18 Types of DIY or Personalized Pet Headstones & Grave Markers


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. 

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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 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. 

1. Headstone

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. Memorial marker and urn

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. 

14. Mosaic

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 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. 

16. Fountain

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. 

17. Flag

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. 

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. 

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