Dog Cremation Cost Breakdown and Step by Step Guide

Are you prepared for your dog's passing? 

A lot of dog owners, myself included, would give a straight “no” answer to this question.

Some would even avoid the question entirely.

Nobody can blame all of us for having this reaction, since the idea of our dear pets passing the Rainbow Bridge is heart-wrenching.

Even I would find the thought of losing my pet dog, unimaginable!

And yet, we still need to make preparations for our dog's departure, no matter how upsetting the thoughts are to us.

The least we can give to our beloved canine companions is a decent send-off to the afterlife.

Among the many things that we need to consider for our dog's passing is their cremation.

That's why, in this article, I'll be your trusty guide in knowing more about dog cremation costs and other expenses that you may soon come across.

I'll also be including another alternative to pet cremation. More of this alternative is at the end of the blog.

Dog cremation may be a sad topic to talk about, but there's no better time to talk about it than right now, while your canine pal is still up and alive.

You wouldn't want to come empty-handed and unprepared on your pet's last important day, would you? 

Dog Cremation Cost Breakdown

Dog Cremation Cost Breakdown

As you plan your dog's passing, you need to consider some options and inclusions in your dog's cremation.

These inclusions are additional costs that you need to pay, so make sure that you are well informed about what your options are.

How Much Does It Cost to Cremate a Dog?

Generally, pet owners should expect to pay between $75 and $250 for dog cremation costs.

But that is one broad price range!

And I completely agree there's a large price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive cremation service.

So what gives?

This is because there are a few factors that go into how much it costs to cremate a dog.

Primarily, dog cremation cost will depend on your location, the company or service you choose, the type of dog cremation procedure, and the size of your dog.

In addition, while dog cremation prices vary, you can expect to pay along with the following price points:

Private Cremation Individual (Partitioned) Cremation Communal Cremation
1-30 lbs. $175 $110 $75
31-60 lbs. $200 $125 $90
61-90 lbs. $225 $135 $110
91-120 lbs. $250 $145 $125

Types of Dog Cremation

Overall, there are three types of pet cremation services for your dog: communal, partitioned, and private.

These types of cremation greatly affect the dog cremation cost that you'll pay.

Private cremation of a dog – Similarly, an idea related to human cremation. Your dog is cremated individually.

If you choose to receive his ashes, then the ashes that you're getting will be those of only your dog.

Individual dog cremation – This is a process where pets are cremated in a larger cremation unit, but partitions are used to separate the pets from one another.

However, due to the way this process works, if you choose to receive your dog’s ashes back, you may also get some ashes of other animals cremated at the same time in that unit.

Communal pet cremation – This is where multiple pets are cremated at once in one large cremation unit.

However, this process results in all the pets' ashes being mixed, so when choosing this option, ashes are not returned to you.

Additional Dog Cremation Fees

Depending on the cremation facility you select and the options that they offer, you can also incur additional expenses on your dog's cremation costs.

Note that these numbers are simply the average cost to cremate a dog, so don't be surprised if the actual price is slightly higher or lower.

$75 Witness Fee – This is for pet owners who wish to be present at their dog's private cremation process.

Not all facilities will offer this service.

If presence is a must for you in their service package, check the crematorium first to see if they offer this option

$60 Transfer Fee – This is a fee for transferring your dog's remains to the crematorium.

It may involve the crematorium picking up the dog’s remains from your home or from a veterinarian’s office.

Take note, however, that this fee usually only covers a select travel radius, so be sure to inquire about the place too.

Dog Cremation Urns

If you choose a private or individual dog cremation service, you have the option to bring your dog's ash home.

A lot of dog owners do that, taking their dog's cremains home.

Even I would keep my dog's ashes as a memento from my beloved pet. 

So, if you decide to bring your pet's remains home, you also may want to consider buying dog cremain containers to store your dog's ashes.

Cremain containers are most often urns, decorative boxes, or statues.

The prices of dog cremation urns and containers vary drastically since the styles and features greatly vary per cremain container.

In fact, you can find containers that cost between $25 and well over $1000!

Perfect Memorials Large Bronze Dog in Basket Cremation Urn Typically, you can conveniently get your hands on cremation urns from the facility that performs the service. Just make sure to request an itemized bill on the service package to make sure that each item on the package reflects accurately on your bill.

Alternatively, you can also get cheap dog cremation urns online.

Amazon and other online retailers offer good prices for great-looking pet cremation urns for dogs.

In fact, below are some of the best dog cremation urns that I would recommend.

Best Friend Services Pet Urn - Ottillie Paws Legacy Memorial Pet Cremation Urns for Dogs and Cats Ashes Hand Carved Brass Memory Keepsake Urn (Raku, Vertical, Brass) Most dog cremation boxes that you purchase will have size options that will be good for any dog of any size. So, instead of worrying about the size, you should focus your budget on the urn's style and design. Some of the most expensive services that you can avail of for your pet's urn are engravings on pet cremains, urns, and containers.

Dog owners would also embellish the urns with expensive metals and jewels.

If you are into jar designs, perhaps those options would be of interest to you.

But that sounds so lavish!

Yes, it is! And that's how dog owners love and pay tribute to their dogs.

Some fur parents are willing to go above and beyond just to give their pets extravagant amounts of love, even at their departure.

That gets to show that canine love can transcend even the borders of life and death! 

Dog Cremation Jewelry

The last thing to consider in your dog cremation cost is dog cremation jewelry.

This may not be an important option in dog cremation, but it does help commemorate your dog better.

Cremation jewelry can be in the form of a necklace with funnel filler, allowing you to store a tiny amount of your dog's ashes inside.

Most of them can be customized, so you can engrave a message, too.

Again, you can buy dog cremation necklaces from the dog crematorium itself, but they can be slightly more expensive than usual.

For affordable options, some of the best dog cremation jewelry options can be found online, like these below:

When to Start Planning for Dog Cremation?

When do we start planning for dog cremation?

Unsurprisingly, your answer will vary depending on your dog's condition.

If your dog has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it might be time to start thinking about its dog cremation costs.

I know preparing for the cremation right after hearing the bad news might sound pessimistic. 

But there's no way to get around this. 

Your dog has only limited time left, and you will eventually need to prepare for its imminent death.

The same goes for your dogs who'll reach geriatric years or life expectancy.

Dog breeds will have different geriatric years, with small dogs living the longest and large ones living the shortest.

Sure, some dogs exceed their average life expectancy, but you never know when you will need to cremate them.

Dogs can also show some dying signs even without reaching their life expectancy yet.

These behavioral changes will be extremely noticeable as your dog will suddenly become disinterested and lethargic.

When you notice these signs, have a vet check your dog's health before jumping to conclusions.

You have to rule out all potential causes first before going to the grim conclusion that you're dog's going to die sooner than expected.

All of these dog's circumstances can be your opportunity to make preparations for your dog's passing.

Dog Cremation Step by Step Guide

Dog Cremation: Step-by-Step Guide

Planning for dog cremation can be laborious.

The last thing you want on your dog's verge of death is additional mental baggage on your already distressed mind.

That's why I want to help you smoothly navigate your way through the sad process of your dog's passing.

And with that, here's a step-by-step guide for dog cremation.

Step 1: Choose a Dog Cremation Option

As mentioned, you have three types of dog cremation services.

These dog cremation services that are available to you are:

  • Private dog cremation
  • Individual dog cremation
  • Communal dog cremation

When choosing a dog cremation option, you should consider the budget that you can dispense on your dog's cremation.

You should also consider whether you want to retrieve your dog's ashes after its cremation.

When you do want to retrieve it, you need to pay a premium if you don't want other animals' ashes to mix with your pet's.

Communal dog cremations are also workable options, especially if you are on a low budget.

After all, sometimes, you just need a proper ceremony for your dog.

Step 2: Choosing a Dog Crematorium Facility

Every city has pet cremation services and facilities that work with local veterinarians.

To start, you can Google “dog cremation services near me” to find a facility closest to you.

For example, I temporarily live in Los Angeles. I simply went online and searched for “best pet crematorium near me” and got a bunch of applicable results.

There's some known Paws Pet Cremation company, and a whole Yelp page is dedicated to that.

Yes, that's how easy it is to find a pet crematorium nowadays.

I can't believe how easy it is to find a pet crematorium!

Alternatively, you can also ask and get a recommendation from your veterinarian about a refutable crematorium.

During a consultation visit to your local vet, you can ask your vet some questions about the facility that they recommend.

You may also want to compare their suggestions to other places first.

In fact, you can compare their suggestions from other vets, too!

Lastly, you may also want to visit the dog crematorium itself to get a feel for its facilities and staff.

Be advised that most crematoriums require you to call ahead and get an appointment from someone at the facility instead of just showing up.

How to Know if a Crematorium is the Right Place?

Checking the pet crematorium's reputation across various resources should be your initial priority first.

A good crematorium will obviously be the one that has not been noted in the news or in any public records for its unethical pet cremation practices or questionable conduct.

You'd be surprised to know how often dog cremation services have been dealing with the law.

Most importantly, look for a facility that has a good reputation in the veterinary community and one that makes you feel comfortable.

This is where consulting with a vet becomes useful because they can vouch for companies that match their veterinary standards.

Transparency is also another thing to consider when choosing a dog's crematorium.

Upon your inquiry, make sure that the facility has readily available information about the pet cremation cost and process.

Look for dog crematorium companies that are willing to inform and educate you about the services that you'll be receiving from them.

Planning with Dog Cremation Services

Step 3: Planning with the Pet Crematorium

After choosing a pet crematorium that you can trust, you want to ask them specific questions to find out more about their dog cremation process.

Feel free to prepare a list of the questions you want to ask, including how much dog cremation is, in total.

That way, you won't forget anything if you begin to feel overwhelmed, which, from personal experience, may definitely happen.

Don't be afraid to call the crematorium to speak with someone directly about their available dog cremation service.

Some questions you may want to ask of dog crematorium staff are:
  • How much does it cost to cremate a dog at their place in total?
  • Do they work directly with veterinarians, and if so, is your vet on the list?
  • If they don't, are they willing to pick up your dog from your vet?
  • Will the crematorium pick up your dog's remains if he passes away at home?
  • If they will, do they have any specific pick-up days and hours?
  • How long will they hold your dog’s remains before cremating him?
  • How long will the whole dog cremation procedure take?
  • How long before you can pick up your pet's ashes to take home?
  • Do they offer a selection of cremains urns or containers?
  • Can you use a pet cremains container that you bought yourself?

These are just some sample questions that you can use as a template when you start inquiring.

Of course, you can add more questions to this list however you see fit.

Asking a lot of questions will help you make a more detailed written plan about the end-of-life process.

Do make sure, however, to write down anything else that comes to your mind.

Just inquire, inquire, inquire, and don't be shy about asking some questions that you want them to clarify.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

Step 4: Consult with Your Veterinarian

Once you've written a sound plan for your pet’s cremation process, it's important to relay your decisions to your veterinarian.

Discussing these matters with a vet will also help them to collaborate with the dog crematorium should you choose to euthanize your dog.

They can also bring insights that you might've overlooked when you were discussing it with the pet crematorium.

It wouldn't hurt to double-check your plan with a second opinion, wouldn't it?

Make sure to place them all in writing so that all procedures will be formalized in your personal client file.

How Do I Know that the Ashes I Get Back Will Be That of My Pet?

My vets would tell me that one of the frequently asked questions that they get from dog owners preparing for their dog's death is this:

“How do I know that the ashes I'll get came from my pet remains?”

It turns out they might be asking the right people about this.

Maybe people are often afraid to ask their crematoriums about it, so they consult their vet instead.

Unfortunately, unless you paid the witness fee, there's no way to be sure that the ashes that you get back are those of your pet.

That's why we are strongly recommending you carefully pick a reputable crematorium with well-reviewed dog cremation services.

What Do I Do if My Dog Dies at Home Naturally?

According to my vet, the second major concern of dog owners when planning the End of Life process is this:

“What do I do if my dog dies at home naturally?

From what they can tell, however, dogs dying in their owner's home is unlikely to occur.

Statistics show that only 10% of dogs naturally pass away at home.

After all, responsible dog owners would immediately rush their pooches to the nearest vet.

But dogs can still die at your home, so you still want to know what you should do and who you should call.

If your dog's passing had timed your vet’s business hours, you can take him to the vet’s office.

Otherwise, take your pet to a local emergency vet clinic instead.

Either way, you'll need veterinary expertise to hold your dog's remains until they can be picked up by the pet crematorium you chose.

You also have the option to call an in-home pet euthanization service – “End of Life Services” – to pick up your dog’s remains and take them to your chosen crematorium.

Lastly, you have the option to have the dog crematorium pick up your pet’s remains directly from you, only if this service is available in their offers.

How Much To Cremate a Dog Costs

Step 5: When Dog Cremation Time Comes

After getting info on how much is a dog cremation and finalizing your plan, you're ready to carry out your dog's cremation at the planned time.

Dog cremation plans help take off the pressure of doing all the processes by yourself.

But you should never fully rest easy as there are other aspects of your dog's cremation that you need to attend to.

Here are a few reminders that you may want to note when carrying out your plan:

  • Make sure to give a copy of your plan to all key people involved
  • Follow up a reminder on both the dog crematorium and your vet about the plan
  • If your pet is picked up from your home, provide a copy of your requests to the individual picking up your dog
  • Know your pet crematorium's payment policy
  • If possible, pay ahead of time

Do You Get Your Dog's Ashes Back?

Can you get your dog's ashes back after the cremation?

Well, it depends on the type of cremation service that you availed.

In Private and Divided cremation, you'll be able to keep the ashes.

Communal cremations, however, will have your dog's ashes mixed with other animals.

So, if your concern is you want to retrieve the ashes, you may want to pick either private or individual cremation.

Can You Put Your Pet's Ashes in Your Casket or Coffin?

People also ask: can you put your pet's ashes in your casket or coffin?

It depends on your location.

There are still other states that prohibit pets and humans from being buried together.

But in the case that it's possible, include in your last request that your dog's ashes be placed in your casket.

Can Dog Toys or Favorite Items also be Cremated?

I get it, dog toys are sentimental objects both to you and your dog.

Perhaps you want to turn the toys into ashes to give them sentimental value, or you want to “send” the toys to where your dog is right now.

But the thing is, pet crematoriums usually don't allow plastic toys or items with your dog's cremation.

Most pet crematoriums would tell you that plastics can cause a malfunction on their equipment.

Some crematories allow small pieces of blankets or blankets that are made with natural fibers like cotton.

Do Ashes from Cremations Smell?

A properly cremated pet's remains should be odorless because the process should reduce the remains to mere dust.

But there are still a few people who still claim otherwise.

Some people claim to be detecting a very slight metallic odor.

Others claimed that they smelled scents of incense on the dog's ashes.

And there are others who would report that their dog's ashes smell “woody.”

So really, it depends on the material of your container where you put the ashes.

How long do Pet Ashes Last?

“How long do pet ashes last?”

Vets and pet crematoriums alike get this question from a lot of dog owners.

The answer to it is that it depends on where you put the ashes.

Cremains in an urn usually last for a very long time with the proper seal.

So, choosing the right urn will improve the longevity of the ashes.

For more information, you can consult the pet crematorium for urns that can make the cremains last indefinitely.

If you choose to bury the cremains on the ground, the decomposition rate varies because of a lot of factors.

Above all, if you do have the budget, consulting with a professional will surely help. These companies can provide guidance for the proper product for your cremains.

Pet Burial

Dog cremation isn't your only option; you can also legally bury your dog.

That's why you may want to read to find out more about pet burials and how it's an alternative to cremation.

Cremation vs Burial

Is cremation really the best choice? 

For some, it is.

But some people prefer burying their beloved dogs instead of cremating them.

So, which procedure is better for your case?

Well, it depends on a lot of factors and will ultimately depend on your preference.

That's why you may want to research pet burials, too, and their difference from pet cremation.

To give you a lead, below are the major differences between pet cremation and pet burial.

Pet Cremation

  • Pet cremation is more environmentally friendly than burial
  • You can still have a memorial with pet cremation
  • You can take care of your pet more with a private pet crematory
  • You can choose to have the cremains or ashes returned to you
  • More time-efficient
  • More affordable

Pet Burial

  • Pet cemeteries offer a more comforting place for visiting
  • Creates a great memorial for pets
  • Home burial is an option. However, you'll need a permit for burial, and you'll not be able to bring it when you move.

Like dog cremation, there are a lot of factors to consider before you can bury your dogs.

Here are some things that you may need to know about pet burials.

Burying Pets in Backyard

Pet Cremation Burial

Planning to bury your pets in your backyard?

Guess what? If you mindlessly bury your pets there, you can find yourself in trouble with the law!

While some people choose dog burial to keep their pet’s remains in their backyard, this can be illegal in some states.

Some state laws only allow pet burial in specific zoning areas like a pet cemetery.

Pet Burial Cost

Dog burial processes are far more expensive than cremation.

Not only do you have to pay for a pet casket for your pooch and for the full burial service, but you must also pay for a plot of land in which to bury your dog.

For example, the average cost of a burial plan for a pet in the US is between $1,500 and $2,000 (on the lower end).

This compares to under $700 for an extra-large dog’s cremation, a witnessing fee, a transfer fee, and a $300 urn with some change to spare!

Dog Cremation Cost: Summary

With so many emotions fixed on death, preparing for your dog's cremation may seem like an impossible topic to most dog owners.

But you need to tackle this issue and prepare for the inevitable.

After all, it should be your responsibility as a dog owner to give your pooch a proper departing ceremony.

Otherwise, how will you prepare for your dog's death when it's already due?

READ NEXT: Top 8 Best Dog Memorial Stones

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.

Want to share this?

Dog Cremation Cost Breakdown

Rachael is a writer living in Los Angeles and an alum of UNC Chapel Hill. She has been a pet owner since the age of three and began dog-walking in 2015. Her nine-year-old Pug and best pal, Ellie, is the queen of sassy faces, marathon naps, and begging.