Is It Better To Cremate or Bury a Pet?

Is It Better To Cremate or Bury a Pet?

After the loss of a pet, there are several challenging decisions that have to be made. Likely the most important is how you will handle the body of your treasured dog or cat. While it is not always easy to make these choices when you are grieving, it is essential that you do so with a clear head so that you can find closure and also give yourself a way to remember the good times your animal brought to your life.

There are two basic options for handling the body of a deceased pet: burial or cremation. While the decision is ultimately up to you, there are a few factors you should consider.


Even though you would likely give anything to have your pet here with you, you need to keep a realistic budget in mind when deciding what to do with its remains. Most people assume that pet cremation is very expensive. While a private cremation that includes a memorial service tends to be spendy, is may be worth the assurances that come with this premium service. You can also choose a lower-cost cremation by opting for a semi-private or communal cremation.

You can still get your pet’s cremains back if you go with the semi-private option. However, if you choose communal, you likely won’t get them back, so make sure you are alright with that outcome before you decide. A semi-private cremation can save you a little money and still give you the option to save and display your pet’s cremains in an urn.

While burying your animal in your backyard is free, some locations do not allow it. As such, you may have to purchase a plot in a pet cemetery, which may also require you to purchase a casket and a headstone or marker. These items can all add up quickly, making a burial out of reach for some pet owners. 

Local Laws and Regulations

As mentioned above, some cities and locales do not allow for the burial of pets in residential backyards. Before you decide to go this route, take time to research your area’s laws and regulations to find out if it is even an option. You wouldn’t want to risk paying a fine for burying your dog or cat where it is not allowed.

Life Changes

If allowed, burying your pet in your yard can feel like a very personal option, since you’ll have a special place to visit and remember your dog or cat. However, should life changes arise and you need to move, you may not be able to take your pet’s remains with you. On the other hand, if you go with a cremation, you can keep them in a decorative urn that will move with you wherever you end up.

The Right Choice for You

No matter what you decide, it is personal and should be something that you consider thoroughly and thoughtfully. If you have more questions about the options for your pet’s remains, contact a local business that specializes in pet handling after death.  

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.