Northbrook for aftercare.

Aqua-cremation (also known as alkaline hydrolysis, water-based cremation, or aquamation) has been around for more than 25 years, and is used for pets and humans alike. It is increasing in popularity as more people become aware of this gentle and eco-friendly option for aftercare.

This is an environmentally friendly process that is natural, and gentle for the beloved pets we help. Benefits of aqua-cremation over traditional flame-based cremation include:

  • Low energy consumption, over 90% energy savings
  • No burning of fossil fuels or production of harmful greenhouse gases
  • Up to 20% more ashes returned

The process is similar to what occurs naturally when a body is laid to rest in the soil, but instead takes about 20 hours. A Gentle Goodbye utilizes a patented machine that uses a warm water solution of 95% water and 5% alkali to accelerate the breakdown of organic material. When the process is finished, all that remains is the minerals of the bones, similar to flame-based cremation. These are then dried and processed into a fine powder.

Options for Aqua-cremation

Your beloved pet is always within the care of our team at A Gentle Goodbye. We track your pet from start to finish, and always know exactly where they are within the process. We have an additional layer of monitoring, and have an engraved metal tag that stays with your pet throughout the entire aqua-cremation process, which is returned to you as a keepsake with your pet’s ashes.

Communal aqua-cremation:
If you do not wish to have your pet’s ashes back to you, your pet will be aqua-cremated with other pets, and their ashes will be scattered respectfully on private property, so you will not receive any ashes back.

Private aqua-cremation:
If instead, you would like your pet privately aqua-cremated, your pet will be placed in a private compartment within the aqua-cremation unit, which provides a complete barrier between individual pets. The ashes from the private cremation will be returned to you, along with an aqua-cremation certificate of service and personalized metal tag that has been with your pet throughout the entire process. You can make an appointment to pick your pet’s ashes up from our office in Northbrook for no additional charge, or we can have them hand-delivered to you, starting from $70.