Dog Cremation – Procedure, Pros, Cons & Pricing

Dog Cremation – Procedure, Pros, Cons & Pricing

You may never want to think about the time you lose your beloved dog. However, you must plan what are you going to do with its remains at that moment because want it or not you must make a decision. Making all the corresponding arrangements can be heartbreaking. However, the more information you have about pet cremation, the easier the decision will be.

If you love your dog as if it was a family member, and not as a simple animal, then you have to give it the end it deserves. One option to do it is dog cremation. In case you don’t know it, just as there is for people, there is also animal cremation. Therefore, we have prepared for you a very detailed guide about it. Here, we will discuss everything about the process, the advantages, and disadvantages, and the cost you will have to pay if you decide on it.

Dog Cremation Procedure

Right below you will know how the dog cremation process is through 5 steps.

Contacting a Local Crematorium

The first step to follow after the death of your beloved dog if you want to cremate is, of course, find a crematorium. This should be done beforehand, so when the time comes, you will know where to go. And also, because you can make sure that this place offers a high-quality service that operates ethically and legally.

Try to look for a crematorium that is in your area, so you won’t have to move large distances to do the paperwork. However, if you don’t want to handle all the situations, there are other options.

If your dog was euthanized at the vet’s office, then the vet could make the arrangements. On the other hand, if it has died at home, you can contact directly the cremation provider and they will be in charge of everything. They will transport it to their facility to continue with the process.

Pet is Placed in a Cremation Unit

First, it is important to know that there are many types of cremation. There are private cremation, semi-private cremation, and communal cremation. Private cremation is for only one pet, so it means that it will be placed in the cremation unit alone. It is also the type of cremation that costs the most.

Semi-private cremation means that your dog will be cremated with other animals. However, each of them will be in a partitioned space. And communal cremation means that the bodies of several pets will be placed together in the unit to be cremated.

Your dog will be placed in a cremation unit or chamber alone or with other animals depending on the service you are paying for. After, the temperature will be raised between 1400- and 1800-degrees Fahrenheit. In that way, the remains will be incinerated, and; therefore, reduced to dry bones and dust. This process can take between 45 minutes and 3 hours.

Any Non-Organic Material Will be Removed

The intense heat vaporizes the organic matter and it reduces it down to ashes and bone. Nevertheless, there may be some non-organic materials that were in or on the dog that will not be turned into ashes.

Therefore, these elements will be removed from cremains. These elements can be, for example, a collar, any surgical hardware, or a piece of metal.

Then, the cremator will use a magnet or his/her hand after visually checking the remains to extract these non-organic materials.

Remaining Ashes and Bones Will be Ground

Having inspected the cremains to make sure that there are only ashes and bones, then they will be ground. This is done to create a more powdery consistency. Finally, after the bone fragments are pulverized, all will look like grayish sand.

Bear in mind that some crematoriums offer you the possibility to be present throughout the process. Therefore, if there is something you would like to do, you should ask first if they allow it.

bone fragments of dogs
The ashes will look like gray powdery sand.

Remains Will be Transferred to a Container and Returned

If you have paid for a private cremation, then your pet’s cremains will be returned to you. The cremation company will put them in a container such as a plastic bag, tin, or cardboard box. Of course, they will label the container with your or your dog’s name.

Usually, you will receive your pet’s cremains within a day or two. After, you can decide what to do with them. There are many things you can do with your pet’s ashes, for example:

  • Transfer them to an urn or put them in a decorative box
  • You should also look for “dog cremation jewelry” if you are interested in having a piece of memorial jewelry designed with its ashes inside
  • Store it at a pet cemetery

On the other hand, if you have paid for a communal cremation, then your pet’s cremains will not be returned to you. That is because they will be combined with those of other pets and will be buried in a place the company decides. While if paying for a semi-private cremation, it’s kind of difficult to say. Some facilities will make sure to keep the ashes of each pet separated. However, it’s not sure whether they can do it or not.

Pros of Dog Cremation

Let’s look at the good side of dog cremation. There are many positive things about hiring this service. Most of them are related to the fact that it will mean a better experience for you than other options. Dog cremation is also more beneficial to the environment. Discover the pros of this process through 4 main points.

You Can Still Have a Service

If you think that by having a dog cremation, you won’t have a memorial, then you’re wrong. Mistakenly, many people think that many things that come along with burials such as headstones, will not come along with cremation. However, there is no reason for concern.

You can still have a headstone, hold a memorial service, or any other type of memorial to honor your pet’s memory if you desire it and can afford it.

Less Costly

Cremation is not as expensive as burial. It represents a really economical option, actually. If we compare it with burial, then there are many things to pay for in this last one such as:

  • A dog casket
  • A burial service
  • The land your pet will be buried in
  • The headstone
  • Additional fees

Paying for all this implies an amount of up to ten times more than what you will have to pay for a cremation.

Cremating your pet will only cost you the process of turning its remains into ashes. Even after that, the crematorium will give you the cremains in a modest container. It will be up to you to change it and put the cremains in a beautiful urn, box, or even in jewelry. However, there will not be other expenses for you to take care of.

Quicker

It is not easy to make decisions while suffering the loss of your four-legged friend. Therefore, you might want to end the situation as soon as possible. Well, cremation is a process that will not consume much time and that will last less than burial.

There are also many options in which you can get the help of your vet or crematorium to make all the arrangements that are needed. In that way, you will not have to actively participate in the whole process, and only have your pet’s cremains at the end.

Usually, pet crematories will make the experience as easy and fast as possible. They can handle the transportation of your dog’s remains to their facility and do all the paperwork. There will not be much for you to do and after one or two days, you will have your dog’s cremains.

Environmentally Friendly

The process of dog cremation does not produce that much damage to the environment as burial. This is mainly because it doesn’t produce a big amount of toxic emissions and no ground space is utilized.

For example, if you decide on burial, your dog’s remains will be placed in a casket. Believe it or not, this is a source of environmental contaminants. Plus, if you want to bury the cremated ashes, there are dog cremation urns that are biodegradable. In that way, ashes can turn into a tree.

There are also water-soluble urns, so you can scatter your dog’s ashes at sea. None of these options represent a threat to the environment.

A short Vice interview of a dog cremator.

Cons of Dog Cremation

Now, let’s look at the bad side of dog cremation, or in other words, why it may not be the best option for you. Like everything in this life, dog cremation is also not perfect. Some drawbacks are more related to the impact that it may have on your life. Discover the cons of this process through 3 main points.

Religious Clash

Judaism, Christianity and Islam, monotheistic religions, consider the act of having a funeral for an animal disrespectful. For it would be comparing the animal to human dignity. Therefore, families from these religions wouldn’t allow the cremation of a dog.

Permanent Decision

Once your pet is cremated, there is no going back. Even if you regret your decision later, it won’t be possible to change a thing. It is not like when you choose to bury it, and you can later exhume it or move it to another place.

Let’s put on the situation that you were not able to pay for a private cremation. You may never know what happened with your dog’s cremains, and it can be painful. Maybe, later, you could think of other options that could have been better, but it was too late.

Well, that is why before making the decision, you have to think seriously about it, considering all the possibilities.

Can be Hard on You

Not having a physical place to return to for mourning is one of the reasons why people do not choose dog cremation. You might not have closure and it can be more difficult to let go even more when you have not witnessed the cremation.

Seeing your beloved pet, a final time may be what you need to move on and receive comfort. However, not many people can afford that price, and most of the time they just wait until the whole process is done.

Also, sometimes knowing that your four-legged friend has been burned and is not underground can be difficult to imagine.

Pricing

The costs of cremation vary between $50-$250. It will depend on many factors such as the facility you use, the weight of your dog, and the type of cremation you choose. The larger your dog is, the higher the cremation cost. It will not be the same cremate an Alaskan Malamute than a Chihuahua.

Private cremations are more expensive than communal or semi-private cremations. That is because your dog will be cremated alone, and the cremains will be returned to you. The others are way more economical if you don’t mind not having the cremains returned. As we have told you before, some crematoriums allow you to view the whole process. However, there is a price you must pay for it. Usually, it is between $20 and $30 extra.

The cremains will be returned to you in a modest container. Therefore, if you want to put them in an urn, the price can be over $50. As you may have realized, to cremate your dog’s remains, you only have to make a single payment. If you want to get some additional services you will have to make extra payments; however, certainly, these are not mandatory.

How Much Does it Cost to Cremate a Dog Near me?

Pet cremation cost, specifically dog cremation cost can vary between $50 and $250. This is because there are many factors that influence that amount. As we have seen there are types of cremation that have a lower price compared to others. However, it also depends on how big your dog is.

Private CremationSemi-Private CremationCommunal Cremation
1-30 lbs.$175$110$50-$75
31-60 lbs.$200$125$90
61-90 lbs.$225$135$110
91-120 lbs.$250$145$125

Right above, you will find a table in which the cremation price is found according to the weight of the dog and the cremation type.

Dog Cremation – FAQs

With such a sensitive topic, you deserve to find all the information you need quickly and easily. Look below for any further answers you will need.

Do You Really Get Your Dog's Ashes Back?

That is a really good question, and the answer depends on the type of cremation you’re paying for. If you think that by having your dog’s ashes back you will keep part of its essence. Then, you can opt for private cremation. In this one, your dog will be placed in the cremation unit alone and you will have its cremains returned to you.

Nevertheless, if you have paid for a communal cremation, then your dog’s cremains will not be returned to you. That is because your dog will be placed in the cremation unit with other pets. After, the company will bury or scatter them in a garden or place that they decide. This represents a less expensive option in comparison to the private cremation. On the other hand, the question may be directed to whether the ashes that are returned to you are really those of your pet.

Well, to be sure of that, first you must have contacted a quality service. Many crematoriums are trustworthy and will be willing to answer all of your questions. However, if you still have any suspicions, then there is another option. You can also pay to witness the entire cremation process and the remains will be delivered to you immediately. In this way, you will have the security that the cremains they give you really belong to your dog.

communal cremation for dogs
The cremation company will scatter or bury the ashes.

Do Pet Microchips Survive Cremation?

You may be wondering what happens to microchip when your pet is cremated.

Well, let us answer this way. If your pet has any metal parts within their body, such as plates or screws from surgery, these items will be rescued. That is because some materials don’t melt and survive the high temperatures the remains are exposed to.

After, these elements will be placed in another container or plastic bag with the pet’s ID number or name. Finally, the owners will be able to pick them up.

Why Shouldn't You Bury Your Pet in the Backyard?

While burying your pet at home may be perfect, the answer actually depends on whether or not it is legal. It may seem ridiculous to you since theoretically; you can do whatever you want with your property. However, in some states, this is not allowed. The possibility to do it or not relies on the reason for your dog’s death, the depth of your water oil, and the type of soil you have.

That is because any organic matter that you bury will eventually disperse throughout the soil and into local water systems. That means that if your pet had any disease, it can get other animals sick and even contaminate water supplies. There are some county/state regulations you may have to follow. These exist to protect the health and well-being of you and your community.

The decision concerning a pet who has passed is a difficult one, do what you feel is best and remember, a pet is a part of the family. Grieving over them is natural because they mattered to you, as you did to them.