Dogs are special. They have huge hearts and love their family unconditionally. When a dog passes, it can be a time of strong emotion and grief. Many people look to do a memorial to honor their dog in a unique and beautiful way.
Traditionally, many families would simply keep their pet’s ashes in wood box indoors, bury them in the yard, or let the veterinarian or crematorium do a scattering along with the ashes of other pets. Today, things have changed. There are now many new cremation urns and memorial options available for our beloved dogs that are meaningful and truly honor them in a special way.
Below we highlight 10 popular memorials that incorporate a dog’s ashes.
1. Scatter at a Special Place
Many people choose to scatter their dog’s ashes. This can be done at their dog’s favorite spot in the yard, near a special hiking trail, in the ocean, or many other special places. If you are planning on scattering on public land, it’s always advised to find out if any restrictions exist and get permission when needed. Almost all dogs love being outside and memorializing them at a special place in nature can create a beautiful and meaningful memorial.
If you’re interested in scattering your dog’s ashes, some new urns have recently been introduced that are designed for this purpose. This includes the all-natural Eco Scattering Urn, a patented urn made entirely of bamboo, a sustainable resource. The Eco Scattering Urn comes in multiple sizes and has a locking mechanism on top, which helps you secure your dog’s ashes in the urn while transporting them to one or more special locations to scatter. This special urn has a long tube-like design, which helps people scatter away from their body and is also TSA compliant so it can be taken on an airplane. There are other scattering urns for pets made from paper or cardboard, which are offered at similar price points to the Eco Scattering Urn, however, don’t have all of the same features.
Click here to find out where you can scatter ashes in your state.
2. Plant a Memory Tree
Many people are choosing to grow a living memory of their beloved dog with The Living Urn’s patented bio urn for pets. With this unique planting system you can include a portion or all of your dog’s ashes in the biodegradable planting urn, then follow the simple step-by-step instructions provided to plant the tree. The Living Urn offers over fifty trees and shrubs from its award winning nursery, narrowed down by zip code to what grows best in each area. This includes popular oaks, maples, dogwoods, crape myrtles, willows, hydrangeas, and azaleas, among many other trees and shrubs. The bio urn and planting system along with the tree or shrub you choose are all shipped directly to your doorstep on a date of your choosing, giving you everything you need to plant when you want to plant it. Many families will plant this living memorial of their beloved dog in their yard, at a park (with permission), or another place special to them.
3. Do a Water Burial
Many dogs and their families have a special connection to the water - most retrievers and other dogs love to swim and play fetch in the water. Given this, a growing number of families are choosing to do a water burial memorial with their beloved dog’s ashes. This can include taking a boat out to sea or on a lake to do the water burial. You can hold a ceremony and reflect on everything your dog meant to you and your family.
Over the past few years, urns designed for water burials have been introduced. This includes the Eco Water Urn, a biodegradable urn made only from recycled plant materials with heat and pressure (no glues or chemicals). This unique water urn holds your beloved dog’s ashes and floats upright on top of the water (like a buoy) for up to a few minutes until the bottom separates and the ashes are gracefully released into the water. Family can choose to write special messages on the biodegradable urn prior to floating it out into the water. In addition, the Eco Water Urn comes packaged in an attractive bamboo case - a perfect way to safely transport the urn holding your dog’s ashes to that special place on the water for the memorial.
4. Do a Land Burial
Burying a dog’s body or ashes has been one of the most common things done throughout history. Many families choose to do the burial in their yard, at a pet cemetery, or another special place. There are many dog urns available that can be buried and make for a special and dignified memorial. This includes the Eco Burial Urn for Pets, a biodegradable burial urn made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource. Other burial urns come with a vault and don't biodegrade. Some families will also elect to include a memorial stone at the place of burial, which can include the dog’s name, dates of birth and death, a saying and an image engraved on it.
5. Keep Your Dog’s Ashes At Home
Many families choose have a memorial at home for their dog in the yard with a tree memorial or by burying the ashes. Other families prefer to keep their dog’s ashes inside the home. This can be done in a beautiful urn that can be displayed on the mantle or other special place. Some of the newer indoor urns give you the ability to include a photo of your beloved dog on the urn or engrave their name and even an image on the outside of the urn.
6. Do a Bonsai Tree, Houseplant, or Succulent Memorial Indoors
Another option families choose to keep their dog’s ashes in the home is to include some or all of them with an urn that grows a bonsai tree, houseplant, or succulent. There are two popular new options that allow you to do this – The Living Urn Indoors for Pets and The PlantUrn. The Living Urn Indoors is made from high quality porcelain and comes in either white, beige, or blue. It holds your dog’s ashes and comes with a special chamber in the center to plant a bonsai tree, houseplant or cut flowers. Alternatively, the PlantUrn is a beautiful decorative urn made from recycled wood and gives you the ability to plant a succulent on top of the urn, providing a sleek, finished look.
7. Include the Ashes in Jewelry
Many jewelry brands and funeral companies have recently introduced jewelry that can include a dog’s ashes. This can include a beautiful necklace, bracelet, or even a diamond or other gemstone. Many families consider this to be a beautiful option that gives them the ability to keep a piece of their beloved dog with them and wear the jewelry in their dog’s honor with pride.
8. Include the Ashes in a Glass Decorative Piece
Over the past few years, many glass design companies have started to infuse ashes into their decorative pieces. Now you can have your dog’s ashes included in a stunning glass orb or other design that includes beautiful colors of your choice. This beautiful glass piece can be a centerpiece on a table, or placed in another special place in the home to memorialize your beloved dog in a special way.
9. Include in a Fireworks Display
If you love the beauty of fireworks, you can now include your dog’s ashes in a firework display. Gather family and friends to remember and reflect on your beloved dog while the fireworks are launched into the sky and display an array of stunning color!
10. Launch into Orbit
With the growing cremation trend, there are now services that will launch your beloved dog’s ashes into space. This is a more expensive option than most other memorials, however can be a beautiful way to memorialize a beloved dog.
Which Memorial Option is Right for Your Dog?
In addition to the popular dog memorial options highlighted above, there are many other options that can be found with a quick internet search. If you find it to be a challenge to choose a memorial for your dog now, you can hold onto the ashes until the time is right, or until you find a memorial that suits you and your family. In addition, for families that cannot decide on a single memorial, many are choosing to divide up the ashes of their dog into multiple memorials where they can honor them in more than one special way.
Customization with Dog Memorials?
As with the human urn market, many companies now offer personalization of dog urns. You can have your beloved dog’s name, dates of birth and death, a saying, and a symbol or image engraved onto the urn. A number of companies are offering this for an affordable price – for example, it can be included with The Living Urn for Pets, the Eco Water Urn for Pets, or Eco Scattering Urns for Pets for as low as $39. In addition, another way to personalize a dog’s memorial is to order a memorial stone with their information or image engraved on it and place it at their memorial location or other special place.
Memorials for Multiple Dogs
Unfortunately, dogs do not live as long as people and many have lifespans that are relatively short (see chart below). Given this, many families have the cremated ashes of more than one dog in the home that they would like to do a special memorial for. These can either be combined into a single memorial or separated into multiple memorials – it simply depends on what you prefer.
Average Lifespan (years)
|Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs||13|
|Alaskan Klee Kai||14|
|American Eskimo Dog||12-14|
|American Staffordshire Terrier||12-14|
|American Water Spaniel||10-12|
|Anatolian Shepherd Dog||10-13|
|Australian Cattle Dog||10-13|
|Australian Silky Terrier||11-14|
|Belgian Shepherd Dog||10-12|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||6-9|
|Black and Tan Coonhound||10-12|
|Black Russian Terrier||10-11|
|Bouvier des Flandres||10-12|
|Cardigan Welsh Corgi||12-14|
|Catahoula Leopard Dogs||12|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||9-14|
|Central Asian Ovtcharkas||12|
|Chesapeake Bay Retriever||10-13|
|Coton De Tulears||15|
|Dandie Dinmont Terrier||11-13|
|Dogue de Bordeaux||5-7|
|English Cocker Spaniels||12-14|
|English Springer Spaniel||10-14|
|English Toy Spaniel||10-12|
|Estrela Mountain Dogs||11|
|Fox Terrier (Smooth)||10-13|
|Fox Terrier (Wire)||10-13|
|German Shorthaired Pointer||12-14|
|German Wirehaired Pointer||12-14|
|Glen of Imaal Terrier||10-14|
|Greater Swiss Mountain Dog||10-12|
|Irish Water Spaniel||10-13|
|Jack Russell Terrier||13|
|Kerry Blue Terrier||12-15|
|Miniature Bull Terrier||11-14|
|Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever||11-13|
|Old English Sheepdog||10-12|
|Parson Russell Terrier||13-15|
|Pembroke Welsh Corgi||11-13|
|Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen||11-14|
|Polish Lowland Sheepdog||10-14|
|Portuguese Water Dog||10-14|
|Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier||12-14|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||12-14|
|Toy Fox Terrier||13-14|
|Toy Manchester Terrier||14-16|
|Treeing Walker Coonhound||12-13|
|Welsh Springer Spaniel||12-15|
|West Highland White Terrier||12-14|
|Wirehaired Pointing Griffon||12-14|
|Source: Pet Care Rx|