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Losing a beloved pet is never easy, but having plans in place before the grief and trauma of the experience sets in can be beneficial. If the time to put down your dog is coming soon, or this has already happened, here are some options for you to consider, and how much does it cost to cremate a dog.

The Three Types of Dog Cremation

The types of dog cremation available in your area will depend on the size of your region. Ask your veterinarian what services they offer when it comes to cremation.

Communal – This is the cheapest option, where multiple pets are burned in a communal crematory process, and your pet’s ashes will be mixed with others.

Individual – This is a step above communal cremation. However, despite the name, “individual” cremation for dogs doesn’t mean “private.” This process uses dividers between dogs, but your pet will still be cremated with other animals. Therefore, you cannot know for sure that your dog’s remains are wholly theirs.

Private – This is the most expensive option but often preferred by pet owners. Your dog will be cremated alone and there will be no other animals around, so the ashes will be “pure” and wholly your dog's only.

It’s reasonable to expect that the fewer dogs that are cremated in one session, the more expensive the price will be. Depending on where you live, not all of these options may be available in your area. You can start your research by simply searching for dog cremation near me online.

Before you decide on the type and what you'll do after, familiarize yourself with local pet cremation laws, particularly if you're thinking about burying them later. Every state will have different rules (here are New York City's, for example).

The Average Cost of Cremating a Dog

The average cost of cremating a dog will be determined by the state or country you live in, as well as the type of service you would like provided, and the provider you choose to use. The following prices are an average estimate of how much does it cost to cremate a dog in the U.S.

  • Private cremation of a dog 30 pounds and under – about $175
  • Individual cremation of a dog 30 pounds and under – about $110
  • Communal cremation of a dog 30 pounds and under – about $75

The larger the dog, the more costly each of these cremations will be because the cremation process takes longer.

  • Private cremation of a dog from 90 to 120 pounds – about $250
  • Individual cremation of a dog from 90 to 120 pounds – about $145
  • Communal cremation of a dog from 90 to 120 pounds – about $125

This is a base price-point. Most pet crematories will charge extra for additional services. Sometimes, the crematory will charge a base fee plus $1 per every pound of dog's weight.

Choosing a Pet Cremation Service and Provider

The pet crematory you choose should be licensed, and must follow strict pet cremation procedures, as outlined in Standards of Practice for Cremation of Pets (PDF).

Then, based on the type of dog cremation, you can choose a provider and arrangements:

Funeral Home. These offer a full service animal cremation.
Cremation Society. Specialists who can help you make cremation arrangements.
Cemetery. They sometimes do cremation or can help with arrangement.
Online Arrangement Company. While this option is the cheapest, they aren't always as helpful as the above three providers; however, it's still very popular and easy to arrange (but not available in all states).

Once you decide on which type of provider you'd like to go with, from there you'll have to choose a specific company. Make sure to choose a reputable one – you can check if the company is a CANA member and if they abide by CANA's code of practice.

Extra Fees Charged by Crematories

If you want to watch as they cremate your dog, there is a service fee called the “witness fee” which can run you an additional $75.00.

If your dog died at home or at a different location (other than the vet's clinic), you may be charged a “transfer fee” of about $60.00 for getting your pet to the crematory. Ask how far the radius is, as these fees usually only cover distances of approximately 20 miles only and not any further.

The Final Resting Container or Urn

Once your dog has been cremated, you will need a container to put the ashes in. What you choose will depend on how you plan to keep your dog’s remains.

For example, if you are going to scatter your pet’s ashes at their favorite dog park, then a plastic bag may suffice. But if you wish to keep your dog's ashes around your home and memorialize your furry friend, a professional dog urn may be a better choice.

If you plan on burying your canine after the cremation process, you can skip the urn and opt for a wooden or plastic box, or a proper pet coffin. For the burying, you can also get a dog themed memorial stone. Pet crematories and online sites usually offer all three options and carry different types of products.

Some pet crematories will offer additional services or items. For example, Rainbow Bridge offers to return the ashes in an engraved box which you can get alongside cremation certificate, personalized letter and grieving literature. The Pet Loss Center offers a bigger memorial service for extra fee, while Faithful Companion offers a much faster service (24 hours return, as opposed to 1-2 weeks with many other companies).

How Much Does a Dog Urn Cost?

You can purchase a dog urn from a crematory or get it cheaper from online retailers.

Unlike human urns, those designed for pets do not have to have the same standards in place. For this reason, pet urns can be as affordable as $25. If you want a deluxe dog urn, these units can run as high as $1,000. Urns purchased through the crematory tend to be pricier than those bought online.

Dog urns come in all shapes and styles, from vase-like to boxes to ones that resemble a pet statue. They can be made from wood, ceramic, or plastic and, once again, the price will be reflected in the quality of the unit and what is included in the particular urn you have chosen. For example, can it be engraved or is there a place for a picture?

The Best Urns for Cremated Dogs

If you're shopping around for a dog urn after you cremate your dog, here are some of our favorite types and choices based on their price, materials and design.

Conclusion

Before your pet passes, you may want to check your options when it comes to cremation. Find out how much does it cost to cremate a dog in your area, and what types of dog cremation are available.

Ask your veterinarian if they do on-site cremations, or if you have to have your pet sent to a separate location and if there's an extra fee involved. If you are referred to a pet crematory, ask if they offer any packages and what the prices are per the weight of your dog.

READ NEXT: How to Legally Bury a Dog

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