Burial vs Cremation: The Ultimate Guide

Making the decision on what you are going to do with your adorded family pet after the pass away can be a difficult decision. We created this guide to help you make that decision. These two different options have some positives and negatives. Within this guide we will do our best to build a comphrensive guide that discusses both the postives and negatives.

What do I need to know about Cremation?

Cremation is the process in which your pet’s remains are heated to a point that it becomes ash. When considering cremation, you need to be aware that there are multiple different options when wanting to get your pets cremated. There are two main forms of cremation: individual cremation and communal cremation.

  • Individual cremation – This is when your pet is cremated by on its own. For many people this is a prefered method because this allows you to recieve your pet’s ashes back. The major downside is that individual cremation can cost more than communal cremation. Most research suggests that pet cremation can cost between $100 to $300 based on where you live and the options that you select.
  • Communal cremation – Communal cremation is when your pet is cremated along with other pets. When selecting communal cremation you need to understand that recieving your pets ashes back is not possible. When it comes to communal cremation the cost is generally cheaper. One thing to know about this option is that not every place will even offer this option.

Benefits of Cremation

There are a few benefits to cremation

  1. Space – One of the biggest benefits to cremation is the amount of space required. People that live in densly packed cities may not have a space that they can bury their animals.
  2. Memorial options – When selecting cremation there are multiple different options that you can do to memorialize your pet. You can select to purchase an urn, get a parting stone created, or even have a piece of jewlry created. (Check out our Guide to Pet Cremation Memorial Options)
  3. Ability to Relocate Remains – One other major consideration is when you bury a pet if you have to relocate you can’t take their remains with you. If you have to relocate after a pet has been created you can take their remains with you.

Considerations to Cremation

When it comes to cremation there can be two major negatives for pet owners. One of the first things a pet owner needs to consider is the cost of cremation. Cremation can be alot more expensive than a backyard burial. While in some areas cremation may not be too expensive it can still be cost prohibitive to individuals on a tight budget.

A second major negative is the emotional impact of cremation. For some people the idea of cremation can be extremely distressing. People feel that cremation is unnatural and chose to go the route that they feel is more traditional.

What do I need to know about Burial?

The process of burying an family pet can be a difficult process. When it comes to burying a pet there are typically two options. Option one is to bury your pet on your own property. Option two involves finding a pet cemetary. In this section we will discuss these two options.

  • An at home burial can be as elaborate or simple as the pet owner wants it to be. One benefit of a simple at home burial is that it can be a cheaper option for people on a budget. With an at home burial you can decide how much you are able to spend. If you are struggling financially you could select to bury your pet in their favorite blanket or something like that. If you have a little more to spend you could even make the option to purchase a pet casket. (Please see our post on Pet Burial Options for a more indepth discussion)
  • A burial in a pet cemetary can be a little bit more of a process but some people like using a pet cemetary because it is a more formal setting. One thing to note about going the pet cemetary route is that pet cemetaries are not super common and they may have rules associated with burying your pet there. One final consideration for using a pet cemetary is the cost. It is difficult to generalize the cost of a pet cemetary but they can range from cheaper than cremation all the way up to a couple thousand dollars.

Benefits to Burying your Pet

  1. Burying a pet can feel more formal to some individuals and it can help them through the grieving process.
  2. At home Burials can cost signifcantly less than other options.
  3. Some people also feel that the burial process is more natural than cremation.
  4. Tangible location to visit when you want to go and remember your pet’s life.

Considerations to Burial

  • As noted above space and location can be a major issue. If you live in a large city a backyard burial may not be possible. Also if you have a small backyard you may not be able to dedicate the space to a pet burial.
  • Also some cities and HOAs may have restrictions on pet burials. Check your cities ordinances to make sure a burial at home is an option.
  • One last consideration is how you feel. For some people always seeing a burial spot in their back yard could cause their grief to reemerge.


Ultimately the decision on what route to go depends on several different factors. The most important one is how you feel about the options. If you are in between the two options, hopefully this guide will help to make your decision even easier.

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