Can Pet Ashes Be Mailed In The United States?

There are tons of reasons why we’d want to mail pet ashes, as they are half the memories of our beloved friends.

There are tons of reasons why we’d want to mail pet ashes, as they are half the memories of our beloved friends.

The reason could be to share them amongst loved ones or memorialize them in glass urns or artworks.

At least that’s how it was when I lost my pet cat, Isla; Rather than a home without Isla, I honored her memories by placing her ashes in a display urn.

My roommate, who also benefitted from the love and sweet purrs of Isla, wanted a stash of her ashes, too; the problem was he lived in another state (Texas).

Considering the distance, I definitely wasn’t going to drive all the way to Texas just to deliver a small package which got me to look into possible ways of mailing pet ashes directly in the US.

Can Pet Ashes Be Mailed In The United States?

Yes, similar to how human ashes travel across the united states, pet ashes can also be mailed provided they are contained in two secure containers; an inner, leak-proof padded container and an outer protected shipping box. In the USA, only United States Postal Service (USPS) allows the mailing of pet ashes (cremated remains).

Nonetheless, USPS requires specific necessities when mailing ashes, and we’ve put together these necessities as a guide to the safe delivery of your pet ashes.

Guide To Mailing Your Pet Ashes In The United States

Employing the services of USPS to mail your pet ashes is a secure way to get your ashes across its destination.

USPS provides security, tracking of your ashes, signature options, and insurance services. To ensure a secured mailing of your pet ashes;

Use Two Secured Containers

The first step to the successful delivery of your pet ashes is securing them, and this is where the use of an inner and outer box is employed.

The inner box is required to secure the ashes within it properly and could be in the form of an urn; however, it must be leak-proof, sturdy, and durable in case of mailing bumps.

The USPS has a cremated remains shipping kit that securely ships your pet ashes to the desired destination. 

The outer box should be sturdy, sift proof, and durable; you can purchase a box or use USPS-free Priority Mail Express Box that comes with the cremated remains shipping kit.

If you choose to use a personal box, you can get USPS cremated remains label 139 to display on the box to make the pet ashes package visible during processing and delivery.

Seal The Inner Box and Protect the Outer Box

Once you’ve placed your pet ashes within the inner box, place it within a self-sealing bag, attach yours and the recipient address onto the bag and wrap it up with a bubble cushioning for additional protection of the ashes during transportation.

Protect the outer box by lining the bottom with a sift-proof material to prevent the ashes from filtering out in cases of damage to the inner box.

Place the inner box within the outer box with additional cushioning materials and a contact slip with both your and the receiver’s address; to prevent damage to the packaged urn and keep both parties informed about the package if there’s an outer fault label.

Label The Outer Box

Once the package has been enclosed, securely tape the outer box shut with a Priority Mail Express Tape and paste the USPS cremated remains label 139 on all four sides of the box, including the top and bottom.

Affix label 11 is a Priority Mail Express service label for online tracking of the cremains; you can access either label 11B, 11F, or 11HBYU at your local postal office.

Once your box has been sealed shut with the required labels sitting pretty on all sides of the box, your pet ashes are ready to be mailed to their final resting place.

Employing the services of Priority Mail Express to ship your furry friend’s ashes delivers the package within 1-2 working days with a varied time between 12 pm – 3 pm.

Nonetheless, the cost of delivery with Priority Mail Express depends on the size of the outer box; a small box sized 8 11/16″ X 5 7/16″ X 1 ¾  has a delivery fee of $7.50, a medium-sized box of 11 ¼ “X 8 ¾ “X 6 costs $8.50.

A large outer box of  12- ¼ “X 12- ¼ “X 6 has a delivery fee of $17.60; however, these prices only apply to boxes within the weight of 70lbs.

Mailing Pet Ashes Overseas

Mailing pet ashes overseas is a little more complex, as you would need to research the country’s flexibility on the entry of cremated remains.

Keep in mind that they may be specific rules in some countries on shipping cremains.

Some countries like the United Kingdom and Belgium decline the entry of cremains. In contrast, some countries don’t allow Priority Mail Express International Service, which the USPS requires when mailing pet ashes.

Hence, always check the rules of mailing cremated remains in a country before shipping.

Aside from the rules and regulations, shipping pet cremains overseas has a similar guide to earlier ones.

The inner box can be decorative in the form of an urn or wooden box, as long as it’s sift-proof, strong, durable, and properly sealed.

Cushioning material is necessary to protect the inner box from damage or shock during transit; this could be an air pillow or a bubble wrap.

The outer box should be firm and labeled as mentioned above; however, keep in mind that a customs form is required for international shipping.

Hence rather than using Label 11, a custom form -2976B and an international Priority Mail Express shipping label is required.

International shipping has a 6-7 working days delivery timeline using the Priority Mail Express, within 12 pm -3 pm.

Flying With Your Pet Ashes

There are times we might decide to go on trips and adventures with our beloved pet sitting right next to us, or perhaps we’d love to be present when they are being memorialized in their final resting place.

Regardless of your reasons for flying with your pet ashes, specific airport rules govern cremains as the United States is strict with what’s allowed in your main or hand luggage.

In many cases, though, you should have no problem flying with your pet ashes in the united states.

Use A Suitable Container For The Ashes

Although various items are used to store cremated remains, urns are the most common ash-storing container.

Thus, when flying with your pet ashes, choose a lightweight urn made from plastic, wood, fiberboard, or cardboard.

Per the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy, it is unlawful for airport personnel to open an urn or any ash container.

Hence, your urn needs to be of the criteria mentioned above to pass through an x-ray, as not x-rayed won’t be allowed through airport security.

Get An Ash Documentation

As odd as it sounds, documentation stating what’s within the urn is an essential airport security pass.

You can obtain documentation of your pet ashes from your veterinarian or crematorium that carried out your pet’s cremation.

Although the rules mentioned above generally apply to all airlines, some airlines have specific policies concerning cremated remains.

For instance, the Southwest and America airlines allow ashes flying as long as it’s confined within carry-on baggage.

However, British Airways and United airlines allow ashes in either a carry-on or checked baggage. Nonetheless, you should check with the country’s embassy regarding their policy towards cremated remains.


The good news that provides us with little closure after the death of our pet is the possibility of shipping them anywhere in the world.

Pet ashes can be mailed in the United States, although only the USPS allows the shipping of cremated remains; they provide you with certain guidelines to send your pet ashes.

These guidelines include using an inner and outer container, protecting both containers with a cushion, and sealing it shut with the correct shipping labels.

However, if you want to ship or fly the pet ashes internationally, contact the country’s airline services to verify their authorization and rules concerning cremains.

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