Losing a beloved pet is never easy. Providing a comfortable resting place for your companion is a great way to honor their life and allow yourself to grieve.
A wooden box, wicker basket, blanket, or cardboard box can be used as a casket for a dog that has died. Pre-made pet caskets can be purchased in a variety of materials and designs. The casket must be biodegradable and protective.
You might decide to repurpose something you already have as a casket, or you can purchase a casket at a pet store or online.
Why Choose a Casket?
Some pet owners will choose to bury their dogs at home or in a pet cemetery rather than having them cremated. While there is nothing wrong with simply laying the dog’s body directly in the ground, or wrapped in a blanket, there are a few reasons why a casket is a good option.
In some cases, the burial site is located where other animals might smell the remains of your pet and try to dig them up. A casket will keep your dog’s body protected from this happening.
Other owners are simply comforted by the idea of their pet being in a comfortable and safe resting place. Providing your deceased pet with a casket is a dignified way to bury them and can help the owner find closure.
In the case that your dog does not pass away at home, you will need to transport them to the burial site. A casket is a good way to do this.
There are many types of caskets to choose from. They vary in design, material, price, and size. Here are some of the best casket options:
It might be hard to find a pre-made casket if your pet dies unexpectedly. It is a good idea to bury your dog as soon as possible, or within 4-6 hours. Don’t worry if you can’t find a pre-made casket during this time. You probably have some of these items already on hand that will make a nice casket.
- You might already have a wooden box, wood chest, or wood crate lying around the house. You can also build a wooden casket easily at home.
- Consider using a wicker basket with a lid. Think of a basket that was previously used to store clothing items or blankets.
- A cardboard box is a fine casket. Find one that is the right size for your dog and ideally, one with a lid.
- If you can’t get any of these items, you can wrap your dog in a blanket or a towel.
When choosing a casket, consider your dog’s size and weight, where they will be buried, and your budget. Generally, pet caskets should be biodegradable unless you plan to disinter your dog in the case that you move homes.
It is a good idea to plan ahead on how you will bury your pet while they are still living. Consider purchasing one of these pre-made caskets long before you expect your dog to die.
You might not like the idea of doing this so far in advance, but it will be less stressful for you when the time comes to say goodbye. Planning ahead will give you more time to say goodbye and celebrate your dog’s life. Here are some of the most popular options:
- A cardboard pet burial box is perhaps the most simple and affordable option. You can get one of these from your local veterinarian, or at a pet supply store. If you have to put your dog down, they will probably give you one of these for free. This PetOne Pet Burial Large Box is sold at Circle C Country Supply. They can cost anywhere between $20 and $80.
- Wooden caskets are very popular and resemble a casket for a person that you would see at a funeral. They can be very elegant in design, or simple. The price varies depending on the size of your pet. Pine would be the most affordable while other woods like mahogany and cherry will be more expensive. This Handmade Wooden Burial Coffin is on Amazon.
- A biodegradable container casket is made out of bamboo powder, rice husk, and cornstarch, but looks like plastic. These come in almost every size and degrade in 3-5 years after burial. The Biodegradable Pet Pod on Amazon is a great option.
- Though not as common, some owners will disinter their dog for if they move. Styrene caskets are non-degradable, so are a good option for this scenario. Newnak’s Small Pet Casket is on Amazon.
Ideas to Personalize Your Dog’s Casket
Personalizing your dog’s casket can make mourning their death easier and help you stay positive while remembering their life. It is a good opportunity to help little kids understand and process the loss as well. Consider the following ideas:
- Choose a casket that looks nice.
- Place a pillow or blanket at the bottom of the casket.
- Bury beloved items with your dog (a special toy or blanket, collar, leash).
- Write a letter to your dog and bury it with them. Thank them for being a companion or write down shared memories, including pictures or drawings.
- Decorate their casket with sharpies, ribbon, fabric, or other craft supplies. You might write their name on the casket, draw pictures of their favorite treats and places, or write messages to them. Involve kids and family members.
- Buy a bouquet of flowers to lay on top of their grave.
Saying goodbye to a furry friend can be very emotional. Taking special care of your pet’s burial can be therapeutic and healing. Choosing a casket that fits you and your dog’s needs is a great way to honor their life with dignity and respect.