Biodegradable Urns for Pets: Cost, Types & Process


Losing a close member of the family is always challenging, and this is true for our pets as well. Pets are truly a trusted companion. They’re there for us on good and bad days, and this type of loss is often painful. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Feeling grief after the loss of a pet is normal, and you’re likely looking for the perfect tribute to honor your pet and their legacy. If you choose cremation, there are many urns for ashes to choose from. While you can always opt for a traditional urn you keep with you, this isn’t the only way to honor your beloved furry friend. 

An alternative to the traditional urn is a biodegradable urn. This is a memorial option designed to return to nature. For those who want to find peace after losing a pet, a biodegradable urn can be a powerful tribute. In this guide, we’ll explore biodegradable urns for pets by taking a closer look at the cost, types, and process. 

What’s a Biodegradable Urn for a Pet?

Most people are familiar with traditional urns. These are meant to be kept somewhere safe and secure, usually in a home or mausoleum. For those who want to keep their loved ones (pets included) close, a traditional urn is a great choice. 

Another option that’s focused on nature is a biodegradable urn. A biodegradable urn is an urn or container that holds ashes and is made to break down naturally. It’s made from organic and recycled materials to ensure a natural transition back to the earth. 

These urns are often buried or exposed to water, which helps them break down efficiently. These urns are made of any of the following materials:

  • Recycled paper
  • Tree and plant materials
  • Unfired clay
  • Salt blocks
  • Sand
  • Palm leaves
  • Hemp or natural fabrics

These urns have no metal elements that won’t break down, and there is very little (if any) plastic. They might be used within a garden, family property, green cemetery, or anywhere that’s meaningful to the family. 

For a pet that loved the outdoors, a biodegradable urn can be a way to return that pet to where they were happiest. The family might hold a ceremony, leave a memorial marker, or just think of their pet when they’re in nature.

» MORE: Create a free online memorial. Honor your loved one, share funeral details, and collect memories and tributes.

How Much Do Bio Urns for Pets Usually Cost?

Another perk of choosing a bio urn or biodegradable urn is that it’s generally less expensive than a traditional urn. Traditional urns are made of expensive materials like metal, clay, or wood. Biodegradable urns are made of natural, recycled materials that typically cost less.

You can find biodegradable urns starting at $10 and going upwards from there. While more intricate, creative urns can cost over $200, you can certainly find a more affordable option. 

With the cost of pet cremation already being something to worry about, it’s important to make sure you know your budget. A pet urn doesn’t need to be expensive to be meaningful. It’s truly the thought behind your urn that matters most of all, and a bio urn is a special tribute.

How Does Buying a Biodegradable Urn Work?

How exactly does a biodegradable urn work? While a traditional urn is something built to last, a bio urn is the opposite. It’s designed specifically to break down naturally. 

These urns can be used for any of the following:

  • Water burials
  • Ground burials
  • Scattering ashes
  • Growing trees, flowers, or plants

Once put in the ground or water, bio urns take anywhere from a few minutes to several days, weeks, or months to break down. Once placed in water, a bio urn begins to break apart quickly, allowing the ashes to scatter naturally. A bio urn within the ground takes longer, naturally restoring the ashes and eco-friendly minerals to the earth over time.

When you buy a biodegradable urn, you can usually personalize it with your pet’s name, important dates, symbols, and messages. From there, you secure the ashes within a liner inside the biodegradable urn. The liner is often a BPA-free, biodegradable plastic bag. 

When you’re ready, it’s time to return the bio urn to nature. You might choose to hold a ceremony for yourself and your loved ones, or you could just take a moment to do this yourself. It can be as big or as small an occasion as you wish. 

Some people also choose to honor the location of the ashes, or another special spot, with a memorial marker or stone. This is optional, but it can help to know there’s a place you can return to feel close to your pet’s memory. Like with all types of memorials and tributes, there is no one-size-fits-all option.

Are There Different Types of Biodegradable Urns for Pets?

There are many different types of biodegradable urns. These are the same for humans as they are for pets. While you might want to choose something specifically designed with pets in mind, there are no real limitations. Feel free to use a human urn for your pet’s ashes if you so desire. They all function in the same way.

There are two main types of biodegradable urns: water urns and earth urns. As the names imply, a water urn is designed for water, and an earth urn is buried within the ground. 

Water biodegradable urns for pets

A water urn is an urn designed to degrade in water quickly. Once placed in water, it floats for a brief moment before sinking gracefully. This allows enough time for a small ceremony if the family chooses. Once underwater, the ashes are released as the container melts away.

These urns are made of natural materials like paper, gelatin, sand, and rock salt, but they’re often shaped like a traditional urn. A water urn is perfect for a dog who loved wading through the water.

Before you scatter your pet’s ashes in the water, be sure to check with local laws. There are sometimes limitations on where you can scatter ashes depending on if you choose an ocean, lake, river, and so on. 

» FEATURED: Raise funds for your funeral event with a free memorial page from Cake. Create a memorial site for free.

Earth biodegradable urns for pets

Earth urns take longer to degrade than water urns. They’re designed to degrade naturally in soil, but they can take up to a year to do so. Depending on the climate and how moist the ground is, they slowly but surely return to the earth. 

Earth urns are traditionally made of recycled paper, and they often include seeds for planting trees, flowers, and so on. A tree pod burial is a great way to honor a pet since it allows new life to stem from the loss. The burial also makes it easy to leave a memorial marker in your pet’s honor. 

Like with water burials, you’ll want to be mindful of where you choose to bury the ashes. There are sometimes local laws if you choose to bury ashes on public land or even on your own property.

Why Not Scatter the Ashes Yourself?

Why not just scatter the ashes in a traditional ash scattering ceremony? There are a lot of practical reasons why using a biodegradable urn is easier. Here’s why a biodegradable urn is a popular alternative:

  • Environmentally friendly: When you choose a bio urn, you return nutrients to the soil or the water. This is a great symbol of life and prosperity which can ease the burden of grief after a loss.
  • Travel: A biodegradable urn may be TSA-approved, making it easier to travel to a different part of the country if needed.
  • Less messy: When you scatter ashes, you need to pay close attention to the weather. It’s not always easy to have the best conditions, and you can easily make a mess or lose the ashes along the way.
  • Local laws: The local laws about scattering ashes can be stricter than those urn burials. Still, it’s important to tread carefully.
  • Customizable: Finally, a biodegradable urn makes it simple to customize the experience to suit your pet’s personality as well as your own wishes.

There are pros and cons of scattering your ashes vs. choosing a biodegradable urn. This is a highly personal choice, so don’t be afraid to explore your options before making a final decision.

Return Your Pet to Nature

Most pets love the outdoors and being in nature. Whether your pet loved the dog park, exploring the backyard, or just looking out the window, you can return your pet to their favorite place with a biodegradable urn. Though bio urns have mostly risen in popularity for humans, they’re also a great fit for a beloved pet. 

As people become more conscious about their impact on the environment, bio urns will continue to be a popular choice. These urns are just as personal and meaningful as traditional urns, with the additional element of doing good for the environment. 


Icons sourced from FlatIcon.