Coping With Pet Loss: Pet Memorial Ideas
For the vast majority of pet owners, their furry companions are members of the family and our best friends. It comes as no surprise that there is nothing quite so heart wrenching as the loss of a pet. Even though we know we won’t outlive them, the loss of a familiar face, their presence in our home, and their unconditional love can be nothing short of devastating.
Unfortunately, our society doesn’t take the loss of a pet so seriously and it can feel alienating to take the time you need to grieve and process. At Parkside Animal Hospital, we’ve found that finding a way to memorialize your pet can be an important step on the path to peace and comfort during this difficult time.
If you need some pet memorial ideas, we’ve compiled a few for your consideration.
Pet Memorial Ideas
Children especially benefit from doing something with their hands to memorialize their pet. But anyone can feel uplifted with the following ideas.
- Plant a tree or a special flower in your garden in their memory.
- Frame a picture and create a special place for it along with any mementos of your pet.
- Create ID tag jewelry that you can wear to remember your pet.
- Light a candle for your pet with loved ones, and talk about special memories.
- Make a scrapbook with pictures and written memories of your pet that you can flip through any time you like.
- Hold a memorial service with friends and family.
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter or make a donation in your pet’s name. When you’re ready, return to the shelter to adopt your next pet.
- Place a garden stone or a headstone in your pet’s favorite outdoor spot.
Thinking Outside the Box
Here are some pet memorial ideas you may not have considered:
- An Etsy artist can create a felted miniature dog replica, and even incorporate your dog’s ashes inside as well as your best friend’s fur into the felt used to make them.
- Have you ever thought of getting your pet’s likeness tattooed on your body? Bring along a closeup picture of your pet, and the right artist can create a vivid portrayal. Some tattoo artists will even mix your pet’s ashes into the ink.
- If you want to send your pet out with a bang, some companies in the United States and the United Kingdom will create a fireworks display choreographed to music, with your choice of fireworks colors. And, coming soon, you can incorporate your pet’s ashes into the display.
- If you liked the jewelry idea, you can have your pet’s nose print replicated into jewelry, or commission a mold made from your dog’s tooth that can be made into a glass, silver, or gold pendant. Etsy is a great place to start for these custom pieces.
Coping With Pet Loss
Coping with pet loss is never easy, but doing something to honor your pet can help to process some of your grief in a way that feels right to you.
If you have questions about your pet’s death or need additional support, we encourage you to reach out to your veterinarian. It’s also important to talk with supportive family and friends and to not isolate yourself. If you need a listening ear, there is a pet loss support hotline at the Veterinary School at Tufts University in the US. There, you can connect with a caring, non-judgemental individual who understands pet loss and grief.