We all wish our pets could live forever, but the unpleasant reality is that someday our furry family members will no longer be with us. Making end-of-life plans can be emotional and made even harder when grieving. The last thing we want to worry about as dog parents is how to care for our dogs’ bodies after they pass.
It may be reassuring to know that cremation is a common end-of-life choice among pet owners. If you’re concerned about how much it costs to cremate a dog, know that it’s one of the more affordable options. Keep reading to understand the process and prepare for the cost.
Cremation is a process that reduces matter by exposing it to intense heat. For dogs, cremation is often the last step in caring for and disposing of their bodies.
Once your dog’s body arrives at the crematory, it’s placed into a cremation chamber with extremely high temperatures. After a few hours, your dog’s body will become cremains — ash, small bone fragments, and any inorganic materials that remain. Metal fragments are removed, and the cremains are ground into uniform ash. Ashes are placed in a container — like a bag, urn, or box — and returned to the owner.
A dog cremation can cost anywhere between $30 and $300. Your specific quote from the pet crematorium will depend on the type of cremation, your dog’s size, and your location.
There are a few cremation options pet parents can choose:
● Communal: This type of cremation is the most affordable. In a communal cremation, your dog is cremated with other animals. Because remains are not identifiable, these ashes are not returned to owners.
● Individual: This type of cremation is also called divided or partitioned cremation. In an individual cremation, your dog is cremated at the same time as other animals but separated by some kind of partition. An individual cremation is a more affordable option for owners who wish to keep their dog’s ashes. Just keep in mind that it’s still possible that some ashes could be mixed.
● Private: This is the most expensive cremation option. In a private cremation, your dog is the only animal in the cremation chamber. You’re guaranteed to receive only your dog's ashes with a private cremation.
After you select the type of cremation, the rest is up to how large or small your dog is. Most cremations are charged by the pound because the bigger the dog, the longer the cremation process.
Each pet crematory will have its own pricing. Like most goods and services, your location will usually impact the cost. Cities will likely have higher dog cremation costs than smaller cities and towns.
If you’re planning for the future, you can research local facilities and talk to their staff. If you need support after the sudden loss of your pup, your vet may have a relationship with a local crematory. Ask if they have any recommendations.
Some crematories have additional fees and expenses to consider:
● Transfer Fees: Facilities may charge transfer fees for transporting your dog's body from the vet or animal hospital. Should your dog pass at home, some crematories may retrieve their body from your home for an additional fee. After-hours transportation may also be available at an additional cost.
● Viewing Fees: Some crematories offer witnessed cremations. During a witnessed cremation, the owner is welcomed into the facility and present during their dog’s private cremation. This typically comes with an extra charge.
● Special Memorabilia: Many owners opt for decorative keepsakes and urns, and some facilities make specialized jewelry and keychains. These will come at an additional price.