A family member from the animal kingdom brings undeniable happiness to your household. It feels good to be greeted by your furry (or feathered, or scaled!) best friend, always ready to share unconditional love and joy. When it’s time to say goodbye, it can be a challenge to work through the overwhelming sadness that comes with the death of a beloved pet.
Losing a pet can result in heartbreak and grief, which is why it’s just as important to honor a pet as you would a spouse, partner, sibling, or parent. Many people choose to create a pet memorial to hold onto the memories long after the family pet is gone.
Pet Memorial Keepsakes
Displaying a small keepsake in your home or office provides a gentle reminder of the love and care you shared with your sweet animal. These unique pet memorial ideas honor your pet in a dignified, loving way:
- Picture Frame with Quote: Make a spot on your mantel or your nightstand for a special picture of you and your pet. The frame can include a quote about death that brings you comfort and helps you reflect on all your memories together.
- Tattoo: It’s not uncommon to memorialize your pet by getting a tattoo, whether it be a picture of them or their name. Tattoos are versatile in size and placement. You may want one on your shoulder so everyone can see how much you loved your pet. Or it can be more discreet, on the side of your body or the inside of your wrist.
- Animal Urn: Many pet owners choose cremation to provide the option to keep the ashes near even if you eventually move to a different home, or when a backyard burial might not work. You can easily move an urn with you wherever you go, and displaying an attractive pet urn is a great way to keep the memory of your pet close.
- Memorial Collar: Use your pet’s collar to display and keep as a memorial. You can frame a pet collar or mount it on a wall or decorative stone. This keepsake was part of your pet’s everyday life, and saving it will bring back fond memories.
- Pet Statue: You can create a small statue of your pet in a happy pose, helping you remember the cheerful greetings when you came home from a long day. Or you can choose a sleeping position to represent your angel that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
DIY Pet Memorial Ideas
Not only does a personalized project give you a way to work through the grief, but it creates a one-of-a-kind memorial that encompasses everything you love about the pet. If you enjoy crafts or projects, consider one of these DIY pet memorial ideas:
- Shadow Box: A shadow box is similar to a picture frame, but you can put much more inside than just a photo. Pet memorial shadow box ideas include adding the collar, your pet’s favorite toy, rocks from a park that you frequented together, pictures of tricks your pet did, or a drawing your child made of the animal.
- Memorial Garden: If you are staying in your home long-term, you may want to honor your pet with a memorial garden in your backyard. You can use its ashes to plant flowers or a tree. Add a monument plaque with your pet’s name. As the tree or plant grows, you will see that your pet lives on through these pet memorial garden ideas.
- Picture Collage: Gather all the pictures of your pet throughout the years with various family members and print them. Then you can cut them out into shapes and put them together in a photo collage. Another option is to create a digital collage using a print-on-demand photo book service. Create category pages for sleeping pictures, snuggly moments, and adventure snapshots.
- Painted Portrait: If you enjoy having a paintbrush in hand, one DIY pet memorial idea is to create a canvas with your memories. You can make a large or small portrait filled with color and imagination to match the way your pet made you feel. If painting is not your forte, look for an artist who can capture the essence of your pet.
Pet Memorial Ceremonies
When you are considering cat or dog memorial ideas, many people want a memorial to keep as well as memories to share through a pet funeral ceremony or service. When you are researching how to memorialize a pet, keep in mind that there isn’t a right or wrong way to show that you care. Instead, the goal is to create a custom experience to help you find closure in the grief.
- Spreading of the Ashes or Burial: Share a pet funeral or memorial ceremony with close family and friends who had special moments with your pet. After, spread the ashes or bury your small pet as part of your backyard pet memorial garden ideas. Whether you plant the ashes with tree seeds or bury the animal in the soil to nourish your new flower garden, it will serve as a permanent, living tribute to honor the life of your dear animal friend.
- Life Celebration Party: If it serves you better to celebrate your pet’s life rather than gather for a somber ceremony, then you can throw a life celebration. Play music, dance, and share memories about the good times you had with your beloved companion.
- Stepping Stone Gathering: Another DIY pet memorial idea is to build one or more stepping stones in your backyard with the pet’s name engraved. Close friends and family can even sign their names or use a permanent marker to record short memories on the stepping stone. You can seal the stone with gloss to keep the contributions permanent.
Pet Memorials: Holding Onto the Memories
Your pet has been an integral part of your everyday experience, which is why it’s understandable that it’s difficult to imagine life without your furry friend. Honoring this special family member with a pet funeral or memorial helps you find closure despite the grief – just as we do when a person dies. Choose one or more of these meaningful pet memorial ideas to help your family navigate the loss.