Pet Cremation Costs – The Obvious and Additional Costs of Pet Cremation.

In Uncategorized by Jason Van Duyn

Pet Cremation Costs - Figured Maple Pet Urn

Cremation is not a subject that most people want to educate themselves on.  So I wager you are now looking into pet cremation costs because you have to.  If so, I am sorry for the loss of your pet, deciding what to do with the remains of your pet can be a difficult process.  I am a maker of high quality wooden urns and I wanted to put this pricing information together to help make this process as easy as possible.
Most likely you are working with your veterinarian and its common for many of them to have a preferred pet cremation service they refer.  So you have the option of letting the vet handle all the logistics or making the arrangements yourself.  In the later, be sure to coordinate with your vet and you will need to contact the crematorium yourself to arrange the transfer of your pet from the veterinarian.

Pet Cremation Costs start with Pet Size

The ballpark answer for pet cremation costs is $75-$350 or more for a large animal such as a horse.  Most every crematorium has their cremation rates broken into size categories, usually around every 30 lbs., based on weight of the animal.  Here is an example of the cremation rates from a crematorium near me.

Costs by Pet Size

Larger pets cost more, i.e. a dog vs a cat.  Larger animals take more space, longer cremation times, and involve more labor to process after cremation.  Cats generally will not exceed 25 lbs and dog weight can range from 3 – 200 lbs depending on breed.  Processing involves removing any metallic items from the cremains (surgical pins, rods, chips, tags, etc.) and pulverizing any large matter into small and uniform particulates.

Private Pet Cremation Rates – Raleigh, NC

Pet Weight (lbs) Cost ($)
1-25 lbs $175.00
26-50 lbs $195.00
51-75 lbs $220.00
76-100 lbs $250.00
101-125 lbs $275.00
125+ lbs call for quote

Communal Cremation Rates – Raleigh, NC

Pet Weight (lbs) Cost ($)
1-30 lbs $125.00
31-70 lbs $150.00
75+ lbs $175.00
Aside from size, prices may also vary due to geographic location, some markets are more expensive than others.  Its also a good idea to see if there is a maximum size capacity on  the crematorium, not all crematory facilities have the same capabilities.  For animals such as horses this may limit the number of providers able to perform the cremation service.

Pet Cremation Methods – Communal, Individual, and Private

There are three categories of pet cremation and the prices will vary accordingly.  They are Communal, Individual, and Private pet cremations, and in general each influences the likelihood that you can retain all of your pets ashes.
Communal Pet Cremation – This is a method of pet cremation where multiple animals are cremated at once, and is the lowest or most affordable cost option.  The crematory disposes the cremains, some of which have dedicated locations for spreading.  If your interested in retaining the remains of your pet only then this option should not be selected.  Multiple animals will be in the furnace at once and the crematory cannot guarantee they will be able to retain just your pets remains.  Otherwise a individual or private cremation needs to be selected.
Individual/Partitioned Pet Cremation – This option is more expensive than communal and is sometimes referred as semi-private cremation.  Again multiple animals are cremated together however they are partitioned in order to keep the animals separate.  This allows better retention of the individual pet remains.  Terminology from one crematory to another may vary as some crematories identify their private option as individual pet cremation.  This option, in some cases, can make it hard to prvent any  mixing of cremains.  Obviously, many facilities try to ensure each pet is completely isolated but make the above caution.
Private Pet Cremation – This is the highest cost option pet cremation but your pet is the only animal in the cremation chamber, so there is little to no risk of cremain mixing.  As in all other cremations the remains are processed, pulverized and the uniform remains returned to the owner.

Extra Pet Cremation Costs…

Transportation Costs – A pick up fee may be assessed if the crematory has to arrange the transportation of the pet from either the veterinarian or the owner to the crematory.  If the price of the pickup is set there may only be a certain distance in which this service is offered.  Otherwise the owner will bear responsibility to transport their pet.  There may also be a charge for the deliver of the ashes once the cremation is complete.  I have seen costs of $50 for delivery within 30 miles of the cremation facility.  These rates may also vary by geographic region.
Azure Holland - Raleigh - Mobile VetMobile Vet Referral – This is a third party service that the crematory is happy to arrange, for additional cost on their end.  This option is considered if the owner plans to euthanize their pet at home or the regular vet is unavailable.  Putting your pet to sleep is likely the first cost in the whole process.  Generally, euthanasia pricing I’ve seen ranges from $50-$150 for mobile and regular vets, though prices do vary.  This is a mobile vet listed in my area.  They may be a price competitive option as they act as go between you and the crematorium.  They also are able to provide more personalized care as vet offices can be busy places.
Witnessed Cremation – Some facilities allow the owners to witness the cremation of their pet.  This may take 30 minutes to 2 hours or more depending on the size of your pet.  Not all crematories offer this service, some of which charge for it as well, but it is an option provided.
After hours and Lab Testing – Most of the services offered are offered during regular business hours.  Some crematories offer after hours services, at additional cost, as well as lab testing if an autopsy is needed.  The autopsy fees usually cover the transportation of your pet to the laboratory but do not include the cost of the cremation usually required by state law for animals sent to the lab.  Labs are typically third party operators and its common for laboratories to not allow the owners to pick up their pet once submitted to the lab.  
Pet Burial Plots – prices range by location and the plot size is determined by size rather than weight in the case of cremation.  I’ve seen a range of prices from $60 – $1000 for a median sized dog, for just the burial plot.  There are a host of other additional costs including casket, headstone, etc.  Some opt to bury their cremated pets in a pet cemetery or other location rather than scattering the ashes.

Pet Urns and Other Containers

There are a wide range of vessels to hold the cremains of your pet.  A crematory will offer a basic box usually at no charge, and provides a wide range of upgraded vessels options for additional cost.  A small stock of urn inventory is typically kept on site while the majority of the urn options come from a catalog.  Many of the crematories use the same supplier so the many of the urn options are similar from one crematory to the next. 
There are around a dozen or so online urn companies that expand the selection even further.  Prices range from $15-$1000 depending mostly on the urn material and the capacity of the urn.  Median pet urns range from $15-$100 for most of the urn suppliers.  The majority of these urns are imported from India, Vietnam, and China.  An artisan urn or high-end urn costs are more expensive and the prices vary.  These options also are typically much prettier and unique.  The artisan urns come from all media – cremation urn jewelry, diamonds, glass and ceramic artisans, wood sculptors like myself, and even some that make really nice urns from textiles.  

Is a High End Memorial Crazy?

trench dog memorialThe high end option, i.e. burial plots, expensive cremation vessels or cremation art, may not be for everyone, although its not unheard of.  After all there are lots of people that pay thousands of dollars for pure breed dogs and cats.  This doesn’t even count horses that can range in the tens of thousands.  Not to mention all the costs of caring for a loved pet over their lifetime.  I think that in some ways the cost spent on the pet is in some ways a reflection of the love and admiration we have for them.
Probably more so than people, the memorial chosen I think is a tribute to the love, friendship, and honor that we have for them.  This pet cemetery in Paris is an interesting example of all the time and love that was taken to honor those pets.  Some pets with extraordinary life experiences, such as a trench dog name Barry, or others with a more humble story were shown great love with the memorial that was left with them.

Have other questions about Pet Cremation?

While a lot of the details of pet cremation are wrapped up in its costs, there are other questions to be sorted out.  Should you still have questions feel free to take a look at the pet cremation guide I put together.