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The Controversy Over Fast Growing Pet Funeral Business

Posted on July 28 2016

When the time comes to say our final goodbyes to our beloved companion, for many of us  backyard burial in the presence of the family is how we envision our pet funeral. Some of us feel, that our pets deserve a fully arranged funeral service, just like we would do for humans. True enough, we always want the best for our pets. After a lifetime of caring for them, experiencing the unconditional love they give us and relationship like no other, it is obvious that many of us are willing to join this growing number of pet owners and take advantage of the services offered by the pet funeral business.

Flourishing Business

Pet cremation and funeral services offer the pet owners who want to send-off their pets in a way greater than just burying them in their back yard, a variety of choices to honor their lifelong companions. Pet funeral services became a great option for pet owners that live in an apartment or in the middle of the city wherein the back yard option it is not possible. These services provide the family with a very special and memorable final moment with their pets and also if they choose to bury their pet in a cemetery gives them a place to visit. Some of the services offered are private pet cremation, wake ceremony held at the funeral home to say the last goodbyes,  individual pet burial on the cemetery grounds with a headstone, bone vaults, mass burial grounds, cremation urns, and memorabilia.

According to statistics, there are over 800 pet cemeteries and crematoriums in North America, and this market is growing rapidly it is considered to be one of the fastest-growing among the funeral industry in the United States. According to a survey by Pet Loss Professionals Alliance in 2012, these businesses service nearly 1.9 million pets, of which 99 percent of it were cremated. With this statistics, it is safe to say that pet cremation industry, in particular, is booming. With a cremation fee that averages from $100-$150, times a number of pets that are being cremated it is a very lucrative business. It is a dilemma for some either to spend hundreds of dollars on cremation services while at the same time others have no problem spending thousands of dollars on “extravagant” funeral for their departed pets. The question is whether or not  the services offered are really worth that kind of money, or are the pet funeral businesses taking advantage of the mourning owners.  As these funeral arrangements for pets flood the news lately, many people have raised their eyebrows each time someone has paid a hundred bucks to cremate their cat, dog or even goldfish, and that is just for the cremation alone.

High Startup Cost

But it all seems justifiable after all. Though it may still be common to bury the family pet in the backyard, we have to understand that many people do not have a backyard at the first place. In fact, there are 1.7 million pets in New York City, and most apartment dwellers don’t have that option. That alone is a strong factor why these businesses are growing.

Subsequently, most of these business owners have invested a lot of money to build a full-service pet cemetery and crematorium. To set up this kind of business, it takes approximately a quarter-million-dollar initial investment to start . It includes crematorium machines which cost over $60,000 each, most of the business recommend to own two. Cemetery requires much larger investment, the cost of land, building, ground keeper salary and other expenses such as pet caskets, urns, and memorabilia. Just as any other business it takes time, sometimes a few years to recover the initial investment and start showing profits. Next time you wonder, how can they charge such outrageous prices for their services and why? This is why even with a high demand and growing every year it is not inexpensive to run and operate this type of business and of course everyone wants to make a living.

Pets are part of the Family

Most of us consider our pets family members, statistics show that 57 percent of people let their pets sleep in bed with them. Having said that, it is quite obvious why the pet funeral business is booming,  the death of our furry friends can be just as tragic as the loss of a human family member.For some people, their pets are the only family they have. We care for them, we spend a lot of money for their  food and annual check up to vets, so it is just sensible to give them the same dignity, love, and respect that a family member deserves for one last time.

Many of us feel that those type of services is an important aspect of our grieving and healing process. Since for many of us, the healing process can be really long time and be filled with  unbearable pain.What may be controversial for some, for others is the proper way to say their fairway to their beloved pets, for many burying their pet’s cadaver in their backyard is not an option. From the funeral to ash scattering ceremonies, balloon releases, and private goodbyes, these services help the families with the grieving process and make it easier to accept that their companions have departed to a safer and happier place.


Everyone in this world will have their own ending to their life long journey. That is an indispensable fact that most of the pet owners have already realized. These booming pet businesses are strong evidence that we, humans certainly develop very deep emotions connection with our pets and even after their passing, we want them to be treated in a very special way and show them for the last time how much we love them and how much we will miss them.

Some people might be criticizing  these pet owners who are seeking the comfort in professionals, like the pet funeral service staff for wanting special tributes to their pets, but for them, the emotional bond that they have built with their pets is nothing to be ashamed of.

With the shift trading in our society , many pet owners believe that this ongoing trend is here to stay and become a permanent practice from now on. For many pet owners, saying their final thank you and goodbye to their pets is one the hardest thing to do. The pet funeral industry caters to all of their client's needs, from burial for a goldfish in a cemetery to fancy wakes for dogs and cats. Ask any client about the funeral, and most will say that it was money well spent.


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