Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

7 meaningful ways to memorialize your pet

Losing a pet is an acutely painful process, and to cope with it you may find yourself looking for ways to honor and remember them. Memorializing your pet can help with the grieving process, and it can be comforting to know that you’re taking steps to honor how special your pet was within your life. If you’d like to do something extra-special for your pet but aren’t sure just what sort of a tribute to make, these seven ideas may inspire you. Whether you do them right after your pet passes or wait a few months or years, they can help your pet’s memory live on.

Create a shadowbox

A shadowbox gives you a way to display some of the items that were unique to your pet, like his collar or a print of his paw. You can incorporate a photo of your pet, keeping your mementos safe while making an attractive arrangement that you can hang on your wall.

A girl and her dog sitting together in front of a lake
Seaq68 / Pixabay

Write an obituary

Writing your pet an obituary can be a meaningful way to reflect on your pet’s life and share with others how special he was. Even if you have no intention of publicly sharing the obituary, writing it can be cathartic.

If you do choose to share it, you have many options. You can post it on social media with some of your favorite photos of your pet or share it online with groups of other animal lovers. You might also publish it in a local animal-themed publication or share it through your pet’s breed registry newsletter.

Commission a piece of art

Commissioning a custom art piece featuring your pet can be a touching way to honor him or her. You’ll be able to continuously enjoy an original creation, and a talented artist can capture your pet in a beautiful piece.

Etsy can be a helpful source of potential artists and can give you some ideas for the many products you can choose from, including painted urns and headstones. From personalized pet ornaments to custom framed portraits, there are nearly endless artistic ways to honor your pet.

If you decide to commission an artist to create a piece, look at plenty of examples of the artist’s work to get a sense of their style. Try to find the best-quality photos of your pet in your collection, especially those that highlight the details of your pet’s appearance.

Plant a living urn

If you have your pet cremated, you might want to use his ashes to plant a living urn. A living urn is biodegradable, and it uses your pet’s ashes to grow a tree. You’ll be able to care for and enjoy that tree, remembering your pet in a unique way. Consider planting the urn in a place that meant a lot to your pet, like his favorite spot in your yard to take naps.

Incorporate ashes into jewelry or pottery

Many artists now make jewelry pendants or pottery pieces that can incorporate your pet’s ashes. These pieces require only small amounts of ashes, so you can keep a little of them to yourself after spreading your pet’s ashes in a special spot.

If you don’t want to have a piece custom-made, there are many urn necklaces designed to let you keep a bit of your pet close to you.

Cat walking through a grassy yard at sunset
rihaji / Pixabay

Donate to an animal shelter

Consider making a donation to an animal shelter or an animal nonprofit. Donating to the shelter your pet originally came from can be a touching gesture. Make the donation in your pet’s name to honor him by helping other animals in need.

Get another pet

After losing a pet, you may feel that you never want to get another pet. That’s common, and it’s to be expected, especially as you’re initially grieving.

With time, getting another pet can be a great way to honor your previous pet. Opening your heart to another animal won’t ever replace the pet you lost, but it will honor the love you felt for that pet and the care and dedication you gave him. Sharing that with another pet can be a great gift to both your new pet and the one who’s no longer with you.

Remembering your pet

There are many ways you might choose to memorialize and remember your pet. Pursuing one or more of these tips may help you through the initial grief, or you might choose to wait and use some of these tips months or years later. Grieving a pet is a deep and ongoing process, so give yourself time and explore these memorializing ideas only when you feel ready. You might want to get other family members involved with these activities so you can support each other through the grief process and share some of your favorite memories of your special pet.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
The best medium-sized dog breeds for your family
These dogs are the perfect size — and temperament — for families with kids
An English springer spaniel's side profile standing next to tall grass

Whether you're a veteran dog owner or are new to the canine world, it can be immensely helpful to do your research before adopting the dog of your dreams. After all, step one is to figure out what your ideal four-legged friend might be like.
Will they cuddle up with you at the end of the day, or will they sleep in a dog bed all their own? Would you like a high-energy friend or a canine buddy that can binge-watch your favorite Netflix show at all hours of the day with you? Perhaps even more importantly, what size dog can you handle in your home?
Medium-sized dogs are a perfect fit for those who may want the activity of a larger dog without the massive size. Many families prefer mid-sized canines because they're large enough to play with children without getting hurt, but they're not too large to spook or knock over a child (most of the time, anyway). There can be many reasons why a medium-sized dog breed is your perfect fit, but how do you know what breed to look into? Let us help you decide.

Medium-sized dogs for families with children

Read more
How to find the right veterinarian for your pet
Getting your pet the best medical care will improve and prolong their life
Veterinarian examining cat while little boy watches

Taking your dog or cat to the vet might cause you some anxiety, especially if you're doing so for the first time. Trust us, it makes pet ownership so much more enjoyable when you have an animal doctor that both of you like. Choosing the right veterinarian for your beloved companions may not be easy, but it's certainly worth it — you'll have a better time caring for your animals, and they will stick around longer with excellent medical attention. Here's how to choose a vet.
When should I look for a vet?

We hate to add to your checklist, but you probably want to look at vets before you even bring home a dog or cat. It can take time and lots of phone calls to different places before you figure out the right fit — meaning a practice that suits your needs and budget and has availability.

Read more
Is your cat obese? 5 ways to help them slim down
Obesity left unchecked can lead to health problems
An obese tabby cat perched on a red wooden table

World Pet Obesity Week is in the fall, so it's the purrfect chance to get your kitty on a diet to slim down in time. According to a survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), roughly 61% of cats and 59% of dogs in the U.S. alone are overweight or obese. While few things are more adorable than a chunky cat, obesity in cats comes with a multitude of health risks.

Have you been wondering if your cat needs to lose a few pounds? We're here to share how you can tell if your cat is obese, the potential health problems caused by cat obesity, and five helpful things you can do to help them lose weight. 
What causes obesity in cats?

Read more