RIP. How to give your dog the send off he deserves...

How much does it cost to get my dog cremated in the UK?

Did you know that you’re more likely to fall in love with your dog at first sight, than you are your partner?! 
And, it takes an average of six months to fall for your partner, but a mere thirty minutes to fall for your dog.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see how losing your four legged shadow can be so hard. However, by giving them a good send off, you can ensure you both rest in peace a little easier.

There are a surprising number of options  when it comes to choosing your dog's final resting place. This guide introduces and explains the choices available.

How much does it cost to get your dog cremated?
What happens at an individual dog cremation?
What happens at a communal dog cremation?
Can you attend the cremation?
Can you get your dog cremated with their favourite toy?
Is it cheaper to get your dog buried or cremated?
How long does a dog cremation service last?
Do you need to buy an urn?
What happens to your dog’s body after he’s cremated?
Can you take your dog’s remains home after cremation?
Can you have your dogs’ ashes buried with yours?
Can you bury your dog in the garden?
How to decide whether to bury your dog, or get him cremated

How much does it cost to get your dog cremated?

The short answer is between £50 - £300. The reason for the variance comes down to the size and breed of your dog, where you live, and the type of cremation you choose. You can opt for an individual or communal cremation.

Communal cremation costs 

  • A communal cremation for a small dog will cost approx £50 - £80
  • A communal cremation for a medium sized dog will cost approx £70 - £100  
  • A communal cremation for a large-sized dog will cost approx £90 -£150

Individual cremation costs 

  • An individual cremation for a small dog will cost approx £110 - £160
  • An individual cremation for a medium sized dog will cost approx £140 - £180
  • An individual cremation for a large-sized dog will cost approx £160 - £270

What happens at an individual cremation?

Also known as a private cremation, an individual cremation means that your dog will be cremated by themselves. The main benefit of this is that the ashes you get back, only belong to them.

Your dog will be collected by the Crematorium from the vets or your home, then taken to the crematorium. They will be placed in a chamber, where the body will be subjected to temperatures of 1400-1800 degrees, for between one and three hours depending on how big they are. This turns the body in to ashes.

If your dog was cremated wearing their collar or anything else made of metal, these will be removed with a magnet and you can keep them if you wish.
Afterwards, you will be given the ashes in a box. What you choose to do with them is totally up to you.

What happens at a communal cremation?

A communal cremation works in exactly the same way as an individual one. The only difference is that other dogs will be in the chamber with your dog. Naturally this means that when you're given your dog's ashes, they will be mixed with the ashes of the other dogs they were cremated with. 

Can you attend the cremation?

Yes. You can attend communal and individual cremations. 

Can I get my dog cremated with his favourite toy?

This depends on your crematorium. Some let you wrap your dog in his favourite blanket or with their favourite toy, others don't. It can also depend on the material the toy or blanket is made of. 

Is it cheaper to get my dog buried or cremated?

This depends on the option you choose. Obviously a home burial is free, but you do need to check that it's allowed where you live. If you choose a home burial, remember:

  • Bury your pet deep enough so that his grave can't be disturbed or dug up by wildlife

  • You may not be able to take their remains with you if you move

A professional burial will cost between £100 - £600 depending on the size of your dog and the type of burial you'd like.
Cremations don't usually cost much more than £300.

In the UK, an estimated 1.5 million pet dogs and cats die each year. Approximately 300,000 are buried in their owners' garden, 1,000 in pet cemeteries and 100,000 are individually cremated. The rest are disposed of as clinical waste.

How long does a dog cremation service last?

Depending on the size of your dog, it will take two to three hours. The smaller your dog, the quicker the time.

Do you need to buy an urn?

If you wish to take your dog's ashes home, then yes you will need to buy an urn. You can get them from the crematorium or online. You can even order bespoke urns in the shape of your dog.

What happens to my dog's body after he's cremated?

The crematorium will ask if you want to take the ashes home. Again, whether you do or not is totally up to you. Options include:

  1. Leaving the ashes with the crematorium to scatter on their memorial garden.
  2. Taking him home and keeping him in one of his favourite spots in your home.
  3. Keeping him in his favourite spot in the garden.
  4. Buying a plot at a pet cemetery and keeping him there.
  5. Keeping a small amount of their ashes in some jewellery.

TIP: Make sure you get a crematorium certificate to evidence the name and date of the cremation. You'll need this if you want to take the ashes abroad.

Can I have my dog's ashes buried with mine?

Sadly not. It's illegal for a pet's ashes to be placed with their owner's coffin.

Can I bury my dog in the garden?

Absolutely. The majority of people choose to bury their pets at home. Just remember to check that this is allowed where you live. And you need to bury them at least four feet underground. You should also wrap them in something biodegradable - like newspaper. And place something heavy on top of the refilled hole. 

How do you decide whether to bury your dog, or get him cremated?

It's OK if you're unsure whether to bury your dog or get him cremated. Taking these steps will help you come to a decision.

  1. List the things you want. Do you want to attend a service to say goodbye, do you want him to be cremated alone, do you prefer the idea of having ashes to scatter somewhere he loved or would you rather keep his body in one piece.
  2. Talk to friends about their expectations of losing a pet and ask about their experiences with any local cremation services. 
  3. Research the crematoriums in your area and call as many as you like. Don't be afraid to ask questions to find out exactly which services they provide. Do they do do individual and communal cremations, do they offer provide urns, do they offer burial sites...

We'd like to end this guide on a touching poem by Jim Willis. If you've ever lost a dog (or any pet), we hope this gives you comfort.

I loved you best 

So this is where we part, My Friend,
and you'll run on, around the bend
gone from site, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find.

I will go on, I'll find the strength
life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well, all you've taught.

Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take this with you - I loved you best.


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