For many of us, the death of a beloved pet was our first close encounter with intimate loss. While nothing but time can completely heal your pain, a meaningful memento can bring you some peace. Some ideas on this list require an artist’s or service’s talents, and others are DIY so the whole family can be part of your pet’s send-off. 

Memory Box 

This is a touching and tender DIY choice. Collect photos, drawings, furballs, poems, a tooth, their leash and collar, or whatever you feel represents their life in your care. This gives everyone an opportunity to participate and add important items from their personal history with your pet. Come back and reminisce whenever you want. 

pet memorial memory box

Photo by Christopher Flynn on Unsplash

Commission a Portrait 

There are tons of artists online who will take commissions and produce personalized drawings or paintings of your pet. Decide on what style would best honour your dearly departed, and pick an artist who works in that aesthetic. Perhaps you imagine a regal painting of your kitty wearing a crown, an impressionistic recreation of your dog in the yard, or just a classic black & white pencil drawing of your hamster. A portrait could be kept in a scrapbook or your wallet, or even framed and mounted on the wall.

pet memorial portrait

Photo from Furrlio on

Sprinkle Ashes, Grow a Tree

If burying your animal in the yard is either explicitly illegal in your area or simply impractical for your family, sprinkling their ashes proves an easier and cleaner manner to keep your pet close. You could keep it small, or gather those who loved your furbaby and make a ceremony of it. Pick a tree or flower that reminds you of them and plant it over their resting place. There are even ways to grow a plant directly from your pet’s remains, like this Living Urn.

planting a tree as a pet memorial to deal with pet loss

Donate or Sponsor 

Keep the love flowing by donating to a shelter or sponsoring an animal in need. If possible, you can choose to pledge in their name. Your pet can live on through an enduring legacy of making a difference for other creatures in need. Contact your local shelter and/or search for international animal rights causes that speak to you. 

Cats in animal shelter

Memorial Jewellery 

Get custom engraving on a necklace or bracelet to remember your cherished friend. You can choose to embellish it with their photo, name, dates, message, or a quote. Aside from the obvious sentimental value, these pieces are beautiful, classic, and highly wearable. Some services will even add ashes into a chamber in the jewellery charm, so you can always keep a piece of your buddy close to your heart. 

Pet Memorial Blanket 

A blanket printed with a photo of your pet allows you to keep the cuddles going. Nights are often the hardest when dealing with loss, so a fuzzy reminder you can fall asleep can be very comforting. Choose the fabric and style you prefer: some are streamlined and elegant with a cursive Memoriam message, and others are bright patchworks with photos of your choice. 

memory blanket to deal with pet loss

Photo From ByJasmineArt on

Custom Candle 

Sweet and practical, a pet-themed candle is a lovely way to be reminded of the light and warmth your little friend brought to your life. Have a photo, artistic rendition, or simply the name of your pet designed on the front of the candle, and pick a scent that best reminds you of them. 

custom candle pet memorial

Photo From ModPawsUS on

Latin Epitaph 

For writerly pet parents looking for something sophisticated, this Classics lecturer of Oxford will provide. Through his cleverly-named service, Dead Pets Society, he can write a poetic epitaph memorializing your passed-away pet in Latin. Don’t worry, they kindly include an English translation as well. 

epigraph pet memorial

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Saying Goodbye

It might seem morbid to consider your pet’s life expectancy, but it’s actually in service to them. Being aware of their maturity and stage of life will help you cater to their specific needs and remain vigilant for health concerns that can crop up as they age. Losing a furry, scaled, or feathered friend is never easy, but rest easier knowing your beloved animal thrived in your care and lived its best life by your side.