What Do Dog Ashes Look Like After Cremation?


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Losing a pet is never easy, and deciding between burial and cremation is a difficult part of the process. Choosing to have your dog cremated means you’ll have many options for how to memorialize their remains. This brings peace to many pet owners. 

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There’s sometimes confusion about how pet cremation works. Dog ashes don’t always look the same as human ashes. This could cause a bit of alarm if you’re not familiar with the process.

In this guide, we’ll share what you can expect from your dog’s cremation and what steps you can take to honor your furry friend’s memory. 

What Dog Ashes Look Like After Cremation

Many are surprised to learn that dog cremation is very similar to human cremation. In fact, it’s common for pets to be cremated in the same crematoriums as humans. In the cremation chamber, the body is exposed to high temperatures that reduce organic matter down to ash and bone. 

Cremated remains for both humans and pets can appear in different colors. They can appear either light gray, white, or even brownish. All of the varying shades are entirely normal.

Cremated ashes appear in different colors due to the different chemical compositions of different organisms. When exposed to high heat, these chemical compositions can lead to a variation of color.

Tip: You can turn your beloved pet's ashes into a set of unique cremation stones with Parting Stone. Because of the unique chemical composition of each pet's remains, your furry friend's cremation stones will be truly one-of-a-kind. 

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Do they look different from human ashes?

Dog ashes don’t look drastically different from human ashes. They’re both made of the same organic material, and they come in the same range of colors. 

The most important difference you might notice is that you’ll receive significantly fewer ashes from your pet’s cremation. You can expect to receive a smaller bag of dog ashes than you would from a full-size human. Of course, this depends on the size and weight of your dog. 

What’s in a Dog’s Cremated Ashes

The word “ashes” is a bit misleading. Like human ashes, there is more than just ash found in cremated remains. You’ll also find bone fragments. 

These bone fragments may appear as bigger chunks if the bones don’t fully break down in the crematorium. While most crematoriums will grind these bone remains down into finer ash, they are careful not to over-process them into too fine of a dust. 

Because it’s a delicate balance, some larger pieces of bone are often left in the ashes. Some people are surprised by the appearance of bones, but there’s nothing to be alarmed by. The term “ashes” can be misleading, so instead, consider the term “cremated remains.” Don’t be surprised if you see a variety of textures and substances in your dog’s cremains.

What You Can Do With a Dog’s Ashes After Cremation

There are many options for what to do with a pet's ashes after cremation. It’s completely up to you how you want to honor your dog’s memory. Choose from any of these ideas below — or get creative and combine multiple ideas!

Scatter your pet’s ashes

This is a great way to return your beloved pet to nature, especially if your dog loved to run outside. Returning their ashes to a favorite outdoor spot,  park, or garden is a beautiful tribute.

Just make sure to check on local guidelines before you release your pet’s ashes. There are sometimes laws that dictate where ashes can be scattered, especially on public or private land that doesn’t belong to you. 

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Store the ashes in an urn

If you’re hoping to keep Fido’s ashes close, an urn is an excellent choice. There are specific urns designed for pets that are smaller than human urns. Find an urn that you love to store your furry friend’s ashes in your home. 

When paired with a photo, collar, or other memories of your dog, this is a powerful tribute. Another option is to scatter a portion of the ashes and preserve a small amount to keep in an urn at home. 

Make a memorial diamond

Did you know it’s possible to turn your dog’s ashes into a diamond? With a service like Eterneva, you can transform your beloved pet’s ashes or fur into a gorgeous diamond. 

This is a wearable form of remembrance. Your dog can be with you wherever you go. With various designs and settings, you can create the perfect diamond to honor your pet’s legacy. 

Bury your dog’s ashes

This is another way to return your dog to nature, especially if you use a biodegradable urn designed for the earth. You can even get a bio urn that grows your pet’s ashes into a tree —the perfect symbol of life after death. 

However, before you bury your dog’s ashes, check on local laws. There are sometimes local ordinances on burying ashes. If you’re not careful, the ashes could also harm local plants. An eco-friendly bio urn is the best choice to ensure you won’t disrupt the local environment with any chemicals in your pet’s ashes. 

Commission artwork

For a visual reminder of your pet’s memory, you can commission your pet’s ashes into a work of art. Artists are putting their skills to good use, combining ashes with special paints to create a depiction of your lost loved ones. 

This alternative to an urn allows you to keep your pup’s ashes close while turning them into something unique. Having a painted photo is a beautiful reminder of what your dog meant to you. You can have your pet’s image painted, or opt for their favorite toy, bone, landscape, or anything else that reminds you of them. 

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Get a pet memorial tattoo

While memorial tattoos are hardly a new concept, they’re quickly evolving to include more contemporary practices. Tattoo artists can now use a small bit of your pet’s cremated remains to mix with tattoo ink. 

Then the remains are safely pressed into your skin, creating a memory of your pup that you carry with you always. Many tattoo artists are familiar with this process and can cater to a grieving client’s specific needs. 

Wear cremation jewelry

If a memorial diamond isn’t right for you, there are other types of cremation jewelry to choose from. You can get vial pendants and keychains that hold your dog’s ashes. If these aren’t the right fit for you, there are many other symbols of remembrance to choose from. 

Cremation jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are so many styles and options to choose from, whether you want to share your love for your dog publicly or you’d prefer something more discreet. 

Spread the ashes at sea

Honor your pet’s love for the water by spreading their ashes at sea. There are unique biodegradable urns designed for a water release. These safely scatter your dog’s ashes through the water while releasing essential nutrients for sea life. It’s always a good idea to check out local rules for water scattering. 

Knowing your pet’s ashes will remain in their favorite body of water can bring you peace. 

Honor Your Dog’s Memory After Death

After losing your dog, keep their memory alive by doing something special with their cremains. Learn how long cremated ashes last to help you make your decision. There are so many options available!

From a water burial to a memorial diamond, honor your pet in a way that feels meaningful to you. Now that you have more information on the cremation process, you can choose a lasting tribute to your dog. 


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