How Much Does Dog Cremation Costs?

Dogs provide us with companionship and unconditional love, which is why it can be so difficult to say goodbye when they pass away. If you are faced with the decision of what to do with your pet’s remains, cremation may be the best option.

On average, cremating a dog will cost you between $50 and $400. The price will vary depending on the size of your dog and the cremation method you choose. Private cremations are more expensive than communal ones. If you have a larger dog, you may also need to pay extra for a larger cremation chamber.

Before choosing a crematory for your dog’s final arrangements, be sure to ask about all the available options and pricing so that you can make the best decision for your budget and needs.

How Much Does A Pet Crematory Cost?

The cost of pet cremation will vary depending on three main factors: type of cremation, your pet’s size or weight, and your location.

1. Type Of Cremation

Pet cremations can either be private, individual, or communal.

  • Private cremations: This means that your dog will be the only one in the cremation chamber. Prices will be around $200-$400.
  • Individual cremations (partial-private): Your dog will be placed with other dogs in the cremation chamber, but their remains will be partitioned. Prices will be around $135-$250.
  • Communal cremations: Your dog will be cremated with several other dogs in the crematory chamber without partitioning. Prices will be around $50-$150.

2. Pet Size Or Weight

The cremation of larger pets will cost more than smaller ones since this means more space and time in the cremation chamber.

For example, at the Butte Humane Society Clinic in Chico, California, a private cremation will vary in price according to weight as shown:

  • 3-49 lbs: $135
  • 50-99 lbs: $165
  • 100 lbs and above: $250

A communal cremation will cost $55, irrespective of size.

3. Location

Pet cremation prices also vary from city to city and from state to state: For example, private cremation prices at Butte Humane Society vary a bit from those at Perfect Memorials, LLC in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, as shown:

  • 1-30 lbs: $150-$175
  • 30-60 lbs: $200
  • 61-90 lbs: $225
  • 91-120 lbs: $250

4. Other Factors In Dog Cremation Cost

The cost of your pet’s cremation may increase depending on these other factors:

  • Pickup services for the remains.
  • Whether you buy a special box or urn for the cremains.
  • Delivery of your pet’s remains.

What To Expect When Engaging A Pet Cremation Service

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If your dog dies at home or at the vet’s, here’s what you should expect when engaging in a pet cremation service.

Call A Pet Cremation Care Service To Pick Your Dog’s Remains

This is usually done by you, or you can delegate the task to your dog’s vet, especially if your dog dies at the vet or you don’t feel up to the task.

Choose The Type Of Cremation For Your Dog

You can choose between private, individual, or communal cremation, depending on how much you want to spend.

Engage The Cremation Care Service On Other Key Issues

Engage the cremation care service by asking the following questions:

  • Can I visit my dog’s remains before cremation? Some services will allow it at an extra cost.
  • Can I follow my dog’s cremation process? Some cremation services will allow it for private but not communal cremations.
  • How will I know I am getting my dog’s ashes? You’ll need to trust the service on this one.
  • How long will I need to wait to get my dog’s ashes? Cremations take 45 minutes to 3 hours. You get the ashes the same or the following day.
  • What if I don’t want my dog’s ashes back? Your dog’s remains can be disposed of in a memorial space at the crematorium or be processed into bone meal fertilizer.
  • Can I bring my own urn to collect my Dogs ashes? Yes. Just bear in mind that your dog’s ashes will be 7% of your pet’s original weight.

Can You Cremate A Dog Yourself?

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We have read stories about people who cremated their dogs by themselves. Some people did these for the sentimental value of their dogs.

Others do it because they want to make sure that their dog’s ashes are treated with respect and dignity, like how a human should be treated. They just don’t want to take a chance on having an incomplete or improper cremation done by someone else.

From our research, there seem to be two things suggesting that you should not cremate a dog yourself.

There’s Little Information Available On DIY Dog Cremation

You will not find much information about “DIY dog cremation ideas” and neither do you find information on country/state laws on DIY dog cremation.

For example, the Standards of Practice for Cremation of Pets by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories and the Cremation Association of North America are silent on cremating a dog yourself.

All this suggests a general expectation that dog cremation is a service that is done by dog cremation services who are licensed and have experience with handling dog remains according to set disposal standards.

Dog Cremation Requires Extremely High Temperatures

At a crematory, your dog’s remains will be subjected to extremely high temperatures ranging between 1,400 °F and 1,800 °F for a period of 45 minutes to 3 hours.

Even if you decided to cremate your dog in a domestic oven, this would be close to impossible as most ovens can only handle up to 500 °F.

Besides, that would mean plenty of smoke and odor emitted inside your home. Similarly, opting for a backyard fire would come with the same issues and is generally prohibited in an urban environment.

Is It Better To Cremate Or Bury A Pet?

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Cremating or burying your pet are both acceptable ways of disposing of your pet’s remains. Whether one is better than the other is generally a personal choice that should be made depending on what works best for you.

Nonetheless, cremating may be better on the following grounds.

Cremation Is Cheaper And Less Tedious Than Burying

You can easily ask a dog cremation service to take care of your dog’s remains with little involvement and at a cost between $50 and $400, as discussed earlier. This may increase slightly depending on a few extra costs.

Burying a dog will cost you a lot more and get you more involved with the plans, despite your grieving.

For example, if you chose a dog cemetery, you will pay between $550 and $4,000 to cover for costs related to digging a grave, the burial space, your dog’s casket, death date and name engraving, tombstone, and grave maintenance fee.

Cremation Gives You A Better Chance To Keep Your Dog’s Remains Closer

While you might be able to bury your dog in your backyard depending on country/state laws and keep a memorial spot for your pet, you might not be able to carry your pet’s remains if you move.

Also, burying your dog at a cemetery will keep you far from your dog’s remains, and you can only visit once in a while.

Cremation gives you the possibility of keeping your pet’s ashes in an urn inside your home, which becomes a daily reminder of your beloved pet.

Is It OK To Bury Your Dog In Your Backyard?

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The decision to bury your dog in your backyard depends on the following factors.

Country And State Laws

Some countries/states allow people with private property to bury their dog’s remains in their backyard. Other countries may prohibit it as long as you live in the city. 

For example, in Ontario, Canada, the 1990 Ontario Dead Animals Disposal Act doesn’t prohibit burying a dog in your yard, but:

  • The dog’s remains should be buried within 48 hours.
  • The remains should be covered with at least 2 feet of earth.
  • The services of a licensed collector are sought.

Proximity To Water Bodies And Neighbors

Some states advise against burying your dog in your backyard or give specific guidelines to preempt contamination of water sources or disturbing neighbors.

For example, in Missouri, it is discouraged to bury a dog in your backyard. But if you do, the grave must be 50 feet from property lines and 300 feet from neighboring residences and water sources.

Dog’s Remains Becoming An Environmental/Health Hazard

Your dog’s body may decompose in a month in deep soil or take as long as a year in shallow rocky soil.

A dog’s remains in a shallow grave will emit a foul smell, attracting other animals to dig up the grave and scatter the remains.

Can You Request To Have Your Dog Put Down?

You can request to have your dog euthanized if your dog is in a lot of suffering and pain and the condition is irreversible. Generally, vets will not put down a healthy dog for ethical and professional reasons. Talk to your dog’s vet to know when this decision is opportune.

Do Dogs Feel Pain When They Get Put Down?

Dogs don’t feel pain when they are euthanized. If they are fully conscious, the vet may give a sedative before the euthanizing dose. Euthanizing medicine is given in large doses and renders your dog unconscious immediately. The most your dog can do is twitch, urinate, or defecate as it takes its last breath.

What Happens To The Microchip When A Dog Dies? 

There seems to be imprecise information about the state of your dog’s microchip after cremation. Some will say it can still be read to identify your dog’s remains, and others will say it burns up and is destroyed by the high furnace temperatures. Additional information and research on the issue are required.

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Pete Decker