How Does Pet Cremation Work?

Most pet crematories and funeral homes make arrangements for picking up your pet from your home or veterinary hospital, cremating it, and returning the remains to you (along with the identification tag) within a few days.

Moreover, they provide a certification of cremation stating the pet’s name, the owner’s name, the date of cremation, etc., especially when they are given the responsibility of disposing of the remains instead of returning them.

“A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way.”
– Mary Carolyn Davies

Pet cremation

Pet crematories usually cremate dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, reptiles, etc. Smaller animals are cremated within 30-45 minutes whereas larger ones are cremated in hours. The crematory may charge an additional fee for the incineration of larger animals.

Besides, you can opt for private, individual, or mass cremation. In private cremation, the cremation facility only incinerates one pet at a time.

Individual and mass cremations, on the other hand, involve the cremation of several animals, either separately (in different partitions), or in a group.

In case of mass or communal pet cremation, more often than not the ashes are not returned to the owner, but disposed of by the crematory itself in a memorial area or facility ground.

You may request to get the remains of your beloved pet after an individual cremation but as the cremains of a number of animals are pulverized together in this type of cremation, you are likely to receive a portion from a mixture of the cremation remains in a sealed bag, tin urn, or cardboard box.

If you want to witness your beloved pet’s cremation then you may ask the crematory to allow you to view the process. Certain crematories, however, do not have this provision.

When opting for the cremation of your pet, consider removing your beloved companion’s collar or any other belonging from the body and keep them with you as a memorial to remember him by.

How to Dispose of the Cremated Remains of your Pet

You can choose to store the ashes in a permanent pet urn and keep it at your home itself to memorialize your beloved pet.

Other common options include scattering the cremation remains on private or public property (make sure you check the local regulations), or floating the ashes in water.

Besides, another popular way to memorialize a deceased pet is to store a small portion of the ashes in pet cremation jewelry like pendant, ring, key chain, and so on.

Though not too common still, you may consider turning the cremated remains into diamonds or opt for cremation art crafted from your pet’s cremated ash as a unique way to remember your beloved companion.

The cost of individual cremation ranges between $150 and $300. If your pet has been buried at a pet cemetery, and you are moving to another state, you may contact a pet crematory and arrange for getting the body disinterred and cremated so that you can take the ashes with you. The cost for communal pet cremation is about $50 to $150.


Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria

ASPCA, What To Do When Your Pet Has Died At Home