Why Everyone’s Talking About Pet Cremation Services

If you’re in the funeral profession, it’s no secret that cremation and the lack of value of funeral services has made a pretty negative financial impact on most funeral homes.

However, there is one aspect of funeral service that’s experienced quite the opposite financial impact.

Can you guess which service that is? It’s the pet cremation business.

Over the course of the last eight years or so, the pet death care profession has become a very attractive business for funeral homes to get in to. There are many reasons, but the most notable one is that it’s a great way to increase your funeral home’s profit margins and “bottom line.”

Although there is no statistical data on the revenue of pet cremation, the pet care industry brought in an estimated $52.87 billion in 2011 alone.

If your funeral home is considering adding pet cremation services to your offerings, there are plenty of considerations involved. Check out these 5 steps to figure out if pet cremation is right for you:

1) Know your market inside and out

As any business plan would require, you need to know your market. That means understanding the needs of your consumers and veterinarians in your area.

First, start with the consumer. Understanding the demographics of your community is important when deciding whether or not pet cremation is relevant. So far, the most successful markets for pet cremation services are relatively urban markets with a substantial population. If you live in a rural market or farming community, you might want to consider that many families in these areas bury their pets in their backyard.

Next, think about the veterinarians located in your community. Many of them already have a relationship with a cremation service that can handle their equine and large animal cremations. That means they won’t consider switching to your service unless you can give them the same accommodations.

2) Create key veterinary relationships

Creating relationships with the veterinarians in your market is your key to being successful. You can spend a lot of money on marketing and different types of advertising to promote your business, but unless you get the blessing of the veterinarian, you may truly be wasting your money.

You may have a few families who use your service based on the advertising that you do, but chances are your revenue won’t outweigh the cost of expensive ads. People trust their veterinarians and they are most likely going to use the service that the veterinarian exclusively recommends.

3) Consider your facility options

Many funeral homes who offer pet cremation services use their unit right next to their human cremation unit, or put “Pet Crematory” on their funeral home signage for marketing purposes. While it sounds like a good idea to keep both services in one building, consider this: there may be families that actually choose to NOT use your funeral home for cremation or funeral services because they simply aren’t pet people.

Would you want a family to NOT choose your funeral home for this reason? A separate facility, be it a building on your current property or in close proximity, along with a separate name and signage might be the best option if you want to continue serving the non-pet families in your community.

4) Hire the right employees

A serious question to ask yourself is whether you’re going to have separate staff members handle the pet cremation business, or if you’re going to use your current staff of funeral directors. Can your staff handle the compassion it takes to console a grieving pet parent and not make a joke out of it later?

Picture this: A big burly guy with a leather jacket, bandana and sunglasses comes in with his his 5 lb Chihuahua named “Pumpkin”. It might sound silly to you, but it’s important that your staff has the right attitude – especially when it’s 2am and they need to go on a home removal for a 200 lb Mastiff that passed away unexpectedly.

5) Figure out your competitive advantage

If you decide to offer pet cremation, it’s your job to show veterinarians how you are different than their current provider, especially if your market is already saturated with pet cremation services. And being different doesn’t just mean being less expensive.

As funeral directors, we have been conditioned to think that less expensive is what the consumer is looking for. While there is always that market for “less expensive”, this is not necessarily the case with pet families. In fact, in recent years, pet cremation services have virtually become recession proof. But you’ll never know that if being less expensive is your only way to be “different.”

Making the decision to offer pet cremation services

With all of the hype around pet cremation services, it’s important to think about the good and the bad of offering these services. It may make sense for you to expand your service offerings to your families by providing pet cremation services. But the reality is, it also may not.

The pet cremation profession is not a novelty. It is not a joke. And it is just not a business that helps you “boost your bottom line.”

If after reading this article you decide that pet cremation is something that would fit your business profile, by all means, go into it full speed ahead! But remember, this extension of your business will become part of your funeral home legacy whether you succeed or fail. How hard can it be? It may be worth your time to find out.

Don’t believe me? Tom Flynn, president of Hillcrest-Flynn Pet Funeral Home and Crematory says “If you’re in this business right now, you’re just sailing with the wind right at your back.”


Is your funeral home looking to offer pet cremation services on your website? Click here or call 800-798-2575 ext. 5 to learn more. To see an example of our solution, visit the Adored Pets Crematory website.


Pat Fahrenkrug has been a licensed funeral director since 1994 and the owner of Forrest Run Pet Cemetery, Cremation and Memorial Tribute Center in Sherwood, Wisconsin since 2004. He also works part-time as the Community Outreach Director for Wieting Family Funeral Home in Chilton, Wisconsin.

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  1. malcorefuneralhomes

    Faithful Companions Pet Crematory in Green Bay, Wis. a subsidiary of Malcore Funeral Homes & Crematory, has been offering pet cremation in the Green Bay market for many years. Families are comforted knowing that we “serve the entire family.” People also tend to take comfort in knowing that they have a dedicated space to spend time with their pets, and to have licensed staff to guide them through the process.

  2. Krystal

    HI there, Thanks for sharing your story! I think the value in pet cremation is definitely there, its one way cremation is helping our industry for sure!

  3. ken saunders

    This is confirmation for me to get into this sector.Ive been thinking for a while about getting into this area,so i have.The key is to set yourself up in an alliance with the veterinarians.Through that if you network hard enough your name will get to the families.Much like the death of a human and has a church connection the clergy in most cases has a bit of leverage in recommending a funeral home.So why not the same with our pets.The keys is to network.Im going into this with the idea of offering a percentage of revenue to sponsor the humain society in my area.

  4. mooya

    I would like to open a crematory. Do you offer any assistance/coaching?

  5. Mikhail Bershchanski

    Well i must say that it is a great post. I think that pets are also living beings and also part of our families. so there is nothing wrong in this. And from the business point it is great to start cremation services Brooklyn Ny for pets.

  6. Gine Oquendo

    In my opinion, since we love our pets, we should know the trend also in their final arrangement, and nowadays, the customization of the remaining urns is the latest, like what we did recently in the pet cremation in Houston of my beloved pet. By the way thank you for sharing this wonderful topic. Please refer to this topic: https://thepetlosscenter.com/our-locations/houston/