Dogs are family and when they pass it can be a time of high stress and strong emotions. Also, because this isn’t something that happens to often, many people have questions about what to do next and what type of dog urn or memorial to get. In this blog, we help answer some of the most common and important questions veterinarians receive about dog urns.
What size urn do I need for my dog? | Where should I put my dog's urn? | How much does it cost to get my dog cremated? | Do I really get my dog’s ashes back? | How long will it take to get my dog's ashes back? | Do microchips survive cremation? | How long do dog ashes last? | What color are dog ashes? | Can my dog's ashes be buried with me?
What size urn do I need for my dog?
As a general rule of thumb, the cubic inch volume of the urn should equal the dog’s weight (in pounds). For example, if your dog weighed 30 pounds, you need to find an urn that is 30 cubic inches or larger. If your dog was 90 pounds, you need to find an urn that is at least 90 cubic inches.
Also, rather than just getting a single urn, many families will opt for a series of smaller urns and to divide up the pet ashes among family members or scattering at different locations. For example, for a 100 pound dog, you can choose to get four 25 cubic inch keepsake urns to divide up the ashes.
Where should I put my dog’s urn?
There are many places to put your dog’s urn and it depends on the type of urn your choose. A traditional wood, ceramic, or metal urn can be placed at a special place indoors, a biodegradable urn can be buried outdoors, or a scattering urn can be kept indoors until you are ready to scatter, among many other options.
How much does it cost to get my dog cremated?
The average cost of a dog cremation ranges from $30 for a small dog in a communal cremation up to $300 for a large sized dog in a private cremation. There are many reasons for this large variance in cost. One of the main reasons is the size of the dog – the larger the dog, the longer it takes to cremate so pet crematoriums need to dedicate the cremation chamber to that dog for a longer period of time. Another main factor is the type of cremation – communal cremations includes cremating multiple pets at one time in the same chamber and is much cheaper than private cremations, which only includes your pet. Another factor determining the cost includes the location of the pet crematorium – in general, pet cremations cost more in areas with higher rent and labor costs.
Do I really get my dog’s ashes back?
Getting your dog’s ashes back depends on the type of cremation you choose. You can choose a private cremation and request to get your dog’s ashes back, a lower cost communal cremation and ask to get a portion of the ashes back from this process (which would include your dog and others), or choose to have your pet cremated and not get your ashes back (in this case, many pet crematoriums scatter the ashes at a place of their choosing).
In addition, if you prefer to get your dog’s ashes back, it’s important to ask questions and make sure the veterinarian or pet cremation provider you’re working with follows processes and procedures to identify your pet throughout the cremation process.
How long will it take to get my dog’s ashes back?
You can typically get your dog’s ashes back 1 to 5 days after your dog passes. This range depends if you’re working directly with the pet crematorium (which can speed things up) or the veterinarian (which can take a bit longer), if there is any backlog at the pet crematorium when your dog passes, and the time of year (some crematoriums close during the holidays). If you want to get your dog’s ashes back sooner than later, it’s important to ask your veterinarian or pet cremation provider the time it will take before you agree to do the cremation with them.
Do microchips survive cremation?
A microchip will not survive cremation. If it is not removed before the cremation is performed, it will be incinerated as part of the cremation process.
In order to identify the remains, many pet crematoriums include a steel ID tag with your dog that will stay with them through the cremation process. After the cremation is performed, many pet crematoriums will clean the tag and include it with the bag holding your pet's cremated remains.
How long do dog ashes last?
Dog ashes do not decompose or dissolve – the will last as long as you will be alive. The ashes are non-toxic and there are many beautiful memorials to do with your dog’s ashes – you can bury them in the ground with a permanent urn or a biodegradable urn, include them with a Living Urn pet tree burial planting system, include them in an indoor urn inside the home, or scatter them at a special place, among many other options. If you bury them in the earth or scatter them, the ashes will be mixed with the natural environment.
What color are dog ashes?
Dog ashes are typically a greyish white color and there can also be black, red, yellow, orange and red pigments present. Many times the pigments are a result of a dog’s diet. If you opted to have your dog cremated with aquamation, the resulting ashes will typically be white.
Can my dog’s ashes be buried with me?
For most states, it is not illegal to have your pet’s ashes buried with you, however it’s always recommended to check with your local county or city offices to find out if any restrictions exist where you live.
Many people choose to combine their pet’s ashes with theirs in a traditional urn in the home or in a biodegradable urn to grow a tree, scatter, or simply be buried in the ground. If you prefer to be buried with your pet in a more traditional cemetery or memorial park, it is important that you first check with the location - many have separate areas for pets and people, while other more progressive cemeteries are now allowing people to be buried with the ashes of their beloved four-legged family members.