How do I set up a pet crematorium?

Dog in feild

More and more pet crematoria have been established across the UK to support the growing number of owners who want to hold a funeral or memorial when their pet dies. In 2018 over 50 crematoriums were offering services for pets in the UK, with the pet funeral industry worth over £100 million a year. Today it’s estimated that there are more than 150 pet crematoria currently supporting families, with more opening all the time.  

Many pet crematoria have been set up by people who have lost pets themselves and want to offer a high level of service to others during a difficult time. So if you are looking to set up your own pet crematorium, what are the key matters you need to be aware of?  

Staying practical 

  • When you’re getting started try to put in place realistic timelines. There is a lot of red tape to take into consideration, and you’ll need to ensure you have the correct permits, permissions, and licences in place once you have secured the right location for your crematorium. It’s sensible to give yourself 12 months to get set up and running.  
  • Don’t forget that the initial outlay of equipment and costs can feel substantial, and you’ll need to make a hefty financial commitment before even opening the doors! 

Finding customers 

  • Growth and expansion usually happens organically, and the first three months can feel slow. Any advertising or marketing needs to be subtle, and with a focus on introducing the crematorium and your service to the local community. Trust that the business will come, but it’s not an overnight process!  
  • The key to success is to offer a good service and know that this will create word of mouth recommendations and repeat customers. For example, many families want ashes returned quickly, so fast turnaround times and smooth processes can help.  
  • One area to carefully consider is how useful veterinary practices will be to you. Many pet crematoria assume vets will provide a good flow of new customers, but lots are contracted to larger groups, and some even own their own crematoria. Although some use independent options, vets can be harder to connect with than you may initially assume. 

Things to consider  

  • Having a “farewell room” is a popular option, and one which is increasingly important. This space allows families time and opportunity to say goodbye to their pet in a comfortable and calm environment.  
  • Stock can be hard to manage in the early days and you may be wary of committing too much budget to ensure you have everything to hand. Petributes offer a fast delivery service which means you can order small quantities, safe in the knowledge they will reach you in good time. You can then always increase your own stock levels as you build the business.  
  • Small personal touches such as condolence cards or a virtual memory page can be very powerful; offering little add-ons like this can make a huge difference to your crematorium’s reputation and the experience for your families.  

Petributes’ team can provide full details about supporting your new crematorium and ensure you have access to a strong range of products for families. For more information please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team.  

Suggested reading

Choosing a pet crematorium
How do I cope with the death of my pet?
How can I remember my pet after they die?

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