Pet Cremation: Practical First Steps & Memorial Ideas

Our pets hold special places in our hearts. They give love unconditionally and remind us to laugh and play. The special bond we have with our pets makes their loss so incredibly difficult. While we may not want to think about losing our little furry friends, it is essential to consider how you will handle your pet’s loss and honor their memory before that fateful day comes.

Deciding Between Cremation and Burial

Like humans, pets can be buried or cremated after their passing. The choice between burials and cremation is personal. However, there are some important things to consider.


Burials are more complicated, as local laws will apply. For example, in some cities and states, it is illegal to bury pets in the backyard. However, you will likely find pet cemeteries in your area. Costs will vary greatly depending on the location.

Some cemeteries have restrictions on the types of animals that can be buried there, so make sure that you have all of the details before making any arrangements or plans.


Cremation is the most common option for pets. It’s a straightforward process, and pet parents receive their companion’s ashes.

Many people also prefer cremation because they purchase a beautiful urn that memorializes their pet and honors their memory. Pet cremation urns also allow pet owners to take their companions wherever they go.

Pet Cremation Urn

You can find dog cremation urns and cat cremation urns in a variety of sizes and styles to match your companion’s personality.

Pet cremation costs can range from $30 to $200 or more, depending on the type of cremation chosen.

  • Private: The most expensive cremation option. However, your pet will be the only one in the cremation chamber, guaranteeing that you will receive only your companion’s ashes.
  • Partitioned: Multiple pets are cremated at the same time, but crematoriums do their best to keep the ashes separate.
  • Communal: Many animals are cremated in the same chamber. Because their remains cannot be separated, they are not returned.

If you would like to keep your pet’s ashes, a private or partitioned cremation be the best option for you.

Making a decision on whether you will bury or cremate your pet before they pass away will make things a little less stressful when the time comes.

Planning and Organizing a Pet Funeral

When a pet passes away, it’s natural to want to honor them and say your good-byes in a formal way. Planning and organizing a pet’s memorial or funeral will allow you to get the closure you need and share in the grief of your loss with others.

Here are some practical first steps to take after a pet’s loss.

Share the News with Friends and Loved Ones

Sharing the news of a pet’s passing is a deeply personal decision. There is no right or wrong way to go about it.

  • Some people prefer to share the news on social media so that everyone can be informed at once. Comments and responses from friends and loved ones can be a great comfort during this difficult time.
  • Some pet owners prefer only to share the news with those closest to them via a phone call or text message.

If you choose to do so, you may write your pet’s death announcement or obituary. Pet obituaries may include a photo, fond memories and a description of the pet’s personality. Obituaries don’t necessarily have to be serious or sad. They can also be humorous or even inspiring.

Choose a Location for the Ceremony

Holding a memorial or funeral service for your pet may help you gain closure and say good-bye. Your pet’s service can be held at your home or a place of your choosing (with permission), such as:

  • Your pet’s favorite park
  • A beach
  • Your pet’s favorite place to relax at home

Choose a location that has meaning to you and your companion.

Say Good-bye in Your Own Way

Your pet had a unique personality, and their memorial service should be a reflection of that. Say good-bye in your own way and don’t be afraid to incorporate humor or joyful memories into the event.

Some pet owners will incorporate the following into their ceremonies:

  • Having guests share their favorite memories of the pet
  • Displaying photos of the lost pet or watching videos
  • Saying prayers and offering blessings
  • Reading poems or religious passages
  • Holding a candlelight ceremony

Incorporate whatever elements you want in your pet’s service. There are no rules here. The important thing is that you get to say your good-byes and get the closure you need.

3 Memorial Ideas for Pets

After your pet’s service, you may wish to create a memorial to honor their memory and impact on your life. Pet memorials are also deeply personal, so it’s important to choose something that is meaningful for you.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Make a Donation or Volunteer

One great way to honor your pet is to make a donation to a local animal shelter or an animal-related charity that is meaningful to you.

Another really great option is to have an annual party honoring your pet’s memory and asking guests to bring treats, blankets and food to donate to shelters.

You can also volunteer at local shelters and charities to honor your pet.

2. Planting a Tree

Another great memorial idea is to plant a tree. If you plan to stay in your home for decades to come, planting a tree in your backyard is a great way to keep your pet’s memory alive. You'll be caring for your tree every year and watching it grow. Your pet’s loss will be transformed into a new life.

3. Cremation Jewelry

If you want to keep your pet with you wherever you go, pet cremation jewelry is a wonderful memorial idea. These pieces of jewelry are specially designed to hold some of your pet’s ashes.

Pet Cremation Jewelry

When choosing your pet ashes necklace, you have many options available. You will find subtle designs that look like fine jewelry, and you can also find cremation jewelry that looks like paw prints or hearts.

Final Thoughts

The loss of a pet is devastating, and grieving their loss is different for everyone. Consider how you would like to put your companion to rest, how you would like to organize a funeral and whether you would like to create a memorial for your companion.

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