Keeping Pet Ashes at Home After Pet Cremation

 by Jerri Haaven


Many pet parents find comfort in keeping all or a portion of their pet’s ashes at home. It helps keep the memory of your faithful companion near. In talking with other pet parents, I found that many people retain a portion of ashes to put in a display cremation urn, and many scatter a portion of the pet’s ashes in a home garden. Urns for pet ashes are available as biodegradable urns that can be buried, scattering urns, and as display urns made of ceramic, stone and marble, metal, and wood.

“Bear,” who was my sweet Peke-Chihuahua, gave me 16 years of abiding love. She fit in the palm of my hand as a puppy, gave the best hugs throughout her life, and loved to snuggle into my neck. She was my life. When the time came to make the unimaginable decision to let her cross over the Rainbow Bridge, my only choice was to have my veterinarian euthanize her. Looking back, options at the time were limited for after-life pet care. Today, there are more choices for pet parents, including animal cremation and receiving cremains to keeping pet ashes at home.

Every day someone just like me loses a part of their heart with the passing of these dear companions. Whether it’s a dog, cat, bird or a horse, our primary wish is to provide a memorable resting place as tribute to all of the years of love our pet gave.

When death occurs – or is imminent

It’s helpful for families to discuss their feelings around a beloved pet’s end of life and after-life care in advance. If end of life care is more complex, certain vets will provide palliative care. Contact your vet or research your area for vets that provide this level of care. When the time comes, euthanasia services are provided by most vets. Vets are able to provide cremation for pets following euthanasia services for an additional fee, providing you with your lost pet’s ashes and sometimes mementos – ranging from personalized urns, paw print keepsakes and more.

In researching for this article, I came upon All Pets Go to Heaven in Fall City, Washington. Their mission and services offer a way to say goodbye in a gentle, loving and respectful way. They offer a “cabin chapel” where, if desired, euthanasia can be done in a private, peaceful, and beautiful environment. Care of this level is often welcome, but not always easy to find.

If cremation has been chosen for after-life care, a few things to consider are:

  • What service provider will be used for cremation? Your vet should be able to recommend a provider or can assume responsibility for this.
  • Do you wish for a private cremation that assures you the pet will be identified, and cremated privately so that you’ll receive only your pet’s ashes? Alternatively, your pet can be cremated with other pets, though any cremains you receive might contain ashes from other pets.
  • What will you do with the pet’s ashes after cremation?

Keeping pet ashes at home 

Among options regarding what to do with a pet’s ashes, we find more and more pet parents choose to keep at least some portion in a pet cremation urn at home. A few concerns that come up are:

  • Will other pets in the home react to the presence of a cremation urn for pet ashes? Can a dog recognize another dog’s ashes? Cremated ash generally does not have an odor. Although it’s unlikely that any remaining pets at home would have a reaction to the presence of their lost friend and companion’s ashes in an urn, expect a surviving pet to show signs of loss. Any reaction might have more to do with your signs of grief than the actual cremains and urn. This planning guide on What to Expect When you Receive Cremated Ash outlines a few things to anticipate when picking up the ashes of your cremated pet.
  • Is it bad to keep pet ashes at home? The answer to this question may vary depending on your personal beliefs, as well as what you’re looking for with cremation for pets. Keeping your pet’s ashes in an urn at home is a normal part of remembrance for many pet owners, though some might find it more comfortable for those ashes to be placed in a burial plot or scattered at one of your pet’s favorite places. You can find a variety of beautiful pet urns that create memorials for your lost pet that will add a comforting presence to your home, but there are also many burial urns available for the pet owner looking to create a grave for their lost pet.
  • What size cremation urn is the right size for your beloved pet? This depends on the size of Fido or Fiona. Product descriptions list cremation urn capacity in cubic inches. Each pound of before-death weight equals 1 cubic inch capacity. So, for a pet that weighed 30 pounds before death, look for an urn that lists a capacity of 30 cubic inches or more. For large breed dogs that weigh up to 195 pounds, there are large cremation urns such as the Classic Slate Pet Paw Urn. For any large animal, the Watercolor Rose Ceramic Pet Cremation Urn will hold the cremains of a pet that weighed up to 135 pounds. Browse our collection of pet cremation urns and search for by size (extra-small, small, medium, large).

What else can I do with my pet’s ashes?

Below are a few options that might be appealing.

  • Consider burying or scattering a pet’s ashes at a place of special meaning, or in a pet memorial garden. You can choose a sturdy urn or casket or opt for a biodegradable urn that will break down over time and allow cremains to nourish the earth.
  • A portion of your pet’s ashes can be infused into glass, and formed into a glass heart paper weight, or into another distinctive glass cremation keepsake.
  • Is there interest in burying your pet’s ashes in a local pet cemetery?
  • Growing in popularity, is to put a very small amount of cremains in pet urn jewelry.
  • You can let your pet cremains be part of a plant inside your house or in your garden with a planting system.

I was devastated by the loss of my Bear. When I said my final good-byes and I love you’s and I’m sorry’s, I sobbed. All I wanted to do was leave my vet’s office, race to my car, bury my head in my hands and cry. Before I could escape, the front desk stopped me to fill out paperwork. Are you kidding me, I thought barely able to breathe, much less hold the pen. Thinking back, I’m so sad I didn’t do more for her.

I’m grateful today that many choices exist to honor and memorialize a beloved pet. From creating an ash scattering ceremony, to planting a tree with a pet’s ashes, to simply retaining a small portion of ashes in a cremation pendant, each option offers the chance to pay tribute to a much beloved pet companion.

Would you like to learn more about the ins and outs of having a pet cremated? Read our article: Pet Cremation and Pet Ashes: Do Your Homework


I had so many pet dogs growing up as a child early teens to early adult hood , but none lasted, they were either given up for adoption, or just couldn’t have them anylonger due to moving or other reasons, but as you grow older into an adult hood an after there will be that one special dog, one that you hold dear to your heart from begining to the end. I never thought in 16 years I’d have a dog from puppy to senior years, I guess thats what I signed up for when you adopt a furr baby!! That was my beloved “Twinkie” she was a Buff colored Deer Chihuahua, she was a special dog to me, U see I did’t pick her she picked me to be her loyal friend n companion that day, she was so sweet, passive, smart and she adored me as much as I adored her from the very beginning the day she picked me. She was so spunky walked around with a skip in her step she had pretty legs that lead to her pretty dainty paws. She was so photogenic I should’ve made a monthly calendar of her. As the years went by she was begining to show signs of slowing down but was still the doting eyes adoring lil dog she was, This past month I had to put her down almost to her 16th birthday 07/03/2020 it was the most hardest thing I ever done in my whole life I got her when I was 46 years old and this year I’m turning 62 she was part of my life, That day she was laying on the vets table still alert starring at me with her ears at attention to the very end, I told her how much I loved her, that she made me so happy, being there for me when things were’nt going well in my life, and asked her if she was sent to watch over me from my mom and dad who passed years prior? I will forever apreciate those times an those 16 years together and said I will miss you so much…..and a big “Thank you” for picking me to be your companion for 16 years gave her a big kiss on her forehead. After I said what I had to say to her I opened the door to outside vets office and I never looked back I cried walking out of there all the way to my car that May 7th 2020 afternoon, a day I will always remember. I miss you “Twinkie” and I will never forget you till the day I die… Love you forever “Mom” Today I rec her ashes 05/19/2020 14 days after…. again I will weep when I rec them.. I MISS YOU TWINKIE……….

i miss my cat is so painful. i got his ashes

I lost my cat last Saturday he was 21 he died from kidney failure plus he had throat cancer and venciller disease i had him cremated so I can bring him home where he belongs then later on he be buried with me I have not got over the lost of my loving cat I miss him so much my other animals miss him to getting he’s ashes back will comfort me

If you do keep your pet at home afterward, make a note somewhere so that you remember to take your pet with you when you move ( or select a final resting place before you go). I found this blog entry precisely because I was exploring the home my family has tentatively bought and in a back bedroom, my friend and I found two lovely velvet bags with two little bitty sweet boxes of fine wood, each labeled with the name of the guinea pig memorialized inside. We know they were guinea pigs because next to them are little pictures. at first, I thought maybe the owners had knowingly left them behind, but that just didn’t make sense because they had been so neatly placed on a shelf. My friend’s theory is that they were discovered by a cleaning service hired to prepare the home for sale, and the employees may not even have realized what it was that they found. Our agent has gotten in touch with the seller’s agent to let them know in case they would like the items either sent to them or buried at the home, which I would be fine with doing. I haven’t yet told my elderly mother, and she is very excited about this house and I’m the one who’s going to live there.

I lost my princes and I have her here at home I want my husband to put her ashes with my went I died is that wrong

I’m so sorry about the process you had to go through at the end. We had to put my best friend down just a few days ago, and I did exactly what you had mentioned. I mustered everything I had to hold back the tears for the 45 seconds it would take to get to the car, rushed out the door, and broke down in the car. The office staff were kind enough to let us fill out the paperwork and finalize payment while they were preparing his catheter in another room so that we’d be able to leave straightaway once it was done. I guarantee I would’ve caused a scene had they tried to stop me on my way out for something so mundane. You’re far stronger than I am to have indulged them rather than telling them to go to hell.

I would like the ashes of my 7 cats to be put with mine here in New York are there different laws in different states reguarding having this done.
Thanm you

I have recently lost my GSD had her cremated and received her ashes back in a sealed box I have got her in her home and have been told it is wrong to do that. In which I can not see anything wrong with it what is your opinion plus I have just read on Internet it is against the law to have her ashes put in my grave box with me to be buried or cremated advice would be appreciated

I have the ashes of 4 of my cats that are to be mixed with my own and buried at my gravesite next to my husband..

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