“The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.” – Ben Hur Lampman
Losing a pet is akin to losing a family member. Many psychologists today realize that a family pet is an important bond in a person’s life. Grieving the loss of this bond is natural, is nothing to be embarrassed about, and should be honored. Many people choose to memorialize their pets to keep the memories of their pets alive in their hearts. A memorial should bring about happy memories of your loved ones and remind you of how they were, not how they died. It’s a way to honor their life and all they did for you.
Also realize that memorializing the memory of a beloved pet can greatly help one cope with their grief, bring feelings of closure, and help one feel close to their pet who is buried deep inside their heart.
There are several different ways to memorialize your pet to help bring peace to your heart. Because it might be hard to choose, consider these questions first, to help you narrow down your choices:
Many people choose a memorial item that reflects their pet’s personality. Did your furry friend have an indoor personality or was outside the place to be? If he was more “indoorsy” and liked to cuddle, maybe you’d want to get a customizable blanket. If under the sun made him wag his tail, then consider a memorial garden or headstone in his favorite spot. Are the remains cremated or buried? Did you save any hair? That will narrow down the available choices below.
What’s your budget? Are you okay with getting a few different memorial items if you can’t settle on just one?
Are you renting a location that you may not stay at forever? If so, maybe an outdoor memorial isn’t the best option.
Do you need to ask other parties who cared about the pet how they’d like to memorialize your furry friend? If it was a family pet, then it’s nice to include the children in the decision-making process. Take a vote if need be.
Lastly, remember that it’s okay to take several months to decide what to get. In fact, it may be wise to wait at least a few days when you are not as emotionally upset. Take your time so you can choose the perfect way to memorialize your pet.
Without further ado, here are 35 different ways to memorialize your beloved pet.
You can sponsor a memorial bench in honor of your pet to be placed at an animal park or local park that you and your pet used to visit. Contact your local city’s parks and recreation department to find out how to do this.
2. Bird Feeder If your pet loved to chase birds or was a bird, building or buying a bird feeder would be a sweet way to remember them. You can decorate the feeder by painting your pet’s name on it or getting the name printed or engraved.
Keep the memories of your loved one aflame in your heart with a memorial candle. Whether you are looking for a customizable three votive candle holder or a single pillar candle holder, check them out here.
Coasters are functional items that protect your tables while reminding users of the many sweet memories you shared with your pet. Check out these customizable slate coasters.
5. Cremation Jewelry
Keep your loved one close to your heart with this paw print cremation necklace. Cremation jewelry, a.k.a. remembrance jewelry, is a physical object someone wears to remember and honor their passed loved one. Cremation jewelry (like these) contains a little urn or chamber that can be filled with ashes, fur, or small meaningful objects to remember your passed loved one.
6. Memorial Garden
If your pet loved the sunshine and fresh air or had a favorite patch of grass it liked to lounge on, build a small garden in their honor in that area. Check out how to build one by visiting this article.
You can turn your ashes into a diamond. Visit Life Gem for more information.
8. Donate to An Animal Shelter
You and your family can volunteer your time or donate money/supplies to your local animal shelter in honor of your beloved pet. People who have lost their pets often find comfort in helping to take care of other animals who don’t have a home. Who knows, you might find another endearing pet to adopt.
Did your pet love the fourth of July or watching fireworks with you? You can have their cremains made into fireworks. Heavenly Stars Fireworks helps you scatter your pet's ashes with a bang.
10. Launch Your Pet's Ashes Into Space
Did you like to have deep talks about the universe, space, and what our purpose is with your pet? For memories’ sake, launch your pet’s ashes into space and share him with the universe. To find out how, visit Celestis.com.
11. Letter or Poem
Sometimes writing helps people deal with grief. You can write a tribute poem or letter about your pet. In it, you could describe your pet or talk about how much you loved him/her. You can share your writings, turn them into a song, or frame them.
Look up local artists to get a custom painting done. You could also paint a picture of your pet by looking at an old photograph to help you work through your grief.
14. Pet Picture Frames/Photo Clipboard
Remember your pet with a customized frame. Double photo, single, magnetic, and clipboard picture frames can be found here.
15. Photo Album
Let go of the grief, but never the memories, with a photo album. Sometimes reminiscing on the good memories by yourself or with others can offer comfort and keep your pet’s memories alive.
When you are feeling lonely, snuggle with a customized pillow with your pet’s image on it. Different designs can be viewed here.
Get customized pillowcases printed with images of your beloved pet. You can get them designed to match your home decor.
Display a customized plate in your home to memorialize your beloved furry friend.
Hang up a plaque dedicated to your furry best friend.
Have hair or ashes? You can turn it into resin art. You could place the items into a resin bead or earring mold and turn them into jewelry. You could also send it to a resin artist to have something made for you.
Work through your grief by scrapbooking your memories together. Make your scrapbook extra special by ordering a customizable scrapbook.
22. Shadow Boxes
Design a shadow box that showcases everything that you loved about your pet!
23. Shelf Sitter
There are many different memorial shelf sitters to view here. These are perfect items if you don’t have a lot of space. You could also commemorate a shelf specifically for your lost loved one. Add this shelf sitter and other mementos to create a sweet, sentimental spot to honor your beloved friend.
Signs don’t take up much space and still remind you of all those good memories every time you see them. Here are some customizable hanging and sitting signs.
25. Solid Glass “Snow Globe”
You can get your pet’s ashes swirled into a solid glass “snow globe” to put on display. Starry Night Glass Art company on Etsy does this.
26. Name A Star After Your Pet
Did your pet enjoy stargazing together at night? Keep those memories alive by naming a star after your pet at Star Deed. That way, every time you gaze at the night sky, you won’t be alone. Your pet will be looking down at you from his very own star.
27. Stone Monuments/Headstones
Purchase a stone monument or make your own out of stones to place at the grave or simply serve as a reminder of your beloved pet.
You can get a custom book printed about your pet. You could keep this around to read to your kids to help them work through their grief. Different companies will do this for you. Petventures Book is an example of one.
Get creative by getting a tattoo at a local tattoo shop. This is a simple way to remember your loved one. You will never lose this memorial of your pet, that’s for sure.
Make a terrarium in honor of your beloved pet. It can be as expensive or intricate as you like. Get a glass container and fill it with rocks your pets played with, a small figure of your pet, pictures, your pet's toys, etc. Search “Pet Terrariums” or “Terrariums” online for ideas.
Remember your loved one with this customizable cork trivet. LifeSong Milestones also offers tile trivets, available here.
32. Wall Crosses
Celebrate your faith with this memorial wall cross. You can customize it with your pet’s information to make it unique to them.
Urns that hold cremains are a popular way for people to memorialize their pets. Check out the different photo urns, wood urns, dog bone urns, and dovetail urns available here. For more information on how to choose an urn, check out the article “How to Choose the Right Pet Urn.”
You can set up a memorial website in honor of your fur baby for free. A website allows you to share pictures and sweet memories with your friends and loved ones. Check out how to do this here.
35. Make A Memorial Video Or Slideshow
You can collect all your favorite photos and put them together in a slideshow. Add music for the perfect tribute. If you are having a funeral, this would be a good thing to have running while everyone attends the service.