When it’s time to say goodbye, at home pet euthanasia may be the kindest option for your cat or dog, but how can you honour their life and keep their memory with you after they’ve gone? Whether you’re looking for a diamond necklace to contain your pet’s ashes or a simple DIY project you can make at home, there are many creative ways to memorialise your pet.
Here are 8 pet memorial ideas to capture and keep their spirit with you long after your precious furbaby has passed away.
1. Create a photo album
Like many pet paw-rents, your camera roll is most likely filled with photos and videos of your best friend. Make sure that all your devices are backed up and create an online folder to keep your images safe. When you are ready, select a few images that have meaning for you and download them onto a flash drive. From there, you can either print them out for a photo album, or display them in a digital photo frame where you can change them as you wish.
Get the kids involved and ask them to draw pictures or create captions for the photos. If you want a more sophisticated look (as a gift for a bereaved pet parent for example) you can create a photo book online and have it professionally printed. For example, Memento offers a range of options depending on your budget, with photo books starting at $59.
2. Create a special place in your home to remember your pet
Grieving pet families often ask “What should I do with my dog or cat’s collar after they have died?”
If you have a few of your pet’s belongings that you’d like to keep, such as a collar or favourite toy, consider setting up a special space in your home where you can visit and cherish their memory. You may decide to keep their ashes in a decorative urn and display them alongside keepsakes such as a photo, fur cutting or paw print impression.
3. Plant a tree or flowering shrub
Dedicate a quiet place in your garden where you can sit and reflect on the time you spent together. Plant a tree or a flowering shrub that will continue to bloom year after year, and mark the final resting place of your pet’s ashes with a personalised engraved garden plaque or statue.
Consider placing a memorial bench or seat nearby where you can visit with your departed furry friend during the times you are missing them the most.
4. Get a Tattoo
Nothing says “I love you forever” like a tattoo portrait of your cat or dog. If you don’t wish to have a full image, consider having just your pet’s name or a paw print tattooed discreetly in a place that reminds you of their love, and lets you feel their presence wherever you go.
5. Have a diamond or glass jewellery piece created with your pet’s ashes
With the innovation of diamonds manufactured in the lab, it’s possible to purchase a customised diamond containing a portion of your pet’s ashes. Available in a range of colours, you can choose any size diamond depending on the jewellery setting and your budget. A stunning diamond can be used to adorn a necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings or a simple ornament to honour your pet’s memory.
If your budget doesn’t extend to a diamond, consider a glass ornament or jewellery piece made from your pet’s ashes. The smooth, cool textures and swirling ashes within the glass are a source of comfort and sensory relaxation when held in the hand.
The caring team at Passing Paws Pet Cremations can assist you with both of these unique pet memorial options.
6. Pet Portrait
Another popular way to memorialise your pet is to commission a professional painting or photo portrait of your beautiful cat or dog. Some pet photographers offer a special ‘end of life’ photo session that captures the closeness of the bond you share together.
Some dog parents choose to document their pet’s ‘bucket list’ in photos, visiting a number of outdoor locations and indulging in their favourite pastimes together, such as sharing an ice cream together or looking out at the ocean.
Most professional artists will be able to paint a portrait from a photograph, so if you prefer to remember your pet when they were young and gloriously healthy, or if your pet is not well enough to sit for a photo session, this may be a better option for you.
7. Hold a funeral or memorial service
One of the advantages of at home pet euthanasia is that you will have the opportunity to hold a family gathering or memorial service for your faithful companion, either before or after the procedure.
A service held prior to your pet’s collection by the pet crematorium can help the healing process by allowing family members, including children and other pets, to pay their respects and show their love by reading poems, playing music or placing flowers on your pet.
Alternatively, you might choose to wait until your pet’s ashes are returned so that you can scatter them at a location that holds meaning for you and your family.
If the thought of organising a funeral for your pet seems overwhelming during your time of grief, then consider handing over the arrangements to Passing Paws. They will organise transport in a luxury vehicle, flowers, music and catering, and hold the service in their Garden of Rest if you so wish.
8. Make a donation to an animal shelter or rescue in your pet’s name
One of the greatest legacies your pet can leave behind is to help homeless animals.
There are a number of ways that you can memorialise your pet while giving a wonderful life to a needy dog or cat:
- Leave a bequest to an animal shelter in your will.
- Make a one-off donation to your favourite animal charity.
- Participate in a fun run or sporting event to raise funds, or sponsor an annual event in your pet’s name.
These are our best suggestions for how to memorialise your pet but there are many other unique and creative ways to keep your furbaby’s memory close to your heart.