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Pet Euthanasia and Cremation Guide NZ

How does euthanasia and cremation for dogs and cats work, where can you do it and what does it cost? We tackle all of these difficult questions in this guide.
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Louis Author
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Mason Reviewer
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Thibault Editor
Updated May 06 2024
Table Of Contents
Making the decision to euthanize a pet is never easy, and it's important to approach it with care and sensitivity. This article provides personalised guidance from our experts at Comparesies but do understand that these decisions require professional assistance from trained veterinarians.

If you're considering euthanizing your pet, it's crucial to consult or at least call a veterinarian. They can provide you with information about your pet's health, potential treatment options, and guide you through the decision-making process.

In this article, we'll try to balance our personal experience with pet cremation and euthanasia with more general information about the process and where to seek support .

Pet Euthanasia Step by Step

  • Call/Consult with a Veterinarian:
    • Schedule an appointment with your regular veterinarian or an emergency vet if needed
    • Call your vet if you feel that your dog or cat can't handle the car ride
    • Discuss your pet's health condition, prognosis, and treatment options
    • Ask about potential outcomes and quality of life for your pet
    • Don't hesitate to ask the veterinarian any questions you may have about the euthanasia process, the options available, and what to expect

  • Consider Your Pet's Quality of Life:
    • Assess your pet's overall well-being, considering factors like pain, mobility, appetite, and enjoyment of life
    • Discuss with the veterinarian how your pet's condition may progress over time

  • Discuss Euthanasia Options:
    • Your veterinarian will explain the euthanasia procedure and discuss options such as at-home euthanasia or bringing your pet to the clinic
    • Consider whether you want to be present during the procedure

  • Decide on Timing:
    • Work with the veterinarian to determine the best time for euthanasia based on your pet's condition and your preferences

  • Plan for Aftercare:
    • Decide how you want to handle your pet's remains, whether through burial, cremation, or another option

  • Emotional Support:
    • Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your feelings and seek emotional support

  • Say Goodbye:
    • Take the time to say goodbye to your pet, expressing your love and gratitude.

Remember, this is an extremely emotional and personal decision. Don't hesitate to seek the support of friends, family, or a mental health professional to help you cope with the grief and loss.

Dog & Cat Euthanasia Cost

The cost of pet euthanasia can vary depending on the veterinarian, location and the size of your pet but prices range from between $250 and $550. Understanding the factors contributing to the cost of cremation and the decisions that you need to make can help you plan appropriately.

Location of the Euthanasia Clinic:
  • Decide whether the euthanasia will take place at home or in the vet's clinic. Home services are typically more expensive due to covering the vet's travel costs and time

Pet Size:
  • The size of your pet plays a role in the cost. Larger pets require more medication, involving a combination of pain relievers and anesthetics to ensure comfort during the process

Cremation Preferences:
  • If you choose cremation, the cost remains relatively consistent. However, the type of container for the ashes, if desired, can affect the overall cost. Opting for a private cremation may involve additional fees

Additional Services:
  • Some veterinarians offer extras like a plaster paw print of your pet. An examination before euthanasia is standard, and you may incur the cost of this exam, particularly if your pet hasn't been seen by the vet before. There could be additional charges for medications or IV catheters

Other Considerations:
  • Private cremation and special requests may result in extra costs. Inquire about any potential additional charges before making decisions

What Other Costs Will You Incur?
Pet euthanasia is often considered a last resort, with veterinarians exploring various treatment options first. Costs may arise from medications, surgeries, or other procedures aimed at saving your pet.

Seeking a second opinion or consulting a specialist may lead to additional charges, so it's advisable to inquire about prices when considering major procedures or treatments. We also recommend contacting your cat or dog insurance provider to check what treatments are covered in your policy.

Pet Euthanasia Clinics in Auckland

We have listed all of the clinics that offer euthanasia for your cat or your dog in Auckland.
  1. Peaceful Paws
  2. Sunset Vet Care
  3. Animal Action Limited
  4. Abbotts Way Veterinary Clinic
  5. Auckland Pet Hospital
  6. Animal Emergency at VSA
  7. Manukau After Hours Veterinary Clinic
  8. House Call Vet
  9. Auckland Veterinary Hospital
  10. Remuera Veterinary Hospital
  11. Albany Veterinary Hospital
  12. Massey Heights Veterinary Hospital
Map of the clinics where you can euthanize your dog or your cat in Auckland

Pet Euthanasia Clinics in Christchurch

We have listed all of the clinics where you can euthanize your cat or your dog in Christchurch.
  1. Our Pet's Goodbye
  2. Vetcall Animal Hospital
  3. At The Vets
  4. Harewood Veterinary Hospital
  5. After Hours Veterinary Clinic
  6. The Cat Vet
  7. Animal and Bird Hospital
  8. Aldwins Road Vet Clinic
  9. Kowhai Vet
  10. Ourvets St Albans Veterinary Clinic
  11. Ourvets Halswell Veterinary Clinic
  12. Ourvets Parklands Veterinary Clinic
  13. Veterinary Specialists Aotearoa
  14. Cats At The Vets
  15. Animal Orthopaedics Christchurch
  16. Vet2U Ltd
Map of the clinics where you can euthanize your dog or your cat in Christchurch

Pet Euthanasia Clinics in Hamilton

We have listed all of the euthanasia clinics for your cat or your dog in Hamilton.

  1. Hamilton Small Animal Veterinary Centre

Pet Euthanasia Dunedin

We have listed all of the clinics offering cat or dog euthanasia in Dunedin.
  1. Pet Doctors - The Gardens
  2. [email protected]
  3. St Kilda Veterinary Centre
  4. Humanimals
  5. Green Island Veterinary Clinic
  6. SPCA Dunedin Centre
  7. Animates Vetcare Clinic Dunedin
Map of the clinics where you can euthanize your dog or your cat in Dunedin

Dog & Cat Cremation Cost

How Much Does It Cost to Cremate a Dog or a Cat?

Here is a summary of what is costs to cremate your dog or your cat in New Zealand. These prices can vary depending on the region, the clinic and any other services that you may include.

Average Dog and Cat Cremation Prices:

Individual Cremation: Pets are cremated individually, and their ashes are returned in either a cardboard or wooden ash box. A signed cremation certificate is provided.

  • Up to 2kg: $90.00 (Cardboard) / $115.00 (Wooden)
  • 2kg to 7kg: $200.00 (Cardboard) / $275.00 (Wooden)
  • 7kg to 15kg: $300.00 (Cardboard) / $355.00 (Wooden)
  • 15kg to 25kg: $325.00 (Cardboard) / $410.00 (Wooden)
  • 25kg to 40kg: $400.00 (Cardboard) / $470.00 (Wooden)
  • 40kg to 55kg: $450.00 (Cardboard) / $540.00 (Wooden)
  • 55kg to 70kg: $470.00 (Cardboard) / $565.00 (Wooden)
  • 70kg to 95kg: $500.00 (Cardboard) / $605.00 (Wooden)

Communal Cremation (No Ash Return): For owners who do not want their pet's ashes returned, but wish for a dignified departure. Pets are cremated alongside others, and Caring Cremations takes responsibility for the final resting place of the ashes.

  • Up to 2kg: $20.00
  • 2kg to 7kg: $40.00
  • 7kg to 15kg: $50.00
  • 15kg to 25kg: $70.00
  • 25kg to 40kg: $90.00
  • 40kg to 55kg: $110.00
  • 55kg to 70kg: $140.00
  • 70kg to 95kg: $200.00

These prices are for cremation services. The choice between individual or communal cremation depends on the owner's preference regarding the return of ashes.

Where Can You Cremate Dogs and Cats in NZ?

We have listed all of the places where you can cremate your dog or your cat in New Zealand.

  1. Caring Cremations - Auckland
  2. Fond Farewells Pet Cremation Service - Lincoln
  3. Bay of Plenty Pet Cremations - Omanu
  4. Pets @ Rest Limited - Auckland
  5. Pet Cremations - Auckland
  6. Pets Ever After - Wakefield
  7. Soul Friend Pet Cremations - Ashhurst
  8. Paws for Thought - Egmont
  9. Truly Treasured - Auckland
  10. Paws2Heaven Individual - Springston
  11. SF Pet Cremations - Palmerston North
  12. Give me Wings - Canterbury
  13. Forever Loved - Swannanoa
  14. Heaven Sent - Mosgiel
  15. Auckland Pet Funerals - Dairy Flat
  16. Gentle Waters - Christchurch
  17. Pet Angel Wings Services - Masterton
  18. Pet Farewells - Lower Hutt
  19. Furever Friends - Blenheim
  20. Forever Pets Crematorium - Thames
  21. Paws at Rest 2020 Limited - Invercargill
  22. Pet Reflections Ltd - Gisborne
Map of the places you can do dog and cat cremation in New Zealand

At Home Euthanasia vs Veterinary Clinic Euthanasia

What is Home Euthanasia?

At-home euthanasia involves a veterinarian conducting the procedure at the pet's residence. This option prioritizes comfort and minimizes stress for both the pet and the owner.

What Does Clinic or Hospital Euthanasia Involve?

In-clinic euthanasia takes place when a pet owner brings their pet to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital for the procedure. This choice may offer a more cost-effective alternative to at-home euthanasia.

Home Euthanasia Process for Pets:

At-home euthanasia is a thoughtful and compassionate option where the veterinarian brings everything needed for a peaceful experience directly to your home - a place your pet is familiar with. While commonly chosen for cats and dogs, this service can also be extended to other animal companions. Here's a gentle overview of what to expect:

Initial Consultation: Begin with a heartfelt conversation by making an initial phone call to the in-home euthanasia provider. A caring client specialist will discuss your pet's medical history, diagnosis, quality of life, and medications. They'll also address your concerns, including about costs and discuss aftercare preferences like burial or cremation.

In-Home Visit: When the veterinarian arrives at your home, they'll take the time to introduce themselves to your family and pet. Your pet is encouraged to be in the most comfortable area of the house or yard, free from disturbances. The veterinarian will discuss suitable locations with you, ensuring the serene environment your pet deserves. Additionally, they'll share insights into your pet's condition and patiently respond to any lingering questions.

Sedation: In most cases, your pet will receive a gentle sedative. Treats and comforting pets are provided until your pet peacefully drifts into a deep, sleep-like state, free from pain or discomfort. In some instances, an IV catheter may be placed in your pet's leg to administer the euthanasia solution.

Euthanasia Medication: With your pet in a tranquil and comfortable state, the veterinarian will administer the euthanasia agent. This medication acts swiftly to bring a peaceful end, with many pets passing within a few serene minutes.

Aftercare: The compassionate journey extends into aftercare, either cremation or burial. You have the option to choose cremation or keep your pet with you if you have a special burial place.

If cremation is preferred, the veterinarian can arrange for your pet to be taken to a cremation service, and the remains can be picked up or shipped to your home. Additionally, they may offer grief counseling and supportive resources to help you cope with the aftermath of euthanasia.

While at-home euthanasia may be a pricier option, many pet owners find the added comfort and convenience worthwhile. However, it's crucial to consider the dynamics of your household, especially the presence of other animals and children, as this can impact the stress levels of both the pet and family members during the process.

Ultimately, your needs are significant in this journey. Reflect on what will bring you comfort on that day and in the weeks that follow as you navigate the grieving process.

Clinic or Hospital Euthanasia Process for Pets:

In-hospital euthanasia is when a vet helps your pet say goodbye at a clinic or hospital. People often choose this if their pet is really sick or in a lot of pain. It can be quicker than doing it at home, especially for pets in critical conditions.

Many people pick in-hospital euthanasia because it comes with extra support from a skilled vet team. You can also be there with your pet if you want, saying goodbye in a calm place.

The process is pretty much the same as doing it at home, with a chat, a bit of relaxation medicine, the goodbye medicine, and what happens afterward. The main difference is where it all happens.

Choosing the Right Goodbye:

There's no better or worse option; it's about what feels right for your pet and your family. Learning about your options before an emergency occurs can also be reassuring. As can talking to your vet to make sure your pet's feelings are the priority. And remember, saying goodbye is tough, so it's okay to ask for support when you need it.

No matter where it happens, your vet team is there to make sure your pet's last moments are peaceful and comfortable.

Does My Insurance Cover the Cost of Euthanasia or Cremation?

Most pet insurance plans in NZ do cover euthanasia costs, as long as your vet has recommended euthanasia for your pet. Most pet insurance plans do not cover cremation costs.

If this is a concern, carefully review your policy's terms and conditions or call your insurance. Consider exploring pet insurance options that explicitly cover euthanasia or cremation costs if it aligns with your preferences and concerns. Always be informed about your insurance coverage before making decisions about your pet's end-of-life care.

Some pet insurance plans also pay you a lump sum in the event your pet dies. Petcover for example covers up to $2,000 when your pet passes away with their Superior Plan. Find out more in our guide to dog insurances
Tower Pet Insurance
AA Pet Insurance
Cove Pet Insurance
SPCA Pet Insurance
PD Insurance
Southern Cross Pet Insurance


A veterinarian might suggest euthanasia, a compassionate end to life, when other interventions to reduce pain and suffering become ineffective. The recommendation for euthanasia may come unexpectedly, for instance, in the case of a pet diagnosed with a terminal illness or following a severe and incapacitating accident.
Sodium pentobarbital induces unconsciousness for animal euthanasia. While your dog or your cat is unconscious, it experiences no pain during the cessation of its bodily functions. Despite this, injecting the drug directly into the vein with a syringe may pose a slight risk of leakage into the surrounding tissue, potentially causing mild discomfort.
Most pet insurance plans do cover euthanasia costs but not cremation costs. This assumes euthanasia is non-elective i.e. has been recommended by your vet.

If this is a concern, carefully review your policy's terms and conditions or call your insurance provider to check. Consider exploring pet insurance options that explicitly cover euthanasia or cremation costs if it aligns with your preferences and concerns. Always be informed about your insurance coverage before making decisions about your pet's end-of-life care.

Petcover's Superior Plans covers up to $2,000 in additional costs associated with the death of your pet.
Yes, many veterinary clinics and animal hospitals allow pet owners to be present and hold their pets during the euthanasia process. Being present with your pet during this difficult time can provide comfort and support for both you and your pet. It allows you to be close to your pet and offer them reassurance in their final moments.
It's recommended to discuss your preferences with your veterinarian beforehand to ensure that they are aware of your wishes. Some veterinary practices may have specific protocols or guidelines, and they can provide information on what to expect during the euthanasia procedure. If you have concerns or questions, your veterinarian will be able to address them and help make the experience as peaceful as possible for both you and your pet.