Pets can be the most meaningful beings in a person’s life. They are family, friends and life partners all wrapped into one. So when they pass, many owners may think about purchasing pet caskets for dogs.
It can be especially devastating when our canine companions pass away. Some would compare the feeling to that of losing a human loved one. However, after they have passed the question becomes “What do I do now?”
Is it best to just have them cremated? To put their ashes in a urn? Or should you bury your pet just like you would a family member, in a comfortable casket?
This can be a hard decision for any pet owner and sometimes may have to be made in a short amount of time when the death is unexpected. It helps to be in the know beforehand, to figure out exactly how you want to honor your pet after he has moved on.
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Are Pet Caskets for Dogs Too Much? Do We Really Need Them?
People have been memorializing their pets from pretty much the beginning of domestication. Ancient Egyptians would use the same technique for human burial on their animals – mummification.
Researchers have found that between the years 800-400 A.D. around 70 million animals were mummified. Many humans were mummified and buried with their mummified pets.
Ever since then, the practice of burying dogs, cats and other animals has been done for centuries; it makes sense that we would still bury our pets today just as we bury people. It’s a practice that has been ingrained into society as a tradition in most of our cultures.
The business of deceased pets
The business of pet funerals has grown exponentially in the last few years and continues to grow. According to AVMA (Association of Veterinary Medicine of America), about 65% of Americans own a household pet. That also means that there are a lot of people every year faced with the difficulty of losing a pet and having to bury their dogs or cats.
As it is natural in most capitalist countries, this means that people and businesses are now making money off of the passing of pets. According to an article by The Hustle, the pet funeral business is generating approximately $100 million in profit each year.
Some pet owners take this into their own hands. You can easily search for pet caskets for dogs or cats on the internet and have a hundred online stores to choose from. Amazon alone has tons of options of pet caskets and even pet memorials for dogs or cats.
Because we love our animals so much, it is hard for us to say goodbye. Anyone who has lost a loved pet would agree. The importance we place on our pets has grown tremendously, and with it, the amount of care we give.
In fact, research has shown that loss of a pet can hurt just as much as a loss of a close (human) relative, according to this article from Washington Post. These results aren't surprising to most pet parents who had to go through the mental pain of pet loss.
We have moved away from having dogs only as our hunting companions and protectors. Long time ago, canines were bred solely for work, hunting, protection and other tasks where they would assist humans. Today, dogs are mostly our loyal friends. For some people they are even taking the place of someone: i.e. a child, a spouse, or a best friend.
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What to do after your dog passes away
After a dog has passed, majority of pet parents need to find a way to cope with the loss. For some this may be the purchase of a personalized pet casket for dogs, a pet memorial for the grave, and sometimes even an extravagant funeral service.
For a lot of people, the funeral is part of the grieving process. Others may opt for a quiet goodbye before signing over the body to a cremation service. Either way it is the individual’s choice and should be respected, and understood.
A very interesting article on Psychology Today talks about what happens in pet funeral homes, and what do people do with the bodies of deceases pets.
“After the visitation, some families choose to hold a funeral or memorial service, most often at their home, in the backyard, or at a park. Ellis will help pet owners choose readings or prayers or eulogies, and can suggest various nice touches such as candles and flowers and animal-themed foods (hot dogs, pigs in a blanket, and so forth).” – Jessica Pierce, PhD
Naturally, for many pet parents a lot of the decisions can come down to money. If your pet has to be euthanized then the vet will ask you how you want to go about tending to the body. Most will ask you if you would like to have your beloved cremated communally, privately, or if you would like to take the animal home with you for a home burial.
The communal cremation is the cheapest decision you can make, but you do not get the ashes back. They are cremated with other animals. This is what majority of pet owners today choose, since it's an affordable option. However, the amount of people who choose to bury their pets themselves, or do something more ceremonial, continues to rise.
The private cremation is the next step since it's higher in cost and more fancy. Your pet will be cremated separately and you receive the ashes back, usually in a nice container.
Home burial is at no charge, because you are disposing of the body yourself. With a home burial you can choose to have your animal buried anywhere you'd like (where it's legal, of course) and do your own ceremony, if you wish. This is where most pet owners also choose to purchase memorials for dogs or cats, coffins or caskets, and other related items.
3 Types of pet caskets for dogs
Some people like the idea of burying their pets in their own backyard, but there are different laws in each town that pertain to where you can or cannot bury your pet. Others choose to have their animals buried at a pet cemetery, which can be costly.
Especially when partnered with the cost of a pet casket for dogs, which can be anywhere from $80 to $8,000 or more. Here are some common choices of dog caskets.
Before deciding on a pet casket for your dog, make sure you check the law on pet burial in your state and city. This article on The Nest explains a little more about burying pets.
If you decide that a pet casket for dogs is the best way for you to honor your beloved pet, you definitely have plenty of options to choose.
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Some of the best caskets can be found in the above linked article. There are three types of pet casket that are the most common:
High impact polystyrene type of pet caskets for dogs, like this one right here, are the most popular. They are typically less expensive than the other kinds and long-lasting.
While the pro of these caskets is that they're cheap, unfortunately, they are not biodegradable so will not the best for the environment, or even your backyard. You should also check into the laws of using this type of caskets.
Wood pet caskets for dogs, such as this fancy one, are usually the type of coffins humans use, so if you want your pet to rest in the most lavish of pet caskets for dogs, you should consider a wooden casket.
The price depends on the kind of wood being used but still tends to be more expensive than the other types of coffins. Mahogany and cherry are the most expensive, and pine is typically the cheapest.
Seagrass caskets, like the one little one here, are very good for the environment because they are biodegradable. Most laws will allow the use of these pet coffins over any other type.
Seagrass pet caskets are also typically less expensive than wood ones (above), and they are strong and long lasting. They work best for small animals because they are so light.
Personalized pet caskets and more
You can personalize every aspect of your pet casket for dogs. From color, shape, and even the type of fabric it is lined with. If you have kids and would like them to be apart of the process, there are actually caskets that come blank so that you can decorate them yourself.
Once you decide which type of pet casket you want, make sure you have your pet’s measurements ready before ordering.
If you are thinking that the pet casket is a little too much for you, don’t worry – there are other options. For example, there are many different kind of urns for pets.
If you cannot afford the casket or you want something more simple, there are special charms that have seeds enclosed that you can purchase. When you plant them and take care of them, a beautiful tree will grow in remembrance of your pet.
Whatever way you choose to memorialize your pet, it is completely your choice. Do what feels right to you, because in the end how you say goodbye helps you to move on and deal with your grief.
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