When a beloved pet passes on, you are faced with the difficult decision of what to do with the remains. You probably want to honor the life of your dog, cat or other animal, but what is the best way to do so? In general, your two options are cremation or burial. What you decide will depend on many different factors, including the laws in your community, your budget and how you want to memorialize your pet.
There is no right or wrong choice, but an increasing number of pet owners are choosing cremation due to convenience and legality. Find out the pros and cons of each option to help you determine which is the right solution for your specific needs.
When you choose pet cremation, there are several options available. You can have a private cremation, where your pet is the only animal in the chamber during cremation. This ensures that you to have only your pet’s ashes returned to you. Some crematories offer a semi-private cremation, where multiple animals are cremated simultaneously, but they each have separate areas in the crematorium. There is no way to accurately keep pets and their ashes separate in the cremation chamber, thus there will be commingling of ashes. You can have a community or communal cremation, where multiple animals are cremated together but are not separated. In this case, the ashes are not returned. Read more about the types of cremation as outlined by the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance.
Pros and Cons
There are several pros for choosing pet cremation. It gives you the option to perform a memorial service and keep your pet’s remains in an urn. It also allows you to follow local laws, since many places do not allow pet burial in yards or residential spaces. When you choose the type of cremation services, you can choose one that fits your budget, with private being the most expensive and communal being the least expensive.
While pet burial is the more traditional option, it is becoming less common. Because many places outlaw burying your pet in your own backyard, you must find a pet cemetery where it is legal to bury animals, which is incredibly expensive. Those who choose this option should bury their pet at least three feet below the ground and use a container that will prevent the area from being disturbed. Please note that natural biodegradation results in chemicals leaching into the soil and water, so avoid burying near a creek or stream. Please read our Tips for Burying Your Pet before choosing burial.
Pros and Cons
Many people like to have a physical location where they can visit their pets, such as a headstone. This is probably the biggest reason someone would choose a burial. When you bury your pet in a cemetery, you will have a place to stop, show your love and pay your respects. However, a burial in a cemetery can be expensive as you’ll have to pay for a plot as well as a casket, headstone and regular maintenance. We encourage families to accomplish the same objective by privately cremating their pet and either scattering or burying the ashes using a biodegrable urn and a stone marker memorial. This will still be significantly less expensive and/or difficult than burial on private property or in a pet cemetery, especially if your pet is larger.
Why Choose Cremation?
We at Paws, Whiskers & Wags believe that cremation is your best option for handling pet’s remains. We offer cremation services that are peaceful and respectful. We know that end-of-life decisions surrounding your furry family member are difficult and emotional, which is why we are committed to providing assistance throughout the process.
When choosing cremation, you can create your own memorial at home, which is where you spent the most time with your pet. We have beautiful urns to contain their ashes and these serve as a remembrance of the good memories you had together. We also offer pet loss support groups, because we know just how difficult it is to lose a trusted, beloved companion. Contact us today for more information.