Looking for the best headstone and grave marker for your pet can be tricky. Unless you purchase a spot in a pet cemetery, you may not want to buy a grave marker that is large or permanent. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave your pet’s grave unmarked.
Overview: Our Top Picks
- Amazon pet headstone ($19.99+)
- Pet cremation marker ($485.00)
- Laser-engraved memorial maker ($158.00)
- Pet memorial stones ($19.99)
- Angel holding a cat ($29.95)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is a Pet Headstone?
- How Much Do Pet Headstones Typically Cost?
- What Should You Look for When Buying a Pet’s Headstone?
- Main Types of Store-Bought Pet Headstones
- Main Types of DIY Pet Headstones
- Where Can You Buy a Pet Headstone?
- Tips for Buying a Cheap Pet Headstone
Here are some ways to mark the graves of your beloved pets. We will discuss generic types of headstones and grave markers that you can purchase at a brick and mortar or online store. We will also give you ideas of a do-it-yourself grave marker for your dog, cat, or other pet.
First, let’s discuss what you should look for when purchasing pet headstones.
What Is a Pet Headstone?
A pet headstone commemorates the life of a beloved pet.
Sometimes a pet headstone marks the actual burial site for a pet. Some pet owners put a pet headstone near the place where the cremated remains were scattered. However, a pet headstone doesn’t have to mark the spot of the pet’s remains. It can be used to commemorate the life of a pet that was special to your family.
Pet headstones can be “permanent” installations like what you would see in a cemetery for humans. This is typically the most expensive type of pet headstone. It might be installed in a pet cemetery or on land owned by your family. Of course, this type of pet headstone isn’t typically moved, so you may have to leave it behind if you sell your land.
You can also buy pet headstones that are removable, such as a stepping stone or engraved rock. This type of pet headstone is inexpensive and can be taken with you when you move.
Pet headstones are typically personalized with the name (and perhaps the image) of the pet. However, you can also buy generic stones that celebrate the life of all living things.
How Much Do Pet Headstones Typically Cost?
The price of pet headstones varies greatly. They can be as low as $50 for a personalized stone, but the cost may go into the thousands if you wish to buy a permanent installation to commemorate your pet’s life.
A quick search of pet headstones online reveals that most choose relatively inexpensive headstones to celebrate a pet’s life. Most pet headstone websites sell engraved rocks, stepping stones, or small statues that are personalized. At the same time, large monument companies will also sell you a stone for your pet - and they can be very pricey.
Be aware that sometimes grief causes people to make unwise financial decisions. People who lose loved ones (human or animal) sometimes say they will “spare no expense” to commemorate the life that is no more. However, it’s ok to plan a funeral on a budget. Spending less doesn’t mean that you didn’t love your pet.
You don’t have to buy a pet headstone immediately after the death of your pet. Consider taking a few weeks or months to think about the best way to celebrate your pet’s life. You may decide that you would rather make a large donation to a favorite pet charity instead of installing a large headstone.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Pet’s Headstone?
Before you purchase a pet headstone, consider its purpose. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you planning to cremate your pet? If so, do you want the headstone to mark the place you scatter or bury the cremains?
- Are you planning to bury your pet? If so, do you plan to bury your pet on your property? What will happen when you move from the property? Will you leave the headstone or grave marker behind?
- Are you planning to purchase a plot in a public pet cemetery or scattering garden for your pet? If so, make sure you talk with the establishment’s owner to make sure you follow the regulations for marking the site.
- Do you want to be able to move your pet’s headstone or memorial when you move?
- Do you want to purchase an item that commemorates the life of the pet or do you want to buy something to mark the site of the remains?
- Do you want the headstone or grave marker personalized with your pet’s name or with an image of your pet’s breed?
- If the commemorative pet item does not mark the location of the cremains, do you plan to keep it inside or outside?
Use these questions to help guide you so you know what type of headstone or grave marker to purchase.
Main Types of Store-Bought Pet Headstones
There are many different types of pet memorial headstones on the market. They can be as elaborate as you wish, from large, granite headstones to elaborate pieces of artwork using your pet’s cremains.
Here are some different types of pet grave markers on the market.
You can purchase a headstone for your pet, the same as you could buy for a human loved one.
If you decide to go this route, consider the permanent location for the headstone, as you can’t move it. Your local pet cemetery may have regulations on what type of memorials are allowed. The future owner of your property may not want to purchase your home if there is a large headstone in the middle of the yard.
2. Cremation marker
Purchase a memorial marker for your pet that doubles as an urn. These products provide permanent storage of your pet’s cremains and act as a commemorative item to help celebrate your pet’s life. They are also easily moved.
3. Laser engraved memorial marker
Look online for companies that will engrave your pet’s image on a headstone with a laser. Of course, you can also personalize these markers with your pet’s name, birth date, death date, and a quote or saying.
4. Breed-specific memorial marker
You can also purchase a grave marker for your pet, personalized according to breed. For example, these memorial markers may have a generic image of a German Shepherd engraved on the stone, but not necessarily a picture of your German Shepherd.
5. Memorial garden stone
Pet memorial stones can also look more like decorative garden stones instead of headstones. You can make these stones personalized or generic to your breed or type of pet. Some can even look like a paw print.
6. Memorial garden stake
Instead of a stone, you can purchase a garden stake to mark the grave or to commemorate your pet. These items can be personalized or generic.
7. Pet statue
Instead of buying a headstone, garden stone, or stake, you can purchase a statue shaped like your pet. Depending on your budget, you may be able to find a sculptor to create a stone replica of the animal you lost.
8. Angel statue
If the image of angels gives you comfort, you may be able to find a statue of an animal angel that looks like the pet you lost. There are also statues on the online marketplace that depict an angel holding a cat, dog, or other pet.
9. Decorative glass item
If you choose to have your pet cremated, you can have the cremains used to create a decorative glass item to use as a memorial for your pet. Look through the portfolio of several artists before entrusting an artist with your pet’s cremains.
Main Types of DIY Pet Headstones
Maybe you’d like to take a more personalized approach to commemorate your pet. If so, you may decide to take the time to design and create something special to mark your pet’s grave.
You (and your spouse and children) may find it therapeutic to create the grave marker for the animal you lost. Use the opportunity to talk with your children about the circle of life and how we show respect to the deceased.
Here are some ideas for do-it-yourself grave markers, headstones, or other commemorative items.
10. Garden stepping stone
Commemorate the life of your pet by creating a stepping stone personalized with your pet’s name. Garden stepping stone kits are available to purchase at every craft store. They usually include the mold, concrete, alphabet stamps, and decorative stones or pieces of glass to use for adornment. A garden stepping stone is a kid-friendly project that may help your child as he or she grieves a lost pet.
Look for pet-specific molds, like one in the shape of a bone or paw print, to give your project more pizzazz.
11. Wood photo transfer
Even non-skilled woodworkers can create a wooden photo transfer of your pet. This item has more permanence than a photograph, but make sure you do your research before deciding whether to leave this item outside.
12. Painted rock
Talented painters may need little else than a large, smooth river rock and paint to create a beautiful item to use as a pet headstone. Personalize the stone with the name of the pet.
13. Wooden cross
Why not create a wooden cross to mark the grave of your pet? Personalize this traditional grave marker with the name of your deceased pet.
Mosaics can be a beautiful do-it-yourself craft. Consider creating a mosaic of colorful glass or tile in the shape of your pet’s name.
15. Plantable urn
Have a bush or tree mark the spot. Search for biodegradable urns designed to be buried at the base of a small shrub or sapling and think of your pet as the plant grows into a mature plant or tree.
Your pet’s grave can appear inconspicuous. You can place something at the site that only you know is over the burial spot. Consider a fountain. There are plenty of DIY patterns online, and even though this may not be a project for a beginning landscaper, it can be a beautiful way to commemorate the life of a pet.
Purchase an outdoor flag to mark the gravesite of your pet. You can buy a personalized banner or one that has a generic image of the pet or breed.
18. Wind chime
Many people hang wind chimes to celebrate the lives of their lost loved ones. Remember your pet every time you hear the sound tinkle in the breeze.
Where Can You Buy a Pet Headstone?
There are many different places to buy a pet headstone. Here are some to consider.
You may have ordered your pet’s favorite treats from Chewy. You can order pet headstones through their website as well. Search for “memorial stone” instead of “pet headstone” on the site, and you’ll find about 30 different styles from which to choose.
Many individual artists and companies sell pet headstones on Etsy. Look at each store’s reviews and make sure you understand how large the item is before you order.
Memorials Lab has been in business since 2013, and since then, they have personalized thousands of pet products. They offer primarily flat memorial stones and crystal portraits.
Laser Perfect Gifts creates engraved photo plaques, memorials, and keepsakes using a laser engraver. Their pet headstones come in three different sizes and cost between $100 and $165.
Personalization Mall tells many different items that can be personalized, from cutting boards and tote bags to pet headstones. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t have many pet headstones to choose from, but we like the rainbow bridge design on these upright stones.
If you don’t have a yard and didn’t purchase a burial plot, you may have to get creative when buying a pet headstone. Plaque Maker will create a personalized plaque that celebrates the life of your pet, and you’ll be able to hang it on your wall.
Don’t go to your neighborhood Walmart to buy a pet headstone. Instead, you have to order these personalized items through the company’s website.
Orvis is known for selling high-end outdoor gear. Unfortunately, they don’t have many pet memorial stones, but they deserve mention because they offer one made of marble.
You can tell by its name that Afterlife Essentials sells headstones, memorial jewelry, and urns. They have a special section on their website, “for pets.” Afterlife Essentials sells a “standing pet headstone” for $400 that can be personalized with your pet’s image.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that many headstone companies sell their products through Amazon. So this might be a good place to start to find ideas on the range of products that are available.
This company is an excellent source for people looking for pet memorials for all types of animals. These engraved river stones come in four different sizes. The prices range from $38 to $475.
Tips for Buying a Cheap Pet Headstone
As we explained earlier, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to prove that you loved your pet and that you are sad that they are gone. Therefore, don’t feel bad for buying or making a cheap pet headstone. You should never feel ashamed for living on a budget.
Here are some ideas on how to save money when buying a headstone for your pet.
Skip the personalization.
Most of the online companies we highlighted earlier sell customizable pet headstones that enable you to add your pet’s name and image. However, some of these websites sell memorial items that celebrate the life of a pet.
For example, you can purchase a stepping stone shaped like a paw print that says “forever in my heart” for less money than you can buy one with your pet’s name on it.
Typically, people buy pet headstones for their own comfort. Since you obviously know the name of the pet you are missing, you might not find it necessary to spend more money on laser engraving.
You could also . . .
Buy limited personalization.
Your pet headstone doesn’t have to include the pet’s name, birth date, death date, and a personalized saying. You could choose to use the stock image of the German shepherd instead of paying for the photo of your dog to be replicated on the stone.
Headstone companies charge by the letter, so the fewer letters you use, the less expensive the stone will be.
Buy a stone for your yard instead of a pet cemetery.
Home burials are less expensive than those in pet cemeteries.
Look for companies that offer free shipping.
Whenever you buy something heavy (like a headstone), you should always try to find companies that offer free shipping. However, you might have to wait a bit longer for your item to arrive. You might also need to spend a certain amount of money to receive the benefit.
Make a headstone yourself.
Look online for DIY pet headstones. You might consider buying a DIY stepping stone kit and asking the kids to become part of the process. Perhaps you could make a wooden cross or use Quikrete and stamps.
Purchase river rocks or concrete items instead of granite or marble.
If you are buying a pet headstone to place in your backyard, you might consider buying one made of less expensive materials. Keep in mind that pet cemeteries might have requirements on the type of stone that can be displayed.
How Did You Commemorate the Life of Your Pet?
Even if you don’t purchase a headstone for your dog or cat, there are still plenty of ways to remember your pet’s life. Consider purchasing a shadow box to hold your pet’s collar, tag, and photo. You may also want to make a memory box full of photos, a clipping of your pet’s fur, and other memorabilia.
You could also make a Christmas tree ornament to remember your pet. Depending upon the size of the collar, you may be able to place it inside a clear Christmas bulb and design an ornament.
Consider hiring artisans and craftspeople to create something to help you remember your pet. Some artists specialize in pet portraits that can be used to hang on the wall or made into greeting cards.