All pet owners know that our furry, feathery, and scaly friends are much more than just pets, they are family. Pets hold a special place in our hearts. They are pure souls that provide unconditional love and companionship. When our pets die, we grieve as we would if we lost someone important in our lives. Many pet owners treat the loss of their pets as if it were the loss of a family member or friend.
Pet memorial ceremonies are not uncommon and can help in the grieving process after a pet’s death. If you choose to bury your pet, you may consider placing a grave marker at their burial site in memoriam of their life. In this article we will discuss 10 helpful tips for choosing the right pet grave marker when laying your animal companion to rest.
Some people may not understand why someone would treat the death of a pet as if it were the death of a loved one. These people are most likely not pet owners. For a long time, pets were considered less important than human family members. It was believed that animals could not express or feel love for us the way that people can. However, pet owners and animal lovers will quickly tell you this is false.
Pets are the most loving and loyal companions that some of us will ever have. For some people, pets are the only companions they have. Pets bring joy and love into our lives and become a special part of our family. It is only natural that we would want to honor them like family when they pass on.
Many pet owners choose to bury their deceased pets in their backyards or even in a pet cemetery. Pet gravestones can fulfil the same purpose a gravestone would for a deceased loved one.
Markers for pets grave honor our deceased animal friends and give us something to remember them by. A beautiful pet headstone at your pet’s burial site serves as a way for you to remember your pets and mourn their passing.
Headstones for a pets grave can sometimes be purchased through your veterinarian. Ask your vet if they offer any burial or cremation services along with pet grave markers. You can also check online for other distributors of pet grave markers and headstones.
Some pet supply companies like Chewy and Petco offer pet gravestones and pet grave markers as well. Most pet grave marker suppliers will give you the option of personalizing your pet gravestone but if not, you may be able to find a customizable gravestone on Etsy.
`Etsy sellers offer handmade goods that are usually customizable for each customer. You may even be able to find more unique designs for your pets grave marker on Etsy as opposed to other distributors of pet grave markers. If you prefer to shop locally, find a trophy or plaque shop. They may be able to make a unique grave marker or plaque for your pet.
Some more options for purchasing pet grave markers include:
4EverInMyHeart offers pet grave markers and headstones in a variety of different materials. They offer free shipping to orders in the USA as well as free engraving.
Walmart offers pet grave markers as well as pet grave statues. They can only be purchased online however and are not available in store.
CityMonumentCompany offers pet gravestones as well as pet urns. They are based in Florida.
There are various materials you can choose from to make your pet grave maker. Below are some of the more common materials used for headstones and grave markers. They all have unique qualities and benefits as well as some disadvantages. Which material you go with will depend on your personal preferences, how much you can afford, and how durable you expect your pet grave marker to be:
Granite stone is known to be the most durable material for use as a headstone or grave marker and therefore the most common. It’s a naturally tough stone that comes in various shades of black, green, blue pearl, grey, red, and light pink.
Granite stone can withstand weather elements such as extreme temperatures, rain, snow, ice, and salt exposure. It’s known to stand the test of time and retain its shape and color for years to come.
Marble is another popular option for grave markers and headstones though not quite as popular as granite. Marble stone is known for being easier to engrave, therefore making it an ideal choice for more intricate design work.
However, marble is less durable under weather conditions. When exposed to acidic rain, inscriptions and engravings erode and become unreadable over time. Marble stone grave markers require regular maintenance to uphold its original design and quality. Because of this, some people may prefer not to use marble for their grave markers and headstones.
Fieldstone is a naturally occurring stone that is found near the surface of the earth. It is very common and inexpensive to use for construction or for use as a headstone. The use of fieldstone as a grave marker dates back to thousands of years ago. It was one of the earliest forms of grave markers. Fieldstone is very easy to get and one of the more inexpensive options for use as a headstone.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that is composed of mostly sand particles, rock fragments, and quartz. It is easy to carve into various shapes and sizes, making it a popular choice for unique shaped headstones or grave markers. Sandstone can be found in nearly every color but most commonly found in tan, pink, brown, yellow, red, grey, and black. Although sturdy, sandstone is prone to discoloration from moisture that penetrates its layers.
Slate stone has an incredibly smooth texture that is easy to carve into and produce clear engravings. They are often highlighted with sheer white paint to give the memorial stone an extra sheen. Though beautiful, slate quickly becomes eroded and will crumble over time. If you are looking for a longer lasting headstone or grave marker, slate stone might not be your best choice.
The use of bronze for memorials and grave markers has been popular around the world for centuries. Bronze material is strong and does not require frequent maintenance. It’s normally used for making plaques or flat gravestone markers though it is malleable and can be crafted into many shapes. If you are on a budget, bronze will set you back quite a bit due to the high price of copper.
Metal grave markers are also commonly used for memorializing deceased pets.These are more likely to come in non-traditional shapes, making them more suitable for home gravesites than in a cemetery. Metal grave markers are typically less expensive and can be easily customizable just like stone markers.
However, metal pet grave markers may be less durable and not as likely to withstand outdoor elements as stone markers would. When choosing a material for your pet grave marker, take into consideration which one will suit your outdoor elements best.
Deciding on which pet grave marker you will buy can seem like an overwhelming process. There are a lot of things to consider like your budget, what you wish the grave marker to look like, and which kind of memorial will best honor the individuality of your beloved pet.
Below are 10 helpful tips on choosing a pet grave marker. Refer to these tips when choosing your pet grave marker to ensure you are looking into all considerations.
As with the funeral costs of a loved one, burial and memorial services can quickly add up for your pet as well. If you are having your pet euthanized or cremated by your veterinarian, it could cost upwards of $800 or more.
A burial plot in a pet cemetery averages about $400 for a small to medium pet. This cost includes the casket as well as a small burial ceremony. The grave marker is usually separate and your responsibility to provide.
A pet memorial marker will range in cost depending on the material of the marker and it’s size. Small headstones can be as little as $25 while larger headstones or pet grave markers can be as much as $200 or more.
The cost of your grave marker may also be dependent on what kind of customization you want for your pet memorial stone. More detailed engravings will likely cost you more than a basic inscription. How much you can afford to spend on your pet’s gravestone does not in any way reflect how much you cared for them.
There are options for those with less means as well as for those with more money to spare. You should choose an appropriately priced pet memorial marker for what you can afford. Your pet will love you just the same.
How big of a grave marker you choose may depend on your budget or how you would like the marker to look aesthetically. You may want to choose a size that is symbolic of the size of your pet.
For example, if you had a smaller pet you may want a smaller headstone. A larger pet may be better represented by a larger headstone. Your pet marker size may also depend on how much customization you want. More engraved texts or images will require a larger marker.
Where you plan on burying your pet may influence your decision for the size of your pet’s grave marker. A pet cemetery may have specific rules for how big the headstone can be, so be sure to check before purchasing your pet’s grave marker.
If you are burying your pet at home, decide on what size marker will fit best in your backyard or garden. A smaller headstone or pet memorial stone may fit in better with your yard's aesthetics. It may be less obvious that it is a gravesite, if you wish to disguise the fact.
There are two options for the orientation of your pet gravestone marker: upright and flat. An upright grave marker will resemble more of a traditional headstone while a flat grave marker will lie flat over the ground where your pet was buried. Which style you go with is completely up to you and your preferences.
If you choose a flat grave marker, it will be less obvious. This could be a better choice for a backyard burial if you want to conceal your pet’s gravesite from neighbors or onlookers.
However, a flat gravestone may be harder to maintain as grass and weeds may quickly overtake the grave marker, making it harder to see. An upright grave marker will be more noticeable but likely require less effort to maintain. Either option you choose will carry the same meaning as a pet gravestone.
Unlike traditional grave markers for people, many pet headstones and pet memorial stones come in different shapes. The shapes of the gravestones usually correlate with your pet. Some of the more common pet grave marker shapes are dog bone, fish, paw print, or even the shape of the kind of pet you have.
A custom shaped grave marker can add a bit of cuteness and originality to your pet’s grave marker. It may serve as a fond memory for you whenever you look upon it.
For example, if your deceased dog loved milk bone treats, a grave marker in the shape of a dog bone could be a sweet way to memorialize him or her. Other options for shapes could be heart, star, or any other shape available that you find fitting for your pet.
You can customize the color of your pet gravestone depending on the type of material. Concrete is easy to dye different colors making it a good choice for more intricately colored designs.
When choosing a color, consider the place setting where the stone will mark your pet’s grave. Natural colors that blend in with their surroundings will be the most aesthetically pleasing, but the choice is up to you.
If you prefer a natural color over dye, consider the material of your pet grave marker. Field stone comes in varying shades of grey and light brown. Sandstone and limestone range from beige, to black, to orange while granite varies in shades of grey, black, white, and even pink.
The font style you choose for your pet gravestone can be very important if the written engraving is the focal point of the memorial stone. Depending on where you purchase your pet grave marker you should have different font options to choose from.
When choosing a font, consider the size of your pet grave marker. Larger, flowery fonts will take up more space, meaning you will not have as much room for your personal message. You should also consider how easy the font is to read. This could be important if you have a longer message that you want others to be able to understand.
Certain fonts may be harder to inscribe on your pet grave stone marker which may mean they could cost more. Make sure you are aware of any additional charges for font styles before you choose one.
Your pet’s gravestone marker will likely include their name and date of birth and death. However, if you want to make your pet’s grave marker as unique as they were, you might consider adding something special to their grave marker message.
This could be a quote, poem, their nickname, or any other special saying that has meaning for you and your pet. You could even have their photo engraved on the headstone if you prefer that over words.
Much like pet photo jewelry, a photo engraving of your pet captures their likeness on a lasting material meant for memorial. Seeing a picture of your pet when you visit their grave site will help you to remember them more.
The type and shape of your pet grave marker should be chosen based on where the grave marker will be placed. If you bury your pet on a hilly or uneven surface, a flat lying grave marker will not lie correctly where it’s placed.
A more natural shaped stone grave marker that stands upright and curves with a hilly or uneven terrain would be best. Flatter terrain would better suit a flat lying pet grave marker.
You should also consider which style of grave marker will look best in your surroundings. If you live in the desert, for example, a tan or pink colored stone grave marker would look more natural in the desert climate.
How well you wish for your pet’s grave marker to blend in with its surroundings is entirely up to you. Although, if you live in a community that has specific rules on aesthetics, you may want to find out first what is and what’s not appropriate to use as a grave marker.
Should you choose to cremate your pet, you have the option to choose from various urns for pets that will hold their ashes and serve as a memorial. Many pet urn suppliers offer the option for you to customize their urn much like you would a grave marker.
This way of memorializing your pet may be a better choice over a backyard burial should you ever move in the future. Additionally, you could have your pet’s ashes made into a grave stone marker that can be placed in your backyard or anywhere you choose.
These special gravestones mix your pet’s ashes in with the gravestone itself so that it serves as both an urn and a memorial for your pet. The process is like that of cremation jewelry for pets that uses your pets ashes to create a beautiful piece of jewelry to remember them by.
By incorporating your pet's ashes into a gravestone or cremation jewelry for pets, you can take the memory and ashes of your pet with you wherever you go.
Instead of a gravestone you may decide to go with a statue of your pet instead. You can look online for artisans or pet statue distributors who make statues of pets specifically for use as a grave marker.
Most businesses will likely only offer generic statues of pets specific to breed or animal type. However, an artisan or sculptor may be able to craft you a unique statue specific to your pet. This will likely be more expensive as it will require more time and detail.
An artisan or sculptor may even be able to personalize your statue more by adding engravings of your pet's name and date of birth and death.
If you don’t have the budget for a personalized gravestone marker or simply don’t like the look of any of the ones available for purchase, you have other options to consider. You could either make a grave marker yourself or find another way to honor your pet’s memory at their resting place. Below are several options for making a DIY grave marker:
Take a trip to your local Home Depot or hardware store and purchase a patio tile that you can customize as a grave marker. Patio tiles generally come in concrete and other stone materials.
They cost very little and are easy to transport. You can DIY an inscription on the tile gravestone with a stone engraving tool or instead choose to use paint to personalize your pet’s tile grave marker. You can also go to your local craft store and buy a clay garden tile kit that will allow you to make impressions in your tile before it hardens.
You could consider using other materials like pieces of glass, small stones, seashells, or glitter to incorporate into the tile marker for a more unique and beautiful design. You may also be able to impress your pet’s paw print into the tile if you plan ahead.
This method is much like paw print jewelry in which you impress your pet’s paw print into jewelry pieces such as necklaces or keychains. Having your pet’s paw print impressed into your tile grave marker will add a personal touch to your pet’s memorial.
If you and your family are religious, you could make a wooden cross to use as your pet’s grave marker. Wooden crosses are often used to mark gravesites for people, and they would serve just as well marking a grave for your pet.
You can purchase wood pieces from a home goods store or find pieces of wood you find lying around your house. Use strong glue or rope to bind the wooden pieces together to form a cross and securely place it in the ground above your pet’s grave.
If you are more artistic, you can decorate the wooden cross with paint or other embellishments.
Collect rocks from your garden or elsewhere that you can use to build a memorial. Choose rocks that will look aesthetically pleasing piled up on top of one another to build a small mound that can serve as a memorial.
Rock piles are commonly used in memorials and rock art sculptures. They are a no cost way for making a grave marker when you are low on funds. You could also paint on the rocks if you prefer a more artistic grave marker. Large, round, and smooth rocks will be best for painting on.
You can paint a design, write your pet’s name, or get a paw print from your pet to stamp on the rock. This could be a fun activity for the whole family to have a part in making your pet’s grave marker. Each of your family members can paint their own rock and then place them around your pet’s gravesite.
If you don’t trust your artistic abilities, you can also choose to have a laser image or message imprinted onto your rock. Some companies offer rock laser printing specifically for memorial use. It is a unique option for your pet’s gravesite.
For a longer lasting memorial, consider planting a tree or plant in place of a grave marker for your pet. The tree or plant will continue to grow as you take care of it, much like you took care of your pet.
When you look over at your plant, it will remind you of your pet. The only disadvantage of using a plant or tree as a grave marker is that you will need to ensure you take care of it for it to grow.
If you do not have the time, or do not enjoy caring for plants, this may not be the best option for your pet’s grave marker.
If you don’t want to use a traditional memorial stone or grave marker, consider using another object to memorialize your pet’s final resting place. Maybe you would prefer an interesting fountain or sculpture that can be placed at your pet’s grave site that only you know what it represents.
This could be a better option for you if you live in a place that has strict home association rules that don’t allow a headstone or grave marker in your yard. It may also be a more personable way for you to remember your pet if you choose an object that held significance to their life.
Maybe the object was something your pet used on a daily basis, a fountain they drank out of or something that reminds you of them in some way.
If you’ve already cremated your pet and had their ashes secured in an urn, you can still have a remembrance marker for pets grave made in their honor. Instead of having a gravestone made, have a plaque made with your pet's name and picture.
You can hang the plaque above where you keep your pet’s urn or set up a small easel in front of it to place the plaque. Additionally, you could still choose to have a remembrance marker made for your pet to place in your garden or yard.
It will serve solely as a memorial rather than a grave marker, but will serve the same purpose in helping you to remember your deceased pet. If you find that you would like a different way to memorialize your beloved pet, consider remembrance jewelry for pets.
Remembrance jewelry for pets are customized with pictures, paw prints, and can even be made with your pets ashes. They are unique tokens of remembrance that can aid in your grieving process.
Typically, pet owners choose to put the name of their pet along with their birth date and date of death on their pet’s gravestone. This is much like what you would put on the gravestone of a deceased loved one. Depending on your budget and preference, you could have a special poem or quote engraved on the gravestone that reminds you of your pet.
You could also choose to have an image or symbol engraved on your pet’s gravestone. What you choose to put on your pet’s gravestone should be whatever you believe is best to honor your animal friend.
To find a reputable make for your pet’s gravestone, do your research online. Compare different gravestone making companies to determine their legitimacy. A well-designed website with real customer reviews is a good sign.
You can also check out Yelp reviews or do a search in the better business bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed for the business in question. You should also attempt to contact the maker directly with correspondence either by phone or email.
A reputable company should be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your purchase. If they are not able to answer your questions or conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner, it may be safer to go with a different company.
By choosing a pet grave maker on Etsy, you can speak directly to the maker themselves. You may get a better idea of their legitimacy this way as well as be able to read reviews from previous buyers. Etsy is also good about protecting their customers on their platform and responding to buyer complaints.
Typically going with a bigger more well-known company or business is safer as they have a bigger reputation to uphold. Before choosing a pet gravestone maker, take all these thoughts into consideration.
The best material to use for a pet’s grave marker is a durable material that can withstand outdoor elements. Stones like granite, marble, limestone, and even concrete are sturdy materials that will outlast time and weather. Metal grave markers look nice in-home gardens and yards and are durable through most weather conditions.
However, some metal can rust which means they will require some maintenance. The most durable stone for grave markers and headstones is granite. Granite comes in a variety of different colors and withstands extreme temperatures as well as most all-weather conditions. It is a hard stone that does not easily break or erode. Granite is one of the more popular materials chosen to make memorial stones and grave markers.
Many people choose to make their pet’s grave marker themselves rather than purchase one. DIY pet grave markers can be a more personal way to honor your deceased pet. There are multiple ways to make a pet grave marker and customize it specifically for your pet. DIY pet grave markers are a fun way to get the whole family involved in memorializing the death of your animal friend.
Check out Pinterest, Instagram, and Etsy for ideas on how to make your own pet grave marker. It is in no way tacky to decide to make your pet’s grave marker yourself. Just be sure that your homemade grave marker meets the aesthetic requirements for your home community or pet cemetery.
Most pet grave markers are made from stone or metal. Pet grave markers are made to withstand the outside elements, though they may eventually succumb to erosion after a very long time. Metal grave markers are more prone to rust due to rainfall. If you choose a metal pet grave marker you may have to do more maintenance to keep it in good condition.
Eventually all grave markers made from any material will erode after many years. But with regular maintenance, and by choosing a durable material for your grave marker, it will last for much longer.
A quick Google search will show you various distributors of pet grave markers with price ranges from $25 to nearly $1000. Big name companies like Amazon and Walmart (only available for order online) offer pet headstones and grave markers for every price range.
If you cannot find a pet headstone or grave marker that fits within your budget, you could make a DIY grave marker instead. Follow the advice mentioned in this article for making your own DIY pet stone grave marker for little to no money.
Both a headstone and a grave marker serve as a way to show who is buried in a specific spot. They both memorialize the deceased, just in a different way. A headstone is raised above-ground, while a grave marker typically lays flat on top of the burial site.
Both headstones and grave markers are inscribed with important information that contains the deceased name along with birth and death dates. Their only difference is in appearance and sometimes shape.
The loss of a beloved pet will be a difficult time for you and your family. There is no right way to grieve. Some pet owners hold on to their pet’s toys, leashes, treats, etc. as a way to grieve and remember them by. Other pet owners must clean the house of everything that reminds them of their loyal animal friend in order to move on.
No matter how you choose to grieve, saying goodbye to your pet by giving them a proper burial or death ceremony will help you honor their memory. Choosing the right pet grave marker will help you remember their presence for years to come.
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