Cremations vs Burials For Pets - The Pros and Cons

Cremations vs Burials For Pets - The Pros and Cons

It's always a hard decision when it comes to deciding if a cremation or burial is the right thing for your pet – and it generally comes down to personal circumstances and preference. There are, however, a lot of different things you can think about that might give you the answer you need.

We've put together some pros and cons for the two options that will hopefully make the decision easier.

Cremations

PROS

Space and Portability

Cremated remains are compact and portable – allowing you to keep your pet’s ashes in an urn, scatter them in a meaningful place or maybe even use them in some jewellery.  There is flexibility in how you can use the ashes and you also have the ability to carry them around as a physical reminder.

Memorialisation Options

Cremation offers a variety of memorial options so you can personalise the way you wish to honour and remember your pet.

Hygienic and Odour Free

Cremation eliminates any concerns associated with decomposition as the process is hygienic and odour free, making it a clean and respectful way to handle your pets remains.

Environmentally Friendly

Cremation is normally considered more environmentally friendly than traditional burial methods as it doesn’t involve the use of land for a burial plot. Some crematoriums also offer eco-friendly water-based options. 

Cost

Sometimes cremations can be a more cost-effective alternative to professional burials – especially if a simple service is selected.

Flexibility in Timing

Choosing to cremate allows you to have your memorial service or other rituals at a time that suits you – giving you more time to grieve and plan.

CONS

Irreversible

Once your pet is cremated, there is no way of changing your decision and opting for a different memorial option. This may concern some people.

Lack of Tangibility

You may be the type of person who finds comfort in having a tangible place, such as a burial plot that you can visit - having a cremation may not give that same level of physical connection.

Perception

Cremations are sometimes perceived as being impersonal and to some degree clinical in process when compared to a traditional burial ceremony.

Religious and Cultural Considerations

In certain cultures and according to some beliefs cremations may not be considered the correct way to handle the deceased. Consideration should be given to your beliefs and values.

Emotional Distress

The idea of your pet being reduced to ashes may be emotionally distressing. Consider if cremation may result in you finding it difficult to reconcile with your grief.

Quality of service   

Unlike the human cremation services, there are fewer regulations governing pet cremations. This results in a lack of uniformity and variations in the quality of cremation services offered. You should do your research.

Burials

PROS

Tangible memorial site 

Burials provide a tangible location like a pet cemetery or location on a private property that can be seen and visited. This can give you a real sense of connection to your deceased pet. 

Alignment to culture and religion

Burials may align more closely with certain cultural or religious beliefs - those that place importance on the significance of the resting place. 

Connection to the land 

Some pet owners appreciate the idea of their pet becoming part of the earth and contributing to the natural cycle of life. Burials allow for a sense of integration into the environment.

Emotional closure

The actual act of performing a burial can be cathartic and emotionally grounding.  It provides a physical way for owners to say goodbye - this may aid you in the grieving process by offering a sense of closure.

 

CONS

Space Constraints

Burial requires a dedicated space which may not be possible for you if you live in an urban area or own a rental. 

Potential for Disturbance

If your pet is buried somewhere other than a pet cemetery, the site may be disturbed by animals, construction or other unforeseen events. This may be a concern if you are after a secure and undisturbed resting place for your pet.

Costs

Traditional burial services using a pet cemetery and service providers can be costly. Many pet cemeteries have plot fees and fees for ongoing maintenance which may make this option expensive in the long run.

Regulatory Compliance

Local regulations and restrictions may dictate how and where pet burials can occur. These regulations may limit the options available to you which may make it difficult to find an appropriate burial site.

Inflexibility 

Once your pet is buried, it is not easy or sometimes not possible to change the location or retrieve the remains. If you think you may be moving and you want to remain close to your deceased pet, burial may be limiting.

Time sensitivity

The need for prompt burial after your pet’s passing may not be convenient. Particularly if you have arrangements to make, or you need to delay the memorial process to grieve.


Of course, you may opt to cremate your pet and still have a burial - this combination may alleviate many of the pros and cons of each option.

Ultimately, choosing between pet cremation and burial depends on your preferences, values, and circumstances. It is very important that you take into account everything that's important to you - such as emotional needs, space availability, cultural and religious beliefs, and long-term considerations when making your decision.