Losing a pet is never easy. More than just a companion, a pet is often a treasured and valued member of your family.
While everyone grieves differently, it’s normal to want to acknowledge the passing of your pet and give them the farewell they deserve. Some pet owners choose to have their pets cremated, while others opt for a cremation and funeral service that provides a sense of closure.
In this article we’ll outline the qualities to consider when engaging a pet cremation and/or funeral service provider, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great pet cremation and funeral service provider?
There is no one right way to say goodbye to a beloved pet. You might choose a backyard burial (do your research first, as there can be some risks, especially to local wildlife), donate their body to science, or let the professionals take care of everything from collecting the remains to immortalising your pet in a piece of jewellery.
If you’re thinking about having your pet cremated, or engaging someone to conduct a funeral service, it can be helpful to keep the following traits in mind.
- Professionalism and a sense of respect. When you engage a pet cremation provider, you should expect them to treat you – and your pet – with dignity and care.
- Pick up and drop off. The best pet cremation and funeral providers offer door-to-door service, which may include collecting your deceased pet from your home or veterinarian and returning them in the vessel of your choosing, such as an urn, engraved name plaque or a simple wooden box.
- Cremation options. If you would like a private cremation (meaning that your pet is the only pet in the cremation chamber) make sure you ask your chosen provider whether this is an option. Keep in mind that it will likely be more expensive. Similarly, you may need to check that the provider can cremate pets that are very small (i.e. a mouse, rabbit or bird) or very large (i.e. a large dog, horse or alpaca).
- Availability. Pets can pass at any time of the day or night, so it may be useful to choose a cremation or funeral service provider that takes calls 24/7.
- Additional services. Some pet cremation and funeral service providers offer extra services such as ‘final farewell’ photography before your pet’s last appointment at the veterinarian, and others may even support you at the vet during what is typically a very difficult time.
The best pet cremation and funeral services in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Pets at Peace
Pets at Peace is a family owned and operated pet cremation service based in Macarthur. It offers respectful and caring individual pet cremations and door-to-door service. Ashes are returned in a keepsake urn of your choice, whether that's a wooden box, pewter urn, photo box or memorial jewellery.
Pet owner James shared his experience with Pets at Peace in a Google review saying, "Pet passed away at 11pm, they arrived at 12pm to pick him up. Pets at Peace provide professional and courteous service. They are pet lovers themselves so understand what you are going through".
Paw Bearers is a Canberra-based pet cremation service provider available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Owner Louise Foldi has run Paw Bearers since 2011, and has over 20 years of experience in the animal industry. She understands that your pet is part of your family and deserves to be treated with respect and care.
Pet owner Trish shared her experience with Paw Bearers in a website testimonial, saying "Louise took our old boy Beau on his final journey. She was so compassionate, she made the whole ordeal just a little easier to handle. I was concerned about where Beau would be sent to be cremated, I didn’t want him going to Sydney. Louise put my fears at rest, he was cremated close to home. She looked after him, from picking him up from the vet, to bringing him home to me. Nothing is too much trouble for Louise”.
Edenhills provides horse cremation with care and dignity, with services from Melbourne to Adelaide and Canberra. It aims to make the difficult act of saying farewell as easy as possible.
Horse owners Helene and Mick shared their experience with Edenhills in a website testimonial saying, "I would like to say a very special thankyou to Edenhills for the absolutely beautiful way you have taken care of our mate for 16 years Sam. The ordeal of having to say goodbye to Sam was made easier by your caring nature".
Whilst losing a pet is always a difficult time, if you are considering adopting a new pet make sure you check out our article on the best place to find rescue dogs in Canberra.
Your experience with pet cremation and funeral services in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the pet cremation and funeral services listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pets cremated individually?
Check with your chosen pet cremation service provider. In many cases, individual pet cremation (where your pet is the only pet in the cremation chamber) is possible for an additional fee.
What can I do with my pet's ashes?
You can choose what you do with your pet's ashes. Some people scatter the ashes around their dog's favourite walking spot, while others prefer to keep the remains in a traditional urn or in a piece of memorial jewellery.
How long does it take to cremate a pet?
The time needed to cremate a pet depends on how big they are. A cat or small to medium dog can usually be cremated in less than two hours.
Is it better to cremate or bury a pet?
You can choose to have your pet cremated or buried. If you are planning a backyard burial, keep in mind that doing so can be physically and mentally draining, as well as potentially harmful to local wildlife (depending on the reason your pet died). Some people instead opt to have their pet's remains cremated and then bury them.
How much does it cost to cremate a pet?
The cost of cremating a pet will vary depending on their size, whether you want a private cremation, and storage vessel. In Canberra, expect to pay upwards of $275 for a standard cremation package.