5 Ways We Can Remember Our Pets

Published: August 29, 2016
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Dealing with the death of a beloved animal companion is the hardest thing pet parents ever have to do. Grieving may be a natural process, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy. One of the best ways to attend to our grief is to memorialize the life of our loved one who has passed. Pet remembrances come in many forms. Here are my five favorites.

1. Cremation

Cremation has become an extremely popular way of handling the remains of deceased pets. Owners may choose to keep their pets’ ashes to do with what they like. Pet ashes can be scattered or buried on private land. Pet grave markers are readily available online and from many pet crematories. Some grave markers can even be customized with your pet’s picture or life story. Some owners choose to hold on to their pet’s ashes. Urns to fit every taste and budget can also be found online or from most pet crematories.

2. Jewelry

Jewelry is a good way to keep pet memorials with us when we’re on the move. Any piece of jewelry may act as a remembrance, but some can be made to specifically memorialize your pet. Take a look at Etsy to get an idea of the types of pet remembrance jewelry that are available. Another option is to purchase a pendant that can be filled with a small amount of your pet’s ashes.

If you’re looking for something on a grander scale, consider having your pet’s ashes turned into a diamond that you can then have set in any type of jewelry you’d like. This option is not cheap, but is a truly beautiful memorial to a loved one.

3. Plantings

Plantings such as trees, shrubs, or flowers are a wonderful way to honor a pet’s life. If possible, try to choose a planting that somehow reminds you of your pet. Did your dog have white fur? Then perhaps a tree that produces white flowers in the spring is the right choice. Was your cat born in Maryland? Then why not plant some Black-Eyed Susans, Maryland’s state flower? If you are still looking for an appropriate resting place for your pet’s ashes, consider scattering them in your memorial flower garden or within the hole you’ve dug for your remembrance tree.

4. Paw Prints

Being able to look at your pet’s paw print after they’ve passed can be very meaningful. Paw prints can be made while a pet is still alive or after they have passed. Many veterinarians will offer to make a paw print for you as a part of their euthanasia service. Paw prints are often made in clay but ink on paper is another option.

5. Donation

Perhaps the simplest but most eloquent way to memorialize a pet is to make a donation in their honor to the charity of your choice. Charities that help animals in need are obviously a good fit, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t think outside the box. For example, for just $10 the National Arbor Day Foundation will plant 10 trees in a national forest and provide you with a certificate in tribute to your beloved pet.