The Process and Cost of Pet Cremation

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| 6 min read Financial Assistance

Losing a beloved pet is a soul-crushing experience. For most owners, it’s like losing a family member, and dealing with time-sensitive issues may feel a bit too much. However, it’s necessary to make all arrangements on time to avoid any inconveniences.

What to do with the pet’s body is a primary concern, and many owners choose cremation for various reasons. It’s convenient and often pretty affordable. Moreover, some services include useful extras in their cremation service to make your parting easier.

So, how much does it cost to cremate a dog? In this article, we’ll guide you through animal cremations costs and processes so you can better understand the service you’re choosing and how much it will cost.

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The cremation process: understanding the basics

The process of pet cremation is relatively new, and many owners are still hesitant about it. People tend to prefer more traditional options like burials simply because they aren’t familiar with all the details of the process. 

It’s important to understand the steps to cremation before you make the decision. While some details may differ between various service providers, pet cremation usually consists of several steps:

  1. Start by contacting a trusted local pet crematory to discuss pet cremation cost and details. It’s not unusual to make the call once your pet passes away, but if your furry friend suffers from severe illnesses or old age, you may want to make the arrangements in advance. It will save you from planning this sad farewell while grieving.  
  2. The service staff will take care of your pet and place them in the cremation unit. Depending on the method of cremation you choose, your pet will be alone in the unit or with other pets.   
  3. The staff removes any inorganic materials from the pet’s ashes before handing them over to you.  Items may include objects like microchip implants, collars, or surgical pins.
  4. Small pieces of bone are ground down to create a fine texture of ash.
  5. The staff puts the remains in a container of your choosing and hands it over to you.

The entire process is usually over within a couple of hours, and you can pick up your pet’s ashes on the same day.

Pet cremation methods

If you want to know how much pet cremation costs, you must first decide what method of cremation you’d like to use. There are three common types of cremation:

Communal

People looking for affordable dog cremation usually choose communal cremation.  It’s the cheapest method and it involves cremating several pets at the same time – all in one chamber. It’s therefore impossible to collect a single pet’s remains and hand them to the owners. Usually, the crematories scatter the ashes in a garden or a field dedicated to this purpose.  

Individual

Individual pet cremation is a semi-private method. Several pets are placed in separate chambers and cremated at the same time. There is a very slight possibility of cremation mixings. The individual method can vary a lot from one crematory to another, and so can the cost to cremate a dog or other animal this way.

Private

If you don’t want to worry about pet cremation costs and only want to focus on giving your beloved best friend the final farewell that they deserve, going with private pet cremation is surely the best option. Only you and your pet will be in the cremation chamber so you can have a private moment and you can be sure the remains aren’t getting mixed. The crematory will deliver your pet’s ashes in an urn of your choosing.

What’s the average cost of a pet cremation?

The average cost of pet cremation depends on many factors. It usually stands anywhere between $50 and $150. However, just as with any other service, pet cremation costs can vary drastically from one market to another. If you wonder how much it is to cremate a pet, know that some crematories are considered elite and charge more than others.

For anyone wondering specifically how much cremation costs for a dog, as a general rule, the larger the pet, the higher the crematory costs will be. The theory behind this is that big pets take up more space in the chambers and take longer to cremate.

Moreover, many crematories offer extra options you can choose that may significantly influence the final price. Some of them include:

  • Transfer fees from the vet’s clinic to the crematorium
  • Viewing fees—many owners find it comforting to be present during the process, and crematories that offer this possibility usually charge extra
  • Cremation urns may differ in shape, feel, and price
  • Memorials and specialized mausoleum niches for scattering the ashes

How much does it cost to cremate a pet? Depending on the type of service you choose, you may be looking at a couple hundred dollars or more. 

If you don’t have the funds to prepare a proper goodbye for your furry friend, GoFundMe pet fundraising is a great option to involve friends, family, and even strangers who care to help. There are many pet owners out there who have gone through the same pain you’re experiencing and who would love to help you cope with your loss.

Cremation alternatives

If you aren’t thrilled with pet cremation costs in your area, or you don’t feel it is the best option for your pet, you may consider other options. The most popular ones are burial and taxidermy.

Burial

If cremation doesn’t seem appropriate, you can always bury your pet. However, you need to research the laws in your county to ensure it is legal.

While it’s possible to bury your pet on your own property in many rural areas, it’s rarely legal in urban places. In many cases, you will have to find a pet cemetery and bury your animal there. Pet cemeteries charge for their plot spaces, so you may need to make some calls to find a cemetery that fits your budget.

Taxidermy

Some owners decide to keep their pets close to them for many years to come by having their pet taxidermied. Although it’s a method most commonly used for displaying hunter’s trophies, taxidermy is also a perfect way to preserve and honor a pet for many owners.  

Getting financial help

Pet, animal, or dog cremation costs are the last thing you should worry about when your furry friend passes away. Sadly, it’s still a matter you need to settle. If you don’t feel you can afford the cremation or burial for your pet, at least not the type of goodbye you want to give them, consider starting a GoFundMe today. Browse fundraising ideas to learn more about ways to collect funds for your pet’s cremation.

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