How Much Does Pet Cremation Cost?
Losing your pet is likely one of the more difficult things you’ve gone through. Pets hold a special place in our hearts, the way they held an important place in our lives. Now that they’ve passed, you may be deciding between cremation or burial. For many people, the cost of pet cremation is an important factor. Pet burial prices vary wildly from region to region, but most start at several hundred dollars and many cost a thousand or much more. In contrast, pet cremation rarely exceeds $200, and there are generally options under $100.
Pet cremation is a popular option for pet owners, in part because of its lower price point. And, pet cremation gives pet owners many options for remembering and honoring their deceased pets. In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of pet cremation for dogs and cats, additional cremation costs to consider, and cremation keepsakes.
Dog Cremation Cost
One thing that dog owners need to take into consideration before having their dog cremated is that size influences the cost. This makes sense, that the bigger the body, the more costly the cremation. For example, a smaller dog that weighs around 30lbs, such as a chihuahua, Pomeranian, or a Boston terrier, will cost around $175 to cremate. Whereas a larger dog, such as a mastiff or a Great Dane will cost $250 or more. You will likely be asked to give your dog’s breed and weight to receive cost quotes from veterinary offices, or pet crematoriums.
It’s important to note that prices for dog cremation will range greatly from region to region and from business to business. So, please try to contact a few places to find the right price for you.
There are three types of cremation, each with a different price point and features.
- Communal cremation is the least expensive option for cremating your dog. Communal cremation is where several bodies are cremated together. This efficient process is the most cost-effective and will, depending on your area and the size of your dog, range from $30-$70. Since the ashes are mixed, you will not receive back the remains of your dog.
- Individual, or partitioned, cremation is semi-private, and involves separating the bodies being cremated with dividers. This type of cremation allows for dog owners to get back their dog’s remains. It’s important to note, that while the bodies are separated, it’s possible for a small amount of mixing to occur. Individual cremation ranges in cost from $50-$150, again depending on your region and the size of your dog.
- Private cremation is the most expensive option, but the most popular for those pet owners who plan to keep their dog’s ashes for remembrance. In a private cremation, there is virtually no chance of intermingled ash, because as the name implies, only your dog is cremated. There is often the opportunity to witness this cremation, usually for an additional fee.
Cat Cremation Cost
Unlike dogs, cat cremations don’t have the same size variable to consider. Even a very large cat, like a Maine Coon, is smaller than most dogs. While prices will vary from area to area, the average cost of cremation ranges from $30-$200.
- Communal cremations, where several animals are cremated together, cost from $30-$70. In most cases, with a communal cremation, you will not be receiving back any of your cat’s remains. This is because the ashes get mixed in the cremation process.
- Many crematoriums offer the option of an individual, or partitioned, cremation. This style of cremation separates the bodies being cremated, and owners will receive back the ashes of their cat. It’s possible for there to be some mixing, but the ash you receive back from an individual cremation will be largely from your cat. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about this process, so you get the results you want for your beloved cat. The cost of individual cremation is generally between $50-$150.
- A private cremation is the final pet cremation option. Your cat would be cremated on its own, so you know that all of the remains you receive back are from your cat. This option is going to be the most expensive, and depending on your area, will range in price from $175-$250.
Additional Pet Cremation Costs
While we’ve just gone over the average cremation costs for dogs and cats, other fees might apply or pop up unexpectedly to go over.
Depending on whether your pet died at home, or if your cat’s veterinarian has their cremation equipment on site, the body may need to be transported to the appropriate facilities. If you’re unable to move your cat’s body to your vet or crematorium, they likely offer transportation services for the body. The fee will generally be small and will vary from facility to facility.
For a small additional fee, usually around $20-$60, many crematoriums will allow you to witness your pet’s cremation. This ritual usually brings about a sense of closure and gives time for a real goodbye to your pet’s physical form.
While crematoriums will provide a container of some sort, usually a plastic bag or cardboard box, to hold your pet’s ashes, if you want anything nicer for storing or displaying the ashes, you’ll need to buy an urn. Crematoriums will often have a wide selection available, usually ranging from $75-$350. The Living Urn offers a selection of premium, handcrafted and ecological urns at reasonable prices. Their Plant Urn for Pets is handcrafted from natural hardwoods and a beautiful addition to any home. It is stylish, yet unassuming and would complement any décor. Starting at $195, it is an excellent example of quality at an affordable price.
Cost of Pet Burial
Even at its lowest cost, the option of pet burial is going to start at $100 more than the most expensive type of pet cremation. On average, however, pet owners pay between $1500-$2000 for pet burial. Don’t worry though, because this of course will depend on your region and the individual pet cemetery. For example, in Decatur, Alabama, the average cost of a pet burial is $850+. But, in San Diego, the average cost is $600+. And, in Evergreen Colorado, pet burial prices start at $575. So, similar to pet cremation costs, be sure to call around to local pet cemeteries in your area. You might even consider calling cemeteries to see if they have a pet cemetery they simply haven’t listed online.
Pet Ash Scattering Cost
The best way to prepare for scattering, no matter the cost, is to buy a scattering urn, like the beautiful, handmade bamboo scattering urn from the Living Urn. Without a proper vessel, scattering ash can be unwieldy, and potentially messy. The scattering urn from the Living Urn features an easy-to-use lock that keeps the ash securely in place. Once you’ve purchased your scattering urn, it’s time to choose how you want to scatter the ashes.
A scattering garden is often found at cemeteries and memorial parks. It is a beautiful garden designed for people to come and scatter the ashes of their departed loved ones. There are often benches for quiet contemplation and remembrance. Prices for scattering range from $100-$1000, depending on your area.
A far more affordable option, scattering on public land requires verifying its legality and if there are any permits necessary. However, ash scattering is permitted at many U.S. National Parks. If it’s needed, permit fees tend to be quite affordable and range from $20-$75.
Scattering on private land is free but may require checking with your local governments about any requirements or stipulations regarding ash scattering. Since ash scattering is such an important and personal moment, it’s best to be aligned with any local policies to prevent any unwanted interference from local officials.
Pet Cremation Keepsakes
One reason that many people choose cremation is that it offers the opportunity for keepsakes. With a cremation keepsake, you can keep part of your beloved pet quite literally close to your heart.
These small cremation pendants hold some of your beloved pet's ashes and are often engraved. These are very popular forms of cremation keepsakes. They come in many different styles, from simple to ornate.
Cremation stones are made from the remains of your loved one. In a process similar to ceramics, the ash is turned into beautiful stones that can be scattered or kept in remembrance.
Cremation glass keepsakes can include colorful orbs, hearts, and touchstones and include made from the remains of your beloved pet. These beautiful pieces are a great addition to any home! Include a light at the bottom to allow the glass to glow and show off its brilliance.
Cremation jewelry is made with cremation ash. A pet's ashes are mixed into a medium like glass, or epoxy and fashioned into jewelry. There is quite a range when it comes to cremation jewelry styles, so there is something for everyone.
Turn your pet’s ashes into a real diamond. Cremation diamonds are made in a lab using heat and pressure. They can be colored or clear. And they’ll ensure that your pet lives on in some form forever.