Losing a pet is hard, and the process of preparing your guinea pig for burial can be difficult–but there are ways to make it simpler while still honoring your beloved pet’s memory.
Due to their size, guinea pigs can be buried in a small wooden, cardboard, or other type box that can often be found around the house somewhere. Using a box as a casket is common, but many guinea pig owners opt to simply wrap their pet in a cloth and bury them without a casket.
Below is a range of options for you to consider as you decide how to bury your guinea pig and what you would like the process to look like. Keep in mind that these options are all equally good ways to bury your pet and honor their life. You can show your gratitude and love for your late pet in respectful ways that do not necessarily require you to spend lots of money on a casket.
Options for Caskets
Cardboard Box – Using a cardboard box is a classic and great option for pet burials; they’re economical, biodegradable, and probably something you already have lying around the house somewhere. Their commonplace nature does not change the fact that they function perfectly well as a casket for small animals. The accessibility of cardboard boxes can also be perfect in cases where a pet passes suddenly and you need to quickly find a container in which to bury them.
Wooden Box – Using a wooden box is another suitable option to function as a casket for your guinea pig. You might have one big enough at your house already or could find one at the store. If you already have some experience with woodworking, you might even choose to make a simple wooden casket yourself. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a coffin for your pet.
Tin Case – A tin case might not have crossed your mind when going through casket options for your pet, but this is another great option to consider. Many people have old tin cases sitting around the house with sewing supplies or other small knick-knacks inside, and these items can quickly be transferred elsewhere in order for the tin to be used as a lovely makeshift coffin that often has a nice design on it.
Basket – Another great option that is affordable and relatively easy to find is a basket. Most home goods stores, and even local thrift stores, will have several options available to choose from. You could use a basket with a lid that closes, but if you would prefer it, a basket without a lid would work well, too.
In each of these scenarios, you should first wrap your pet up in a cloth or small blanket, and be sure to never use plastic bags or plastic containers in your pet’s burial, as this can potentially be harmful to the environment. Also, remember that most areas require your animal’s grave to be a certain distance from other houses and water points such as wells and springs. The grave should also be three to four feet deep to keep other animals from digging up the body after you lay it to rest.
Burying Without a Casket
Some small pet owners do not use a casket for their pet once they pass, but will instead simply wrap them in a cloth or blanket before burying them. You can also mark your pet’s grave with a rock or headstone, making this method a simpler one but still special and honoring of your pet’s memory in its own way.
Other Burial Options
Below is a list of alternatives you can consider if you are not able to bury your pet at home.
Pet Cemetery – In states that do not allow you to bury your pet on your property, there is often the option to bury your pet in a pet cemetery. Animal cemeteries are usually run by private companies that may offer different services from site to site.
After finding and contacting the location of the animal cemetery closest to you, in many cases, you will have the option to identify your guinea pig’s burial place with a gravestone, small sign, photo, etc., that will mark their grave so if you wish you can visit the spot in the future.
Cremation – Cremation is one of the most common actions for pet owners to take after their pet passes and many consider it to be the most dignified. According to pet cremation services, over ninety percent of pets are cremated and less than ten percent are buried. If you don’t have room on your property to bury your pet’s body, you might consider having their remains cremated and returned to you either for burial or in an urn or container to keep in your home. It is also common for owners to scatter their pet’s ashes rather than bury them.
Depending on your situation, cremation also might be the most affordable action after your pet passes away, especially in the case that you were considering buying a bunch of supplies you don’t already have like an expensive casket to bury your pet in.
Depending on the size of your pet, cremation can cost about $30-$250. It is cheaper to cremate your pet along with others in what is called collective cremation, but in this case, you cannot have the ashes returned to you. Individual cremations are possible, in which case you can collect the ashes in an urn to keep in your home or to scatter.
The decisions you make regarding your pet’s burial are unique to you and your situation and relationship with your pet. What feels right to you is for you to decide. Some prefer to spend a few hundred dollars on a custom-made casket while others are happy with a more simple method like a cardboard box, and both of these can be equally honoring of your guinea pig’s life. There’s really no wrong answer as long as the burial feels respectful of your pet that has passed.