Pet Caskets: Types, Cost, & Alternatives

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The death of a pet is never easy. Though many pet owners opt for cremation, some pet owners would prefer a traditional burial and casket to memorialize their loving companion. There are many options available that work with a wide range of budgets.

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Pet caskets differ slightly from human caskets in size, cost, material, and the ability to personalize. However, when it comes to choosing a casket or even creating one for your beloved pet, you’ll be able to find a cost-effective, beautiful, customized casket that serves as the perfect tribute.

What’s a Pet Casket?

Pet caskets and pet funerals have been around for thousands of years. The earliest pet burials we know of are those which occurred in Egypt when cats were often mummified and buried along with their owners.

Today, there is a growing trend of pet cremation, though pet burial is still widely accepted and utilized. There are even a growing number of dedicated pet cemeteries that offer all the services regularly utilized with human funerals and burials.

Many pet owners don’t want to bury their pet in a backyard and often worry about doing so in case they ever relocate. A pet cemetery provides a permanent place for your pet that allows you to go visit and place flowers at the grave, knowing your pet is safely interred. 

Whether you decide to bury your best friend in a pet cemetery or for burial in your own backyard pet cemetery, you’ll need a casket. A pet casket is similar to a human casket in that it can be made of a wide variety of materials and can be placed in the ground.

Just like human caskets, pet caskets can be biodegradable or completely sealed so they are water and airtight. Many have beautiful interiors with a cushion and satin or velvet lining and are made of traditional materials such as cherry or mahogany. However, the fancier the casket, the more you should expect to pay.

How Much Does a Pet Casket Usually Cost?

Like everything else, the price of caskets depends on different factors. The first thing to consider is the size of your pet. The smaller your pet, the smaller casket you’ll need. Most caskets are divided into the following size ranges:

  • Extra Small - Up to 8 lbs
  • Small - Up to 25 lbs
  • Medium - Up to 50 lbs
  • Large - Up to 90 lbs
  • Extra Large - Up to 180 lbs

The smaller the animal, the less expensive their casket will be. This is largely due to the expense for materials and time to create the casket. In general, you can expect to pay much less for a casket that will house a cat or Shih Tzu as opposed to a Great Dane.

Another consideration to factor into total cask is the material the casket is made of. Just like with human caskets, higher grades of material will cost more. Traditional wood caskets typically range anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on the size and type of wood desired. Biodegradable caskets, on the other hand, typically range from $20 to $50. 

DIY caskets will cost as much as you spend on materials to make it, but won’t have any labor or shipping costs associated with purchasing a ready-made casket from a supplier. High-impact polystyrene caskets can go up as high as $300 depending on desired features and customization. Metal caskets will cost the most and can be nearly as expensive as a human casket depending on the size needed.

In order by expense, here is what you can expect to pay for a pet casket:

  • Metal - Up to $1,200
  • Wood - Up to $600
  • Polystyrene - Up to $300
  • Wicker - Up to $300
  • Biodegradable - Up to $100

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that also protects your pet from the elements, a polystyrene option is often the best way to go. These caskets can be fully water and airtight, lined, padded, and customized for around $300.

Can You Build Your Own Pet Casket?

With the trend toward DIYing these days, why not DIY your own pet casket? You might consider this option due to your budget, a desire to craft something personal for your furry best friend, or because you have skills like woodworking. So, yes, you absolutely can build your own pet casket. 

When deciding to build a pet casket, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start out. If you want to build a casket from wood, be sure that you have the woodworking skills necessary to tackle the job. While you can simply nail or fasten boards together with wood glue, if you have a specific design in mind, it could be a good idea to consult a local builder to ensure you have the tools to bring your design vision to life.

As any woodworker knows, it’s important to first draw up your plans before you begin sawing. Measure each piece and carefully craft your design. Take your time and let your creation be a labor of love for a pet who gave you their love and dedication for life. If you want to build one but aren’t sure about crafting plans, you can purchase plans or a kit. There are wood casket kits available to purchase with all the parts needed which you can assemble and personalize.

If you don’t have the skills or tools necessary to build a wood casket, you could consider building a biodegradable casket from cardboard, instead. Just like the wooden options, there are numerous DIY kits available to choose from and each can be assembled at home. 

Different Types of Pet Caskets and Cheap or DIY Alternatives

Similar to human caskets, pet caskets aren’t limited to one specific type of material. You can choose from metal and wood caskets, sealed options made of polystyrene, and environmentally-friendly options made from a wide range of biodegradable materials. 

The type of casket you choose will largely depend on how long you want it to last in the ground, whether you want your pet sealed, or whether you want a green burial. Here are several types of caskets available for pet owners.

1. Metal caskets

These caskets look just like human caskets and often cost just as much. They are made of steel and are often sealed to prohibit water, air, or soil from entering.

These caskets are highly customizable and can be made in different colors such as gold, rose gold, or silver. They also have beds inserted that are covered with fine grade satin or velvet. If you want the ultimate in luxury for your pet’s final resting place and budget isn’t an issue, metal is the best money can buy.

2. Wood caskets

Wooden caskets are an ideal choice for pet owners who want an elegant casket that resembles human caskets. In fact, many wood pet caskets can be made to match the casket of their owners, if a design has already been chosen.

These caskets come in many options and the grade of wood chosen relates directly to the available budget. Pine is less expensive and more budget-friendly while wood such as oak, cherry, and mahogany are on the more expensive end. 

The total price for wood caskets will differ depending on the size of the animal and the amount of wood required for the casket. Just like metal caskets, wood caskets usually have a padded ped inside and are lined with satin.

3. Styrene caskets

Styrene is a plastic that is non-degradable. Caskets made of styrene or polystyrene are ideal for pet owners who want their pet to rest in peace without the potential for air, water, or soil to leak into the casket.

This casket is a permanent option that works well for burial in a pet cemetery or a backyard cemetery. Since the casket will not degrade, it can be disinterred and transferred from one backyard resting place to another should the owners ever relocate.

Polystyrene caskets are budget-friendly options that come plain but can easily be decorated and customized. 

4. Wicker caskets

If you want a biodegradable option that is still budget-friendly, wicker caskets are a beautiful option. Woven into intricate designs and lined with a pillow, these caskets are ideal for animals up to medium-sized animals weighing up to 50 lbs. Wicker is harder to personalize since there is no flat surface area to draw, write, or paint. 

However, they can be decorated by weaving or tying ribbons into the weave of the basket. A small toy or memento can also be included inside with your pet for burial. Woven caskets are always biodegradable and are green-burial friendly.

5. Cardboard casket

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, cardboard caskets are the way to go. Don’t let the name fool you, however. Cardboard caskets are made to look beautiful and elegant and serve as fitting tributes for any pet’s burial. Many are decorated with beautiful scenes, are adorned with poems, or can be personalized with your pet’s picture, name, and dates. 

For pet owners wanting a green burial that adds to the environment, you can choose a cardboard casket that is infused with wildflower seeds. As the casket breaks down, you’ll see a profusion of wildflowers grow up in the place of your beloved pet’s burial. This casket is ideal if choosing to bury your pet in a backyard memorial area.

6. DIY caskets

If you want to make your pet’s casket, you can easily DIY a wood or cardboard casket. These come in kits or you can choose to create your own plans and build it yourself. If you want to learn a new skill, read up on a weaving tutorial to create a wicker woven casket. Another inexpensive DIY option available that is growing in popularity is 3D printed caskets. This is a cost-effective option for small-sized pets. Any DIY casket can be customized according to your wishes. 

Customization can be an important step in helping children say goodbye to their beloved friend. Consider having your child draw or paint a picture, write a poem, or write a goodbye message on the casket in preparation for burial.

What Caskets Work Best for Cats?

Since most cats range from 10-20 pounds, almost any small-sized dog or regular-sized cat casket is fitting for a cat burial. Thanks to their smaller size, you’ll have many options to choose from when picking a casket for your furry friend.

Thanks to the smaller size requirement, you might find that you’re able to afford a nicer casket with a larger budget. Wood caskets, for example, will cost around $350 for a nice handmade wood casket. Nice polystyrene caskets with an inner lining and pillow bedding will cost around $175. If you want an eco-friendly burial option, biodegradable caskets for cats will start at $125. 

Another option to consider is a handmade memory box casket. These caskets are slightly larger than standard ready-made cat caskets and come with extra room so you can place your cat’s favorite toys and belongings inside with them. You can also have them inscribed with your cat’s name, dates, and a favorite saying.

For a special touch, consider purchasing a DIY casket for your kitty. These caskets come ready to assemble with no tools needed. Paints, paintbrushes, and a farewell handbook are all included to help you process the passing of your kitty while honoring them by personalizing their casket with creative and thoughtful designs.

What Caskets Work Best for Dogs?

When choosing a casket for your furry friend, you should ask a few questions in order to narrow down casket choices. First, how much does your dog weigh? The size of your dog will impact the size of the casket you choose. Second, what is your budget? Shopping with a budget will help you narrow down casket options as you shop.

As mentioned earlier, larger dogs will require a larger casket. And, the more expensive material it’s made of translates to a casket that costs more. If you’re planning to bury a Great Dane, for example, the coffin size required will be similar to that of a human coffin. Whether you choose wood or metal, you should expect to budget as much as you would for a human.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced option that can hold all sizes of dogs, Newnak’s Pet Caskets has several polystyrene options that come in multiple colors and sizes. Casket choices include a white exterior with a pink satiny fabric inside, a black exterior with a silver satiny fabric inside, and a second white exterior with a blue satiny fabric inside.

For those looking for a wooden casket, Pinnacle Woodcraft’s handmade casket comes in three different sizes to accommodate most dogs.

If you want a metal casket, consider this higher-end metal dog casket from Memorials.com.

What Caskets Work Best for Other Pets?

When you’re ready to bury pets other than cats or dogs, you’ll need to consider the size required for a casket. For animals such as rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, mice, rats, fish, and birds, you’ll want to purchase a small or extra small casket. If you need to bury larger animals, such as ponies and horses, you’ll most likely need to utilize a burial shroud instead of a casket due to their size. 

Small and extra small caskets come in a wide variety of styles and shapes, allowing you to best customize your pet’s burial. Since you’ll be looking for a smaller casket, you can budget less while still purchasing a well-made option for your furry or feathered friend.

DIY caskets are popular because they come in extra small and small sizes that are meant to fit animals such as hamsters, gerbils, rats, ferrets, rabbits, and cats. These caskets are perfect if you want to personalize your pet’s casket by designing it with a painting or design.

Many wood casket sizes are made for average-sized cats on up. This means that you can fit your smaller pets inside and still have room to include their favorite toy or a memento to bury them with. If you’d rather have a casket that fits your pet a little better, you can choose a smaller wood casket or even utilize a large wood urn that is just the right size for your smaller pet.

There are also polystyrene and biodegradable casket options made for smaller animals, as well.

Where Can You Buy Pet Caskets Online?

Thanks to the rising popularity and need for pet caskets, you can purchase pet caskets in numerous places online. Here are several of the most popular options where you can find caskets for your furry or feathered friend.

Memorials.com

Memorials.com is a popular online storefront that specializes in cremation and burial products including human urns and caskets, pet urns and caskets, memorial benches, gravemarkers, and cremation jewelry. This is a highly reputable website and all of their caskets come with free ground shipping. Thanks to their lowest price guarantee, if you find the same product elsewhere for a lower price, they’ll match it.

Amazon

Amazon is a perfect option for those who are in need of a pet casket in a hurry. There are numerous options available including wooden caskets, polystyrene caskets, and biodegradable caskets. When shopping on Amazon, be sure to check all sizing charts to ensure your pet will fit properly. You should also check seller ratings and customer feedback to ensure you purchase a quality item and avoid common Etsy knock-offs.

Etsy

Etsy has many options when it comes to pet caskets including handmade wood caskets, DIY casket kits, biodegradable caskets, and polystyrene caskets. Many caskets can be engraved and personalized with the name and dates of your pet plus a special saying. The caskets on Etsy range in pricing depending on the customizations desired and the amount of detailed work that goes into the final product. Most sellers average a 4.5 out of 5-star rating or higher and many offer free shipping.

Pets in Remembrance

Pets in Remembrance is an online storefront that specializes in urns, markers, memorials, and pet caskets of all sizes. Their extra small caskets fit birds, gerbils, rats, and fish. The small-sized caskets are meant for rabbits, small cats, and small dogs. Medium caskets are for averaged-sized cats and puppies. Their large caskets can fit most full-sized dogs and their extra-large caskets can fit the largest of dog breeds.

Newnack’s Pet Caskets

Newnack’s Pet Caskets is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in pet caskets. They’ve been making their caskets in Texas since 2010 and offer free ground shipping on all purchases of $100 or more. Their casket sizing includes small, medium, and large. Small caskets can fit pets up to 40 pounds, medium caskets fit pets up to 65 pounds, and large caskets fit pets up to 110 pounds.

A Fitting Burial for a Close Companion

Burying your furry friend can be a difficult process but thanks to the wide range of options available, you can be confident in choosing a casket you know they would love. What matters most is feeling like you have done right by their memory, and choosing the right casket can help you honor them the way you know best.

If you're looking for more ways to honor your pet after they died, read our guides on planning a dog's funeral and pet urns for dogs.

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