Pet Cremation: Alternatives To A Backyard Burial

When your beloved pet has reached the end of his or her journey and has gone to the rainbow bridge, you may find that a backyard burial isn't a comfortable choice. What if you have to move someday, or you have no backyard because you live in an apartment? Don't feel limited to burial for your pet's final resting place, though. If you're willing and/or able to pay for it, you can have your dear fuzzies cremated instead.

Pet cremation services are fundamentally the same as human services, such as at Romero Family Funeral Home Corp., at least in regard to the process. Cost will depend on many factors, such as the area in which you live, the size of your pet, the type of cremation you'd like, the crematory itself, whether or not you want to witness the cremation, and what type of urn you choose, if any. A very rough estimate would be anywhere from $50 to $400.

As far as types of cremation services, there are two possibilities for pets:

  1. Group cremation occurs when several pets are cremated at the same time, and afterward, the ashes are typically not returned to the owner. Instead, the remains are scattered somewhere, usually at a pet cemetery. This is the more affordable alternative.  
  2. Private cremation is the process of cremating just one pet at a time. The ashes are returned to the owners in an urn and will not contain remains from any other pet. You will also receive a certificate of cremation from the crematory. As you might expect, private cremation also costs more.

Where exactly do you go to have your pets cremated anyway? You have a couple options available to you, all of which your local vet can explain and even set up for you, if you like. Almost all veterinary practices maintain connections with pet crematories, so they can point you in the right direction. Often times, it may be a simple matter of leaving your pet with the vet and going to pick up your pet's remains a week or so later.

Aside from arrangements done through your local vet's office, you can also consult:

  • Animal hospitals that do their own cremations
  • Pet-exclusive crematories in your area
  • Certain regular funeral homes and crematories that do pet cremations (not in the same machines)
  • Animal shelters

If you opt for private cremation, you can choose to scatter your pet's ashes somewhere meaningful, place them in a pet cemetery (or pet columbarium), have the ashes turned into diamonds, or set the urn beside a photo of said pet at home. There really is no wrong way to honor your furry companion, and the choice you make should be whatever brings you closure after your loss.