Pet Cremation Vs Burial: Which Option Is Right For You?

When a pet passes away, the decision of what to do with their body can be emotional. Pet cremation and burial are both traditional options for farewells.

However, there are several things to consider when choosing between the two. Some important factors include:


Depending on your unique circumstances, pet cremation may be more affordable than burial. Additionally, pet cremation may also offer more flexibility in memorialization options and a lower environmental impact than burial.

Burial, on the other hand, can cost significantly more than cremation. In addition to the cost of a burial plot, casket and grave marker, many cemeteries charge a fee for ongoing maintenance and a one-time upfront expense for the initial interment.

It’s important to be aware of these costs and consider them carefully when choosing which option is best for your pet. Planning ahead for these expenses can help ease the stress when it comes time to say goodbye. If you’re considering either option, be sure to ask about the price breakdown of each. You may be able to save money by choosing a service that offers packages that include the plot, burial and marker. For example, some crematories offer “individual” cremation, which means that your pet is cremated separately from other pets but kept in a partitioned area for identification purposes, for an additional cost.

Environmental Impact

Choosing how to bid farewell to your pet is an important, sentimental decision. However, your choice may also affect the environmental impact of your pet’s death.

Burying a pet’s body requires digging a grave which has an effect on soil conditions and could potentially cause the leaching of toxins like euthanasia drugs into waterways. This has an impact on wildlife and may even cause health concerns for you and your family.

Cremation causes an environmental impact due to the natural gas required for the process, resulting in greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the process releases pollutants such as PCDD/Fs (known to be human carcinogens), Hg, and fine particulate matter which can exacerbate heart disease, asthma, and lung cancer. Those concerned about the environmental impact of pet cremation can choose partition cremation where their pet’s ashes are separated from those of other pets, or opt for private cremation to avoid commingling of ashes.

Final Disposition

The decision about how you want to remember your pet after they pass is an extremely personal one that will affect how your family grieves and handles the loss. This is why it is important for pet owners to think about this issue before they need to choose between a burial or cremation.

For some people, a traditional burial is more sentimental and offers the feeling of closure. This can also be helpful for some families that have children who may need the reassurance of a physical site in which to remember their pet.

The downside of a burial is that you can only take your pet with you when you move, as the site will remain fixed (unless you have a home burial). If you choose a private cremation, the ashes are returned to you so that you can take them with you wherever you go. Communal cremation, on the other hand, means that your pet will be cremated with others in a common chamber.

Memorial Options

Today, pet owners have more memorial options than ever when it comes to deciding whether to bury or cremate their loved ones. With home and private burial, families can hold a funeral service, visit their pet’s gravesite and choose a headstone to serve as a permanent memorial.

If you decide on cremation, the ashes can be kept in a decorative urn and even used to create tasteful pieces of pet memorial jewelry. Some families also choose to scatter their pet’s ashes in their garden or favorite outdoor space.

Some cremation companies offer a “private” cremation option which means that your pet will be the only animal in the chamber during the cremation process. Other companies may offer a semi-private cremation, which places multiple pets in the same chamber. While these facilities make every effort to keep the ashes of each pet separated, some mingling will occur. You can discuss this with your cremation provider when you call to make arrangements.

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