Losing your dog is always painful. There isn’t anything that can prepare you for it. With this difficult time, there are a few time-sensitive matters you need to deal with while grieving. Many dog owners opt to cremate their furry friends. While it’s a popular choice, you may wonder how much it costs to cremate a dog.
The average cost to cremate a dog is between $30-$250. You’ll pay less for cremating a small breed dog in a small town compared to a large breed and/or in a city. Thus, cremation costs for a dog depend on where you live, your dog’s size, if you need to pay for the transfer of the remains, and more.
While you are dealing with the soul-crushing loss of your pooch, the last thing you want to deal with is details like cremation. But you’ll find all the information you need here so you can make the best decision for you, your family, and your dog.
Can You Cremate a Dog?
Yes, you can cremate a dog, just like you can cremate most other animals, including cats and horses.
How Do They Cremate Dogs?
If you are considering cremating your beloved pooch, you may wonder what exactly is involved in the cremation process.
Here’s what to expect when you take your dog to the crematorium or when they are transferred there:
The first step is to reach out to your local crematorium. The staff will inform you about their specific process, let you know what services and cremation methods they offer and ask about the size of your dog.
Once you’ve decided about the cremation methods and if you want any of the services on offer, the staff will schedule an appointment. Thereafter, you can drop off your pooch or make arrangements for their collection after their passing.
The Cremation Unit
Once you’ve dropped off your dog, your pooch is placed in a cremation unit. When the machine is turned on, it gets really hot at between 1,400-1,800 ℉. This temperature vaporizes your dog’s body.
What is left are pieces of bone and coarse sand or dust.
Removal of Non-Organic Material
Next, the staff will remove non-organic material like collars, surgical pins, or microchip implants. Some crematoriums use magnets for this step, while others remove these materials by hand.
The coarse sand and pieces of bone will now be crushed until it is fine sand and uniform in texture.
Commonly, sealed plastic bags, metal containers, or cardboard boxes are used to give your dog’s remains to you. The ashes of your pooch can be placed in an urn of your choosing, a wooden box, or another container depending on your wishes.
Cremation Methods Used in Dogs
When you want to cremate your dog, you also need to choose the cremation method. There are three methods to choose from; however, not all pet cremation services may offer all of these.
Communal cremation is when several pets are cremated simultaneously in the same chamber. These pet’s ashes will all be mixed together.
So your dog’s ashes will be mixed with that of other people’s pets. Generally, the crematory will dispose of the ashes in a garden or field that’s on-site and dedicated for this purpose. This is usually the most cost-effective method.
Individual or Divided
An individual cremation combines the communal and private cremation approaches. It’s a semi-private cremation method where several pets are cremated simultaneously, but dividers are placed to keep each pet separate so the ashes can’t commingle.
There is, however, a low risk of cross-contamination (other people’s pet ashes mixing with yours).
Private cremation for your doggo means only your dog enters the cremation chamber. So when you get the ashes, they are your dog’s ashes only. This is the most costly method.
How Much Does It Cost to Cremate a Dog?
In general, you’ll pay $50 to $250 to cremate your dog.
Factors That Affects Cremation Costs
Various factors influence how much you’ll pay for the cremation of your beloved pooch. These factors are:
You’ll pay less to cremate a small breed dog and more for a large breed dog.
The dog cremation cost depends on where you live. Expect to pay more to cremate your chihuahua in Los Angeles, California, than in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Type of Service
The kind of cremation service you choose will also affect how much you pay.
Typical options include a private cremation, which is the most expensive. Then there is also individual cremation in the mid-range price, while communal cremation is the most affordable.
Other Services Fees
How much the cremation service costs also depends on other aspects:
- You may need to pay transfer fees to get your dog’s body to the cremation service.
- If you want to attend and see the cremation process, you’ll pay more.
- At an extra cost, you can opt to have your dog’s ashes housed in a cremation urn or wooden container.
- Another option that costs extra is to have your pooch’s ashes buried at a burial plot or selected location.
Alternatives to Dog Cremation
There are a few alternatives to cremating your beloved doggo:
You can bury your dog if you don’t want to cremate them. Be sure to check up on the local laws and regulations to make sure you can bury your dog where you want to. Typically, there are also local ordinances in place regarding the burial container and depth.
An option is to consider a pet cemetery but expects to pay $400-$600 for a burial plot. On top of this, you may need to buy a casket and pet memorial stone and pay for someone to do the burial as well.
Pet Memorial Keepsake
If you don’t want to keep your dog’s remains in an urn or bury them, you can consider other ways to remember Rufus. You can also create these keepsakes even if you cremate or bury your dog.
Commission a portrait of your furry bestie or get a customized photo frame. You can also create a photo album dedicated to your dog. Memorial jewelry is also an option.
While most hunters and anglers make use of taxidermy, some pet owners also want their dogs preserved.
Essentially, a taxidermist makes your pet into a semi-permanent statue. You can place this anywhere in your home to remember your pooch. This is an expensive option that costs $500-$1,000 on average. Expect to pay more if you have a large breed dog.
How Long Does It Take to Cremate a Dog?
Generally, it takes between 1-3 weeks to cremate your pooch. This includes transferring your dog to the crematorium, their body being cremated, and you receiving the remains.
The actual cremation process in the chamber takes about an hour; however, this depends on how big your dog is.
Is It Better to Cremate or Bury a Pet?
The choice to cremate or bury your dog is deeply personal. However, cremation is generally less expensive and more convenient.
If you want to bury your dog, you need to keep local ordinances in mind as well as the weather. You won’t be able to bury your dog if the ground is frozen. And if you don’t properly bury your dog, there’s a high risk that predators or wildlife may dig up your pooch.
Do You Really Get Your Dog’s Ashes Back?
You only get your dog’s ashes back if you choose the individual or private cremation methods.
In a communal cremation, your pet’s body is cremated with the bodies of other pets, so the ashes are mixed. For the communal option, the crematorium usually disposes of the ashes on an on-site field or garden they keep for this purpose.
What Should You Do With Your Dog’s Remains?
When you’ve received your pet’s remains, you may wonder, “what now?” What should you do?
The answer is different for every pet owner.
One option is to keep your dog’s ashes in an urn that you can place next to keepsakes and photos. Another is to spread the ashes at your pooch’s favorite place. It could be your backyard, the beach, the forest, or on a hiking trail.
Beware when you want to scatter the ashes this way to follow all local regulations and laws. You can’t just spread ashes anywhere, so make sure you are allowed to beforehand.
How Much Is It to Keep Your Dog’s Ashes?
There is no cost involved to keep your dog’s remains other than deciding on the vessel you want to store the ashes in and buying this.
There are a variety of options.
You can look at a decorative urn, an art urn, a simple urn, or even a bio urn.
The bio urn lets you memorialize your pet by letting its ashes provide nourishment for a tree. So you plant a tree and give back to the environment, all the while remembering your beloved pooch.
Other options are:
- A simple cardboard box
- A plain wooden box
- A special wooden box
- A ceramic container
- A keychain
- And more
The Last Goodbye
When you lose your dog, you deal with overwhelming sadness and heartbreak. During this time, you also need to make the important decision to cremate or bury your furry bestie.
Cremating your dog is affordable and convenient, and the staff at your local crematorium will support you during this difficult time.
Our sincerest condolences if you are dealing with the loss of your pet.