What size urn do I need for my pet’s ashes?

What size pet urn should I buy? tiny tortoise sits on a man's hand


We are often asked “What size urn should I buy for my pet” – especially about dogs, which vary in size so much. We are always happy to offer our help in selecting the right size of urn for a pet. The size of urn you choose will depend on a number of factors, not least of which is your own personal preference. We always want families to have the perfect memorial for their pet and below you will find some information that we hope will help you to make your choice. All our product pages display the volume of ashes that each urn will hold.

Collecting your pet’s ashes from the pet crematorium or vet

You will be normally given a date and time for collecting your pet’s ashes when you make the arrangements with your pet crematorium or vet. If a specific date or time was not given, you will be contacted when they are ready for collection.

What is a “standard return” ashes urn?

When a pet crematorium or vet refers to a “standard return” ashes container, they generally mean the urn or container that is included as standard in the cremation service that they offer. Some standard returns are beautifully made wooden caskets. Alternatively, they could be a Scatter Tube or cardboard urn, which are perfect if you wish to scatter your pet’s ashes and are recyclable or biodegradable if you later decide to transfer ashes to another urn. It all depends on the cremation service being provided and what you wish to do with your pet’s ashes. You can discuss the options with your pet crematorium or vet when you arrange your pet’s cremation.

Transferring ashes

If your pet’s ashes are returned to you in a Scatter Tube or temporary ashes container you can ask your pet crematorium to transfer the ashes into another urn if you wish to keep part, or all, of the ashes. Sometimes families wish to transfer ashes from one permanent urn to another, or to divide them for sharing amongst family members. Most pet crematoria will be happy to offer this service even if it is years after the pet has been cremated. Have a chat with your local pet crematorium to see how they can help.

What is the quantity of my pet’s cremated ashes?

We are often asked how much ash is produced after pet cremation. This is a hard question for us to answer precisely, as it will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the pet and the methods used by the crematorium to prepare the ashes for return to you. We recommend that you talk to your pet crematorium to get their expert advice.

How can I calculate the volume of my pet’s ashes?

If your pet’s ashes are already in a container you can calculate its capacity using one of the calculators you can find if you search for “volume calculator” online. Choose an option that is closest in shape to your existing container (e.g. cube, cylinder) and enter the measurements of your existing container. You will know that if you choose an urn with the same, or larger, capacity that your pet’s ashes will fit. If your pet’s ashes are in a bag you may find that placing the bag inside a suitable measuring container can help you to calculate the volume.

What size Scatter Tube should I choose?

With many lovely designs, Scatter Tubes are perfect for scattering, burial, as temporary containers, for sharing ashes or as keepsakes. If your pet is being returned to you in a Scatter Tube from your pet crematorium they may ask if you want a single Scatter Tube containing all the ashes or multiple smaller tubes. You may like to divide ashes into smaller Scatter Tubes so that each family member can take part in scattering the ashes as a way of saying goodbye to a much-loved family pet. Smaller Scatter Tubes are also ideal when dividing ashes amongst family members to keep, so each person can take their time to choose a permanent urn that is right for them. There is a visual guide to Scatter Tube sizes here, but we recommend you speak to your pet crematorium for their advice about the quantity of ashes you should expect to receive.

Should I keep my pet’s ashes in one urn?

Some families prefer their pet’s ashes to be kept all together in one urn. Other families choose to divide the ashes, so that family members can all have a keepsake of their pet. Some people choose to scatter a portion of the pet’s ashes and keep the remainder in an urn or keepsake. This is an important decision to make before deciding on an urn and it can be good to talk this over with your family first so you can be sure that you know what size urn, or urns, you will need.

I want to keep the ashes of more than one pet together

Some pet owners like to keep the ashes of their pets together, particularly if the animals were related, or were close friends in life. If you feel you might like to do this you may want to prepare for this by choosing a larger urn.

Which urn do you prefer?

The most important thing to consider is your own personal choice. As long as the capacity of the urn is sufficient for your own purpose (whether that is for full ashes, part or shared ashes, or a keepsake) your own feelings about it are the most important consideration of all. A small quantity of ashes does not necessarily mean you ought to choose a small urn if the one that you really like is larger. Photo frame urns, for example, are best chosen based on the size of the photo you wish to display, rather than the size of its ashes container. You will want to feel that the urn you choose is a fitting resting place for your beloved pet, which will help you to remember them and give you comfort.

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