How Can I Memorialize My Beloved Pet?

Posted by Emily Piccirillo on

Memorials Matter

It’s hard to imagine life after a beloved pet, but when that time comes, it helps to find a way to honor your special bond and celebrate the love you’ll always share. There are many different ways to memorialize your furry friend — feel free to modify any of these ideas to fit your companion animal's unique personality and your special relationship.

Ideas For Before or After Death

  • A RemembeRing is a new grief tradition to support the dual needs of holding on and letting go. You transform the outer ring into a frame for a favorite photo and/or keepsake, and the center token is meant for writing a farewell message.
  • Chronicle your favorite memories with your pet in a gratitude journal.
  • Collect anecdotes from friends, neighbors and family.
  • Write a poem, story or song dedicated to your pet.
  • Make a piece of artwork inspired by your pet.
  • Have a professional portrait or sculpture made of your pet. This can be done from a photograph.
  • Have your pet's photo transferred to a keepsake, such as a pendant, pillow, blanket, ornament, or mug.
  • Make a donation in your pet’s name to an animal-related organization or charity.
  • Establish a fund in your pet’s name to help other pet parents who can’t afford necessary vet treatment.
  • Volunteer your time at a rescue or help find homes for strays and abandoned pets.
  • Support research on the illness your pet experienced.

Ideas For Before Death

  • Create a bucket list of your pet's favorite activities and places and make a plan to enjoy them together before it's time to say goodbye.
  • Arrange for a special photo session or collect lots of existing shots. Fill an album, place them in your pet’s favorite spots in the house, create a collage or multi-picture frame, or carry pictures in your wallet.
  • Videotape your pet doing anything and everything normal and routine, like eating, sleeping, playing, interacting with you or other pals. It’s the daily routines we miss the most after our pets are gone.

Ideas For After Death

  • Place your pet's tags on a key ring you always carry.
  • Keep a few whiskers or tuft of fur in a special place like a little pouch or locket.
  • Ask your vet or the crematory for clay or ink paw or nose prints.
  • Conduct a funeral or memorial service.
  • Prepare an obituary for your local newspaper.
  • Post a tribute on a pet memorial website.
  • Send out announcements of your pet’s death to those who are close to both of you.
  • Write a letter to your pet expressing your love, gratitude, and any feelings you need to share.
  • Place your pet’s belongings in a special display or altar.
  • Convert their treat jar into a vase or planter.
  • Create a daily ritual, e.g., light a candle before meals, say an evening prayer, or place a photo in a place where you can say hello each morning.
  • Have your pet’s fur spun into yarn and knit or crochet something in their memory.
  • Have a memorial plaque made for a special place.
  • Put your pet’s collar around a flowering potted plant.
  • Plant a shrub, tree, or flowers at or near the location where the pet’s body is buried or ashes are scattered.
  • Place their ashes in an urn alongside fresh flowers.
  • Place a bit of your pet’s cremains in a pendant urn and wear it as a necklace near your heart.
  • Toast their memory on holidays and special occasions.
  • Seek training and education so you can help others grieve and heal through pet loss.
  • And finally, one of the best ways you can honor the memory of your dear pet is by taking care of yourself and healing through your loss. In death and well as life, your wonderful friend would want you to be happy.

I truly hope these ideas help. Feel free to explore additional resources and guidance for grieving the loss of a beloved pet here and, of course, I always welcome your insights and feedback here.

Take care! ~Emily

Please note that RemembeRing content is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional evaluation or care. Be sure to reach out to your providers for their expertise as needed. 

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