Paw Pods

Biodegradable Pet Burial Pods

Respectful Rest

The passing of a pet can be a terribly painful time, but being able to lay them to rest in a respectful, dignified way often provides closure and helps us heal. Paw Pods are eco-friendly, affordable burial pods designed just for pets.

When Founder Ben Riggan’s dogs had to be put to sleep due to age-related health problems, they
were returned to him in blue “cadaver bags.” The impersonal treatment made a hard experience that much harder, so Ben created Paw Pods as a better way for vets to handle the remains of beloved family pets. Now Paw Pods are available to everyone in multiple sizes and urns.

Pets are often a child’s first experience with the concept of death—whether a goldfish, turtle, cat, or dog. A proper burial can help kids transition through a time of confusion and loss. Paw Pods can easily be painted or decorated to celebrate your pet’s life, and they allow you to bury them in a meaningful place of your choosing.

Paw Pods are made from 100% biodegradable bamboo and rice husks, but are durable enough to protect from curious wildlife. Each one comes with a seeded memorial card to bury with it, transforming the site into a tribute of wildflowers.

Say goodbye with love and respect and watch your pet’s memorial bloom.
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Paw Pods - Biodegradable Pet Burial Pods

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Ben

    Hello everyone! I'm Ben Riggan, the founder of Paw Pods. I am proud to be launching to The Grommet community today and am happy to answer any questions you have. I answered a few myself in a conversation with Mike of The Grommet team below on the board!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/29/2015 10:13 AM

    What inspired you to create Paw Pods?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    5/29/2015 10:13 AM

    I had two springer spaniels and when I euthanized them, I got them back in cadaver bags, which were just glorified trash bags. I told some of the guys I graduated college with, ‘This isn’t right.” We looked nationwide and found no vets were handling the return of a pet in great way. There wasn’t an option out there so we decided to create our own pet casket affordable for everyone.

  • Suzanne
    6/1/2015 5:15 PM


    When our cat passed away several years ago our vet handed our cat back to us in a square heavy fabric pouch with a zipper closing similar to something you could use to put your laptop in. We left her in the pouch and put her in her hooded bed folded it over and buried her about four - five deep to avoid any animals smelling her remains. Would have loved this option but you would have to purchase it and keep it around waiting for the day that you would need to use it.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/29/2015 10:14 AM

    Did you face any challenges bringing this to life?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    5/29/2015 10:15 AM

    The most challenging piece was trying to change a paradigm; the idea of introducing another option outside of cremation for pet families. And then we’d be at trade shows and you’d see the favorite dog treat, the favorite leash, and then us with our after death product.

    It was trying to demonstrate the positive of the product which wasn't easy. We tried saying your dog might not like this treat, but there is an unfortunate chance you outlive your dog. We wanted to provide an experience for families that could teach them and their kids about dealing with a pet’s passing in a more dignified way than a plastic bag or cardboard box. Learning to make that sell was tough.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/29/2015 10:16 AM

    This isn’t a product people will have fun purchasing, but it does seem like one they will be glad they did. Why do you feel this product is important for pet owners and what sets it apart from other alternatives?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    5/29/2015 10:19 AM

    First of all, we’re from Detroit so when the recession hit, we knew firsthand that not everyone’s pockets were as deep as others. So we really worked hard at keeping our manufacturing costs down and make it affordable for families. You know, just because you don’t make as much money as someone else, doesn’t mean you don’t love your pet any less. So cost was a huge piece of it.

    As far as setting it apart, if you want to do a backyard burial there is no other option outside of a pet casket, which is very expensive. We also highly suggest not using a cardboard box. If you have a cat that passes away and you use a cardboard box, there’s a solid chance a neighborhood dog can come and dig it up. The last thing you want is seeing that or having your kids see that. We’ve seen dogs try to dig up these pods before but they can’t get through the top shell.

  • Helayne
    6/1/2015 4:36 PM

    @Ben I find it rather cynical to allude to Detroit's economic pain in marketing material. Yeah, I know, it's fashionable (and, wow, that Shinola-buying demographic), but it's distasteful and crass. Don't use Detroit--or urban poverty in general--as a symbol to convey that what you're selling is affordable.

    I'm "from Detroit," too (e.g., I was raised in Huntington Woods and live in Ann Arbor). I imagine your background involves one suburb or another. We are neither from nor of Detroit, and it's wrong to use residency in the general tricounty area as bona fides.

    I have no expectation that my comment will be posted, but I do urge you to edit out the mention of Detroit in the preceding comment and just talk about tight budgets in a way that doesn't cheapen the experience of those who have to get through their days in the city. Detroit is only a symbol for those people who have moved to Midtown.

  • Albert
    6/1/2015 6:33 PM

    @Helayne You can't be serious. All he did was say where he was from and alluded to the financial difficulties of that particular area. You seem confused as to where you are actually from, saying on one hand that you are "from Detroit" then in the next breath, that you are "neither from nor of Detroit". Which is it?

    Perhaps you should be less sensitive to the people Detroit and more sensitive to the pain and suffering of those who are struggling with the loss of a beloved pet. Thank God that there are people like Ben, who have taken the initiative to offer a solution to a problem that even veterinarians haven't even tried to address. I'm 61 and have lost more than 1 beloved pet. The only option available to me, until now, has been to take my dead pet home in a box or have the vet toss it out in the trash. Until now, there has not been an option that lessen the pain.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 9:23 PM

    @Albert @Helayne Albert thanks for your input and focus on the core intent of Ben's reference. Being actually from the city of Detroit, I do understand why Helayne is "nit-picking" because a lot of Detroit suburbanites are wont to borrow "cred" from Detroit without actually having any real history or residency in the city. But having met Ben I know he's not a slick carpetbagger. He made a simple reference to illustrate his goal of creating an affordable and needed product. The Grommet community is appreciating that, as you can see from subsequent comments. (Grommet CEO here.)

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    5/29/2015 3:17 PM

    What kind of feedback are you expecting or looking for from today's launch?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    5/29/2015 3:18 PM

    Product awareness mostly. We’ve had so many people come up to us and say “Oh, we wish we had known about this two weeks ago.” Being on The Grommet we know we’re hitting a big audience so we just want them to know this is a great thing for people and families to have to say goodbye to their pet in a dignified way.

  • Judy
    6/1/2015 12:22 PM

    I think this is a wonderful idea! Thank you! I have had to place mine in boxes, wrapped in blankets etc...This would put my mind at ease. You have a wonderful idea here!! Put this on facebook! Tag all the cat & dog groups!! Put one out for a contest...get the word out...I am making note of the website & your product. Thank goodness I don't need one just yet..i may still order one. I have 13 animals. <3

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 12:31 PM

    @Judy. Thank you for your support Judy. Please "like" our facebook page to follow us. We did win the 2013 Editor's Choice Award for Pet Product News International and are growing in awareness, however, we always appreciate a word-of-mouth endorsement. One of our biggest challenges is just making owners aware of this option. Once they hear of us we usually garner overwhelming support. Thanks for being another conscientious pet owner.

  • Jo
    6/1/2015 12:28 PM

    I am a Psychologist and Grief Specialist and was so glad to see this launch. When my first cat died, we build a special wooden box and painted all kinds of goodbyes on it....just as you're suggesting. Paw Pods can now help people who have had a pet die have a ritual that is sacred and helpful in their grief. Pet loss is so often discounted and this gives grievers a way to bury their pets with dignity and love. I love that wildflowers will give grievers a way to have their pet's love still present. Thank you for your sensitivity and compassion and for creating Paw Pods. No questions... just thanks.

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 12:36 PM

    @Jo. Thank you for your post Jo. We believe every life is worth commemorating, from goldfish to dog. You're right, making a ritual of it helps cement the process.

  • Pam
    6/1/2015 12:41 PM

    Bless you, Ben~

  • Carol Anne
    Carol Anne
    6/1/2015 12:47 PM

    Ben, I just wish I had known about you Paw Pods this past Wednesday May 13th, when, with a young man to help me prepare the gravesite in a lovely woods behind my cousin's home, we put to rest my beloved cat of 15 years. Each time I have lost a pet, I have held them in my lap as the vet helped me give them back to the Father who gave them to me to care for, for a few years. My vet was kind and compassionate--but there was no option other than the blue wrapper. Burial in a pet cemetery here is $500! Over the course of 3 decades, I've had to bury 3 pets. Now I'll know I have a wonderful option when this is needed again. Bless you for this!

  • Carol Anne
    Carol Anne
    6/1/2015 12:53 PM

    @Ben PS--And I'm thinking how helpful this will be for parents whose children are grieving and need a special ceremony to mark this loss in a dignified way. In having a Paw Pod, they can teach their child that we treat our pets with dignity and with the love they gave to us for so many years. It's a teachable moment about the value of our animals. "A good person cares for the life of his animals." ~ Proverbs 12:10

  • Niesa
    6/1/2015 1:07 PM

    Ben, about how long does it take for the urn to degrade? I presume both the urn and the ashes just become part of the soil after a while.

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 1:15 PM

    @Niesa: Yes, that's correct. Our products take from 2-5 years to break down once buried. They do have an infinite shelf life if you choose to display them rather than bury.

  • Lisa
    6/1/2015 1:31 PM

    This product is wonderful. My question is, does the pet (dog, cat) need to be cremated before it is placed in the pod? If you have a large dog, will the pod be big enough without cremation? Thanks

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 1:49 PM

    @Lisa . Our large pod is just large enough for perhaps a 60 lb dog. We are currently working on creating an extra-large pod for larger breed dogs so that we are sure to service everyone.

  • Paula
    6/1/2015 2:45 PM

    @Ben I don't see the answer to Lisa's question about cremation. Does the pat have to be cremated first?

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 2:55 PM

    @Paula No, the pet does not need to be cremated.

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 2:56 PM

    @Paula Hi Paula, to answer Lisa's question: No, the pet does not have to be cremated before burying in one of our Paw Pods. Our products include pods and urns - our pods are designed for standard pet burial without cremation, and our urns are decided to hold your beloved pet's cremated ashes.

  • Maria
    6/1/2015 1:44 PM

    Really really wonderful and needed product! Before I had my first cat euthanized I always pictured giving him a grave in the backyard--but as you mentioned, I was afraid of him being dug up by another animal, so it seemed like there was no option other than cremation, both for him and a subsequent cat who passed.

  • Amily
    6/1/2015 4:47 PM

    @Maria: We live in the woods of New England and have buried our pets with no dig-ups, you just want to make sure they are buried quite deep. We go down easily 4 feet or so to make sure. What is wonderful about Ben's product is it would make settling them in the ground much easier (I'll spare the details, but trust me it's a factor), and would be a less painful last view of a beloved friend than the blue bag or a towel (and drawing or writing on the pod is a bonus visual option it also offers). I'm in no hurry to be a consumer of this product, but very ready to be so when the time next comes. Wishing you many happy pet ownerships (the good stuff!) now and forward.

  • Sheryl
    6/1/2015 1:59 PM

    Wonderful, needed product: a far more respectable internment container than the cardboard box or just wrapping in a blanket. But burial is not always an option, especially in urban and suburban areas (health, ground water regulations, etc.). Sometimes you might have a link to someone who has acceptable property who will allow you to bury your beloved pet and these pods would be great, in that case.

    The urn is a very reasonable cost for cremains. I have experienced a pet cremation company that did provide a very nice wooden box to contain the ashes, so be sure to ask your vet or other provider. Thank you for the environmentally friendly product & the flower seed card is a thoughtful bonus.

  • Michele
    6/1/2015 5:21 PM

    @Sheryl Hi, my mother left a note telling me she wanted to be cremated. I called the first ones I knew about:Neptune. 3 years later, someone sued them for actually cremating my mother with a few people she did not know. Now, I speak of her urn as Mom and Jack and Bob in a box. So watch what a cremator does. I mean, stand there and watch your beloved pet be placed in the cremator before you leave the site.

  • barbara
    6/1/2015 11:33 PM

    @Michele that simply isn't possible in all cases. Our vet handled transporting our dog to the crematorium. We had 2 options; group cremation which results in mixed ashes or private cremation. We chose group due to the cost. It in no way diminished our experience. Luckily they provided a very nice urn and even made a casting of our dear girl's paw for us as a remembrance. So sad that not everyone has such caring veterinarians.

  • Denise
    6/1/2015 2:03 PM

    Hi Ben-Your idea has merit on so many levels. I work in animal rescue and I keep the really old seniors I catch so as not to stress them out any further. Sometimes they are with me for a few years, sometimes a much shorter time. Your product gives me a much more affordable option that will allow me to handle their remains with the respect and dignity they deserve. Thank you so much!

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 2:29 PM

    @Denise. We appreciate your support and thank you for the wonderful service you are doing by giving those dogs a forever home.

  • Cindy
    6/1/2015 2:41 PM

    Hi Ben

    This seems like a very respectable way to bury a pet. However we live in a home that is on rented property. We aren't allowed to bury a beloved pet in our yard. Our last two dogs we had cremated so we have the ashes in urns that are sealed and look almost like a small jewelry box. Thanks for the Paw Pods as I know it will be beneficial to so many. Bless you!

    Cindy Bailey

  • Kyle
    6/1/2015 3:09 PM

    At the end of April, we had lost two dogs back to back - One day, we lost one that we had been fostering for about a month to heartworms, because the place we were fostering through hadn't gotten the medication in yet to give to her. We were heartbroken after losing her, and had her cremated.. The next day, we lost a husky I'd had for 8 years, and had her cremated as well...

    With that in mind, would these be acceptable to bury a pets ashes in, so that they can still give new and beautiful life, or do they only work well with the uncremated remains?

    If they'd still work with ashes, what would the sizes needed be for the ashes of an 80 pound dog, and a 30 pound?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 3:30 PM

    @Kyle. Our urns are absolutely appropriate for burial and will not harm the earth. Our classic urn will fit your larger dog. You will want either a mini pod for the smaller dog (available here), or our heart-shaped urn which isn't carried by The Grommet yet but is available on our web site. Connect with The Grommet Community Experience Team here to express your interest and get in touch with us. I'm glad we could help.

    6/1/2015 3:11 PM

    I think this looks like a great product. We were just talking the other day what would we do when our little guy passes. My thought is I would need this box .. right then and there at that moment. Are they stocked in any pet stores or do you suggest ordering and just having on hand for the time ?

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 3:34 PM

    @SHANNA. Our web site will list all of our distributors, however, it's not a bad idea to have one on hand ahead of time so you don't have to worry about rigor mortis setting in. We understand that when burying this is a time-sensitive item and have a pretty quick shipping turnaround time.

  • Amily
    6/1/2015 4:24 PM

    Super idea Ben! We bury our deceased pets here at home. I don't have a need currently for a pod, though I will be adding you to my Grommet Wish List for future reference. But I am in need of an appropriate burial marker. I loved the one in the launch photo, simple and appropriate for our dog buried about a year ago - we put a rock out there figuring a statue would find it's way to us like did for my beloved kitty, but so far none we've found has fit the bill. If you sold marker stones or even kits to make one (since shipping rocks might be cost prohibitive) I'd be all over that. Just an idea if you want to expand offerings. So sorry for your losses, but grateful your experience lead to something that will no doubt help many folks (including me) avoid the blue bags.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 5:19 PM

    Thanks for the kind words, Emily! I have no doubt a marker stone is something Ben and the rest of the Paw Pods team will keep in mind for the future. Great idea!

  • janine
    6/1/2015 4:34 PM

    How does this work? Do I buy the Pod and give it to my vet?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 5:54 PM

    Hi Janine, if you have the pod before your pet passes, I'm sure that is something you can do!

  • Vicki's
    6/1/2015 4:44 PM

    Thank you, Ben!

    Wonderful product!! I like the idea of the pods being biodegradable. My last pet that passed, a friend made me a beautiful wooden box that I lined with fleece covered cotton batting. It too will decompose over time. Should I ever have a pet again and need this, I would surely purchase. So much more dignified than most other methods. A great way to celebrate my "Baby's" life. I'm sharing your page and will follow you on Facebook. May many successes be yours. Thank you again for creating a compassionate and caring way to say goodby to our loved companions.

    Vicki R., Santa Rosa, CA

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 5:55 PM

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Vicki! I know Ben and co. appreciate it as well!

  • Vicki's
    6/1/2015 6:02 PM


  • Renee
    6/1/2015 4:45 PM

    Thank you so much for this product! I have buried so many animals in plastic bags and felt horrible about it. When my 14-year old dog died a few years ago, I found a local man who built wooden human caskets that were so beautiful. I had him build one for Buster with all the detail of the other caskets he built. His wife cushioned and lined the caskets with satin material. We were able to have a very special service and burial in our yard. I am so glad that this product is now available so that I can properly bury my other pets in such a special way.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 5:56 PM

    Glad to hear it, Renee! In talking with Ben, giving pets a special sendoff was his number one goal from day one. I know he is glad to see that impact coming to fruition!

  • Caroline
    6/1/2015 4:49 PM

    Our himalayan is 14, and dying of kidney disease. I wasn't quite happy when we cremated our dog.. had she been cremated alone? Or with others? etc.. This seems like a strong alternative for our cat. The only issue for some, is when you don't see it coming. We do know Max is dying, so I think this is a good alternative for him. Which size would you recommend for a cat, and a blankie?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/1/2015 5:59 PM

    Hi Caroline, so sorry to hear about Max! If he is smaller, you could probably get the medium, but the large one might be the safer choice if you are going to put a blanket in with him as well. Hope this helps!

  • Ben
    Ben – Special Guest
    6/1/2015 7:51 PM

    The medium should be large enough for any size cat. Thanks to everyone for all of the kind words and questions. We're proud to of service.

  • Mary
    6/1/2015 8:56 PM

    Oh how I wish this had been an option when my first dog died! Thank you so much for coming up with this great idea. I will check further into your product to decide what size I will need for my current dog. While I love him dearly and do not wish to lose him anytime soon (or ever), I know that I will likely outlive him as he is now 8.

    I am curious, a cousin died recently and had kept the remains of her favorite cat (cremated) in a plastic box in the back of a bookcase. Her cat was buried with her (per her plan) and I am wondering if this is an option when using the Paw Pods?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/2/2015 10:55 AM

    Hi Mary, I don't think that would be an issue. The core mission of Paw Pods is being able to give your pets a send off you see fit. I think this certainly qualifies.

  • myna
    6/1/2015 11:08 PM

    I don't see a pod that would have worked for your own dogs or my 60 pound girl.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    6/2/2015 10:46 AM

    Hi Myna, it's possible the large size could work, but, if not, Ben said above they are working on developing larger sizes. Stay tuned!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.