Pet cremation is a decision many pet owners make when their dog or cat dies. It’s an easy way to preserve the body of the pet, especially when the ashes are either scattered somewhere special or kept inside of an urn for a memorial. The following information explains what pet cremation is, how it works for dogs and cats, pet cremation cost, and how to find a crematorium for your pet’s cremation.
What Is Pet Cremation?
Pet cremation involves placing the body of an animal into an oven (retort) set to an extremely high temperature. Within minutes, the body is turned into fine ashes. The ashes are removed from the oven for delivery to the owner.
There are three different types of cremation procedures:
Private Pet Cremation
In a private pet cremation, only one animal is cremated at a time. This means the ashes are almost all of the same pet’s body. The reason it is “almost” is because crematoriums can have “unavoidable incidental comingling.” This means pieces of other animals may be mixed in with the pet’s body. The amount is extremely minimal, and comes from remains being stuck in the oven after a previous cremation.
Comingled or Communal Pet Cremation
Comingled involves places more than one animal into the cremation oven. This means ashes pet owners receive are not of just their animal, but of others as well.
Partitioned Pet Cremation
Some animal crematoriums will offer partitioned pet cremation in which the oven is separated into parts, which means each animal is cremated separately. While many pet owners believe they are receiving a private cremation, this is not the case. While the ashes are mostly of the pet, other animals’ ashes are mixed in but less than that of a comingled or communal pet cremation. The ashes are mostly of the pet owner’s animal, but not as much as in a private pet cremation.
How Does Cremation Work
Understanding how cremation works will help pet owners make a decision on if this is the best choice for them. Pet crematories will usually arrange to pick up a pet from a home or veterinarian hospital. The animal’s body is kept in a refrigerated cooler until it’s time for cremation.
Depending on the type of cremation, pets are placed in an oven with a temperature of up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It can take 35 to 45 minutes for a dog cremation and less time for a cat cremation. Large animals can take up to 2 hours to cremate. The length of time for a dog cremation or cat cremation depends on size and weight of the animal.
When placed in the cremation oven, the intense heat vaporizes the body. This reduces the organic matter to dust and dries the bones. The crematorium staff will then use a magnet to remove any metal objects from the ashes. In many cases, pets underwent surgery at some point in their life, which resulted in having pins or rods placed inside of them. Some pets end up with broken pieces of their collars inside of their neck or have tags inside of them such as the microchip that must be removed since the oven will not turn those to ashes.
After all metal is removed, the cremains (ashes) are pulverized. This results in a coarse sand-like powder with a uniform consistency. The crematorium will place the ashes in a sealed plastic bag, a cardboard box, tin, or some other container and deliver it to the owner.
The color of the ashes depends on the types of medications the pet took while alive and any health issues. The color can be much different for communal cremation since it’s a compilation of many animals’ ashes.
Pet Cremation Video
Losing a pet is devastating. Dog cremation or cat cremation can make it easier to cope. As you can see in this pet cremation video, the process is done with care and integrity. The crematorium staff member is delicate with the pet as he places him or her into the cremation retort. He then simply closes the door, delicately pushes the body towards the back of the oven, and then turns the machine on. This is a private pet cremation, as you can see when the door opens and there are no other animals inside.
In this pet cremation video, pet owners are able to witness the dog cremation. People do this to make sure their pet is the only one being cremated. This ensures they only receive the ashes of their pet. Warning: This can be quite sad to watch since they do show the final goodbyes.
This is a cat cremation process. The video was taken 15 hours after the cat died. As you can see in the pet cremation video, the staff is extremely gentle with the cat as they place him or her into the cremation retort. They are even gentle when they close the door. Again, this may bring about strong emotions, so watch with caution.
Pet Cremation Cost
Pet cremation (whether dog cremation or cat cremation) is an affordable option after the loss of an animal. It typically costs $50 to $100 for small animals. This includes birds, rabbits, and ferrets. Some puppies and kittens fall within this range.
The cost to cremate a cat can fall within a range of $100 to $150. Dog cremation for those weighing up to 50 pounds may cost this much as well.
Pet cremation cost range for animals 50 to 120 pounds can be $150 to $350. Larger animals will usually end up at the high end and even more for animals such as horses.
This information on pet cremation cost is for informational purposes only. Each pet crematorium has their own rates, and some may charge less, while others charge more.
Usually, pet cremation cost includes just the cremation process and placing the ashes in a container for delivery. For anything additional such as picking up the pet at home or at a veterinary hospital, there is an added fee. The average cost for pet pickup is $45. To view the cremation process as seen in the pet cremation videos, an added fee of $25 or more can be added to the pet cremation cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Cremate a Dog?
The cost of pet cremation has a lot to do with pet weight. The larger and heavier a pet is, the more it will cost to cremate. Larger dogs will cost more – over a hundred dollars and even $350 if it’s a Newfoundland or another large breed. This dog cremation cost also depends on the type of cremation. For example, communal or comingled dog cremation cost is much less, than a private dog cremation cost.
The only exception is a toy breed. Toy dog breeds will cost much less. The dog cremation cost is similar to the cost of cremating a cat.
The cost to cremate a cat, as mentioned above, is around $100. Again, the cat cremation cost can be much less if pet owners choose a communal cremation.
Factors that Go Into the Cost of Pet Cremation
Many factors go into the cost of pet cremation. The size of the oven in the crematorium and the amount of business they receive can make a difference. Some new pet crematories will charge less than others do to gain business and a reputation in the local area. More established crematories would often have more options such as viewing the cremation.
Other ways to lower the cost of pet cremation are:
- Do not use pickup services.
- Choose not to view the cremation process.
Pet Cremation Services
Pet cremation services available depend on the pet crematorium you choose. Most pet crematory places offer:
- Pick up services within 24 to 48 hours.
- Pet cremation viewing.
- Containers for the pet remains.
After the cremation, owners receive a certification of cremation. This includes the pet’s name, owner’s name, cremation date and possibly other details.
Pet Urns – Dogs and Cats
After receiving the ashes from a pet crematorium, pet owners have many choices:
- They can spread the ashes in a special place.
- They can spread some of the ashes in a special place and in a pet urn.
- They can place all of the ashes in a pet urn.
- Use the ashes in pet urn jewelry.
If you’re interested in keeping your pet close to you, consider the jewelry we have available. You can insert the ashes into a necklace and carry your pet with you wherever you go. We have many beautiful styles available, so you’ll likely find one you’ll love to wear. If you’re concerned people will know it’s a pet urn, you don’t have to be. The jewelry looks like any other necklace you would wear, except the ashes are securely stored inside. You can see many of the styles we have available here.
While many pet crematoriums offer pet urns and memorials as part of their pet cremation services, they are often much more money than the ones you can purchase directly from Best Friend Services. We work hard to keep our prices low to help people like you who are mourning the loss of their pet by making the cost of a memorial affordable.
Browse our website now to find the best pet urn for a dog, cat or any other animal. They are memorials for a lifetime.