How to Cremate a Pet

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Pet cremation is one method for dealing with the aftermath of a deceased pet. In many cases, you may not have many options about what to do with your pet’s body. Planning ahead is the first step, so start identifying and communicating with local crematoriums. When you find the service you feel comfortable using when your pet's time comes, you can prearrange the details.

Cremation Explained

Whether for a human or pet, the cremation process is similar. Cremation occurs when the deceased's body is placed inside an incinerator that reaches temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Those high temperatures reduce the body to ashes and dry out the bones so they can be broken down into powder. In most cases, the ash is inspected for metal bits; any found are removed.

Private Pet Cremation

In many communities, you can choose private pet cremation. With these cremations, your pet will be cremated separately from other pets so you can have your own pet's ashes returned to you. In contrast, some facilities do communal cremations in which many animals are cremated at the same time. Some crematoriums also offer partial-communal cremations in which your pet's body will be separated by dividers from the bodies of other pets during the cremation.

If you choose private pet cremation, you can go through a pet crematorium in your area. Some veterinarians may also offer cremation services. When your pet dies, the vet will usually handle the body's transfer to a crematory. Depending on your preference, the ashes may be returned to you or your veterinarian in a sealed plastic bag placed in a decorative box.

Costs of Private Cremation

The costs associated with private pet cremation vary depending on the size of your pet. On average, private cremations cost $55 to $100 for smaller pets, such as birds, rabbits, ferrets, puppies and kittens.

For cats and dogs weighing less than 50 pounds, cost runs between $100 to $150. Dogs weighing more 50 pounds can cost $150 to $350 to cremate. Basically, the larger your pet the more cremation services will cost. However, if you prefer a communal cremation, some services offer discounts of up to 50 percent.

Warning

  • The pet cremation business is not regulated, so be careful when choosing a crematorium. Get recommendations for reputable services from friends, family, your veterinarian, animal shelters and other pet-friendly organizations before choosing the cremation service for your pet. Also, ask questions about how your pet will be tracked during the process.

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