Pet Caskets: 10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Your Pets Resting Place


Pet caskets are a thoughtful and respectful way to honour the memory of your pet - whether you decide to bury your furry friend in a pet cemetery or in your own backyard, or have them cremated. 

There are many on the market (which can often lead to confusion, and an uncertainty as to what’s best for you and your family!) - and while we are often reluctant to talk about their passing or do any planning to prepare for that time, knowing what you’ll do when the time comes can relieve a lot of future stress.

Sweet Goodbye team member, Sharon, recently paid a visit to her vet with her 14 year old Maltese Shitsu – Dexter. And when the vet told her this may be his last ever vaccination, Sharon started to give thought to how she would say goodbye to her beloved pet.

“Whilst in the back of my mind I knew Dexter’s time was limited, to actually hear it said came as a bit of a shock and a jolting reality check. Driving home from the vet, all I could think about was - how am I going to deal with this? It will be the first pet myself and my husband would have to say goodbye to. Getting a pet casket was definitely something I would need and want to look into”.

There’s a lot of considerations when looking for the right pet casket for your pet - and if you (like Sharon) are starting to look into your options, we’ve put together a guide to help you make sure you choose what’s best for you.

What Material is it Made of?

Pet caskets can be made out of a variety of different materials: metal, wood, wicker, bamboo, cardboard, styrene and even soft cloth - with many of these offering a variety of finishes, colors and fabrics, as well as sizes. 

Metal and wood caskets are generally more durable and often offer a variety of finishes and extras -  while cardboard, untreated wood and soft cloth are usually your biodegradable options (which we’ve got more on below!). 

There’s pros and cons to all materials and it can feel like a difficult choice - however generally the choice of material will come down to the size/weight of your pet, how much you’d like to spend and whether or not you’d like the casket to be biodegradable or not.

Are you Looking for Biodegradable / Environmentally Friendly Options?

Biodegradable caskets come in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes and are both good for our environment - as well as breaking down over time (if not cremated!).

Generally speaking - wicker, bamboo, cardboard and soft cloth caskets are made with biodegradable materials (like our products!). Some wood caskets are also biodegradable if they are left untreated.

Beware of caskets that claim to be ‘eco-friendly’ or biodegradable when they may not actually be too - something you can easily check by looking at what the product is made from (and reading customer reviews!).

You can also look for companies and brands that have run their business ethically, and adhere to good practices (like here at Sweet Goodbye, where we adhere to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and commit to sharing part of all profits with charities such as Animals Asia and The Orangutan Project!).

Do You Need/Want Alternate Uses for Your Casket?

Another thing to consider is how the casket could be used outside of being just their final resting place. Caskets are generally designed as a one off purchase, but there are options out there that make investing in one an easier decision!

When we created Sweet Goodbye for Pets we considered usage before and after our pets passing. 

Things like using the Cocoon as a pet blanket during the final years, then wrapping them in it when they pass is a lovely tribute (The wool version is a particularly popular cuddle blanket for senior pets - Dexter won’t get out of his!).

It is also difficult to move a deceased pet that is wrapped in a bag or pouch, so having robust handles ensures you can carry your pet with dignity and respect, and without having to break your back - plus, you can use the product as a mobility aid throughout your senior pet’s final years too - so purchasing them early may enhance the life of your senior pet with extra outings!

Will You Be Doing a Burial or Cremation?

The decision to bury or cremate your pet will determine what casket you choose. Caskets made from metal can only be used for burials, whereas caskets made from wood, cloth and cardboard can generally be used for the cremations and burials.

You may also need to consider the space you have to bury your pet - and whether there may be cemetery regulations or local laws regarding pet burials on residential properties.

Some Pet Crematoriums may not cremate your pet and their casket -  so it’s a good idea to stick to biodegradable products and ask in advance what is permissible.

Will You be Holding a Ceremony?

If you are looking at performing some form of ceremony or ritual, ensure the pet casket you chose allows for this too.

Our products were created after witnessing a beautiful ceremony in Bali, which inspired our farewell kits (that come with every product) - a guidebook, garland and memorial marker – all of which will compliment your memorial service.

What is the Size of Your Pet?

Not all caskets are designed for all sizes and shapes of pets. If you have a pocket pet, the traditional large wood casket may not be suitable - and instead wrapping them in a cloth shroud may be a better fit.

Very large pets may also need large caskets that can be moved easily to the resting place - and things like whether or not you can lift the casket become an important consideration!

A small pet in a casket that is too big for them is not a huge concern, but cramping a large pet into something that is too small is not the nicest way to say goodbye.

What is Your Personal Preference (or your Pets!)?

Consider your pets personality – were they fun and cuddly or serious and traditional? This may contribute to your decision. Also consider what you’d like - some people prefer a formal farewell with a full on wood casket, while others prefer a soft shroud like caskets with small personal touches and a simple ceremony.

There’s no right way to do things - it’s whatever you feel works for you and your family.

How Quickly do you Need it to Arrive?

Know where your casket is coming from and make sure you order with plenty of time for delivery – especially if you are looking at custom made products.

We recommend ordering in advance, which is very confronting and not always possible. Planning your pet’s goodbye can help take a lot of pain away though when making decisions in the moment.  

As we’ve mentioned - if you can choose a product that has a use case before the time comes (like using it as a pet blanket or mobility assistant), it means you won’t be in a rush when your pet passes to get it delivered in time.

What is Your Budget?

Put simply: The fancier the casket, the more it will cost.

Consider what is best for your pet based on your budget and the type of farewell you are planning. 

How Easy is The Product to Use?

Many bags on the market have small, zippered openings, making it feel like you are stuffing your pet in as opposed to laying them down to rest.

Traditional caskets are lined with lovely fabrics allowing you to place your pet into them, include things that are important to you and your pet, and cover them over.

A cloth casket - like our Cocoon - opens up flat, allowing you to easily lay your pet onto the shroud and adorn them with trinkets with the added ability to wrap your pet as you cuddle them and say goodbye.

Most importantly - consider how you are moving your pet. Large caskets may require a trolley or several people to assist. Smaller caskets should have handles to make transporting to a cremation or burial easy.

Which casket you chose will be totally individual to your wants and needs - but remember to plan early so you have enough time to receive your casket and prepare for your pets Sweet Goodbye.