Our pets become like family to us during their lives, so why not treat them with the dignity that a family member deserves after they die?
For most pet owners, our four-legged or feathered or finned friends are like part of the family, especially for children, and we look after our pets’ health and well-being with the same care that we would any other family member. And when they pass, which is often sooner than we think, our reaction to their death can be remarkably similar to losing a human friend or relative. However, with people we usually have a funeral or memorial service for them, and often go to a considerable effort to pick the right coffin, or the right urn, and yet pets often just get a backyard burial (if that) with none of those.
One company is looking to change that, and to do it in an eco-friendly and sustainable way, with its biodegradable burial pods and urns that offer pet lovers an option for creating a dignified and beautiful memorial for their animal friends. The urns and pods from Paw Pods are all made from bamboo powder, rice husk, and corn starch, and are designed to be decorated with paint, markers, or other craft items as a way for grieving kids and adults to express their feelings through art, and then after burial, to fully biodegrade within 3 to 5 years.
Ben Riggan, CEO of Paw Pod, explains how the idea came to be:
"On the day I made the difficult decision to euthanize my beloved dog, my wishes were to bury my pet at home. In my state of mind during that stress, I incorrectly made assumptions about “how” my dog would be returned for burial. I was wrong. I was anything but “prepared”. My little companion was returned in a glorified plastic bag. It bothered me and I couldn’t let go of this horrible experience. I decided to create a company to provide a better way for pets to come home, whether they will be buried or cremated.
"After several years of research and development, Paw Pods was created. Since I’m a “green” kind of guy, I didn’t want to make a product that added to the environmental problems. It would have to be 100% green, sustainable and biodegradable. But unlike like so many “pet caskets” I wanted sturdy, strong construction — not flimsy paper. “Paw Pods” was created with these goals in mind and our pet urns and pet pods or burial caskets are created out of sustainable bamboo and rice husk."
Paw Pods offers the Fish Pod, which is fish-shaped, as a way for kids to "avoid the trauma of seeing a pet flushed down the toilet," as well as a mini pod for small pets, medium pods for pets such as cats, birds, rabbits, and smaller dogs, and large pods for dogs and other bigger animals. The company also makes two different urns, a traditional-shaped urn and a heart-shaped urn, which can either be displayed as is or buried like the pods, and all of the products come with a "seeded" memorial card full of perennial flower seeds that can be planted on top of the burial spot as a way to create a living, flowering, memorial.
Prices on the Paw Pods products range from $9.99 for the Fish Pod to $149.99 for the Large Pod.