Pet Cremation 101: Everything You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision

Are you faced with the tough task of putting down a pet?

You're not alone. Whether it's because of old age or illness, knowing the right time to put your pet down is never easy. For many, pets are like a member of the family and you want to honor and remember their lives the way you would any other loved one. 

When it comes time to say goodbye to your furry friend, you'll need to make the decision about their remains right away. It's important to be knowledgeable about your options beforehand.

Read on for everything you need to know about pet cremation.

Pet Cremation vs. Burial

When your pet is cremated their body is placed in an incinerator and turned to ash. You have several options about what to do with their remains once cremated which we'll discuss later in this post. Depending on which option you choose and the weight of your pet, cremation costs can range from $25 to $300. 

With a pet burial, there are some rules and limitations about where you can do this. For starters, if you want to bury your pet somewhere on your property, you'll need to check with your local laws and regulations to be sure it's allowed. Some cities do not allow pets to be buried even on private property.

You'll also have to remove any unnatural material from them like their collar and invest in some kind of casket to place their body in. You want to be sure the grave is deep enough and then mark it with some kind of signifier so you can visit the exact spot in the future and know where they are buried should there be an issue. 

If you don't want to bury your dog on your property, you can look into a pet cemetery but those will typically be costly and more involved than a cremation option. Plus, you'll have to drive somewhere to visit your pet.

With cremation, there are several ways to keep your pet close to you and create a meaningful symbol of their lives. Why wouldn't you want to remember them in your home with either an urn or a decorative piece that can be displayed?

Here is a detailed look at the various ways you can approach the cremation process. 

Cremation Options

If you do make the choice to cremate your pet, there are a few different ways to do it. The least expensive way is with communal cremation. This means your pet is cremated with other pets and their ashes can't be separated afterward. 

Receiving your pets remains is not an option with a communal cremation but the cost can start as low as $25, so if money is an issue it's a terrific choice.

You can also have your pet's cremation partitioned. This means they're cremated with other pets but there are barriers that prevent their ashes from mixing with others.

The other option is to have your pet privately cremated. This means they are individually cremated without any other pets and their ashes are made available to you after. A reputable company will be able to pick up your pet within a short period of time, usually 12 hours at the most, and take them safely to the facility where the cremation takes place. 

You want to be sure to research the company so you're certain when you select a private cremation, your pet is not being mixed with the ashes of other deceased pets. 

By selecting to have your pet privately cremated, you're sure to get back their ashes. The crematory will likely secure your pet's ashes in a plastic bag and then place them in a small tin container. They can be returned to you this way or you can opt to purchase an urn or decorative box to place them in. 

If you plan to keep your pet's ashes on display at your home to remember them, you may want to consider this option so it fits in with the other decor in your home. Companies will usually charge an extra fee for this. 

Additional Ways to Remember Your Pet

Once you've made the decision to cremate your pet and determined what type of cremation you'd like to receive, there are some other ways you can memorialize your animal and hold them close to your heart. 

Having a symbol of their life is a great way to process grief and keep them in your memory forever. 

Many companies can take a portion of your pet's ashes and turn them into a physical symbol you can keep. You can have an engraved glass or paperweight made from their ashes or even a small piece of jewelry like a necklace or a ring where the ashes are kept in an encased piece you can wear. 

You can take a piece of hair from your pet or your some of their ashes and have it turned into a diamond or gem that you can also wear as a piece of jewelry. There are also decorative rocks that are a more subtle gesture to keep around the house. 

You can have these rocks engraved with their name and the date they were born and passed away, much like you would a gravestone at a cemetery. Some companies will even take your deceased pet and make a paw print in a piece of cement and engrave their name on it. 

Be Prepared for a Challenging Time

Nothing can prepare you for the death of a pet. Their loss will weigh heavily on you and your family and you'll want to treat them with dignity and respect after they're gone. 

Now that you have an understanding of the various pet cremation options, you can make the decision that is best for you and your loved one so you're prepared if and when the time comes. 

We can be there to put your mind at ease and help you and your pet during this time. Check out the rest of our site for a list of services and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.