How does freeze drying work?

Freeze drying is a means of preservation that removes all moisture from body tissues leaving them virtually intact. Through a process of extremely low temperatures and the application of vacuum over a long period of time, the tissues are dried out and protected from decay. Freeze drying allows your pet to be preserved in as natural a state as possible. It is the only preservation process that retains all of your pet’s natural features for a truly realistic look.

Time to complete the process is directly related to the size of the animal. A very small dog or cat may be done in as little as 3-4 months where a large dog may take 12 months or more. When done correctly, freeze drying is a fairly long-term process. Project turnaround time is generally 6-9 months.

Second Life freeze dryer
freeze dried pet cat

What do I need to do if I want to have my pet freeze dried?

The most important factor in producing a quality job is to prepare the pet as soon as possible. Preparation is simple but can be difficult when faced with the passing of your friend. Even if you are undecided but think that you MAY want to preserve your pet, taking a few simple steps as soon as possible will allow me the best chance to produce the best-looking memorial for you.

  1. Make sure the animal’s body is reasonably dry.
  2. Place body in plastic bag (garbage bag is fine) and remove as much air as possible. Do not use any additional padding such as paper or blankets inside the plastic.
  3. Place the wrapped body in a freezer.

After the animal’s body has been frozen, take your time to be sure this is the right decision for you. Should you decide to have your pet preserved through freeze drying, you can either deliver or ship your pet in its frozen state. Please contact me for instructions before packing and shipping. I will ask you for several pictures of your pet and discuss various options and poses with you. During this time, I will work closely with you to ensure that your pet’s final appearance is all that you hope. Over the next several months, your pet will be prepared and dried.

How do I care for my pet during its Second Life?

When your pet is finished and ready to go home, you will have the option of scheduling a pick up or having it packed and shipped back to you for actual costs incurred via your preferred carrier. Your pet will retain its original size and shape indefinitely and will look very much like they did when they were alive. In many ways you can treat them that way by petting or gently brushing their fur as needed. It is most important to keep your pet away from excess moisture and areas of high humidity. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight for long periods of time as well, as this will cause fading of the fur. With a little care, protection from weather, bugs and the elements you will be able to enjoy your pet’s Second Life indefinitely.