Upon the death of a much loved pet, a decision as to what to do with their remains needs to be made. Traditionally it is has been the case that owners bury their pets at home, but with many owners renting or living in accommodation without a garden, this is becoming less common. Pet cremations are quickly growing in popularity, with many vet clinics assisting with the process.

We're going to look at both of these options, helping you to make the right decision for you and your pet.

Pet Cremation or Pet Burial?

The decision to bury or cremate the remains of your pet is a personal one. To help you make the best choice, we've put together a few points about what each involves.

A pet cremation is one of the most common options, and is available through an intermediator such as a vet clinic or direct through a pet cremation business. Points to consider include:

  • a pet cremation will cost you money, for both the service and a container for the ashes

  • you will have the option of having your pet’s ashes returned to you for burial or display

  • the crematorium will handle the transport of your pet’s body, you will need to collect the remains

A pet burial is the traditional option, but is not suitable for all. Points to consider include:

  • free to bury your pet in your garden

  • pet cemeteries are not common in NZ, and if you find one, you will need to pay for a plot

  • if you do not own the land, you will need to seek permission from the owner before burying your pet

  • your pet must be buried deep enough so wildlife do not disturb it

  • remains cannot be moved once buried, unlike ashes remaining in a container above ground

Types of Pet Cremation

Here in NZ, things can be rather unclear regarding the pet funeral and cremation processes, mainly because they are so new to us. During a human cremation, the body is the only one in the chamber. However during a pet cremation, this may not be the case.

You are best to ask the business you have chosen to use for what they do, but in general terms, it is common for the cremation chamber to contain the bodies of numerous pets at the same time. They leave a specific distance between each to avoid the mixing of remains, and a meta tag identifying each remains. As an owner, you will receive the remains of your pet, though some mixing of others may be unavoidable. If this concerns you, ask about the option of a private cremation.

For further information, please read our ever growing number of articles on Pet Farewells.