Pet loss and grieving a pet is an extremely difficult experience. There's no denying the magical connection between a person and their pet. Pets are such a special part of the family, which makes saying goodbye to them a really hard experience to endure.
However, pet remembrance is important, and there are many ways you can keep the memories of your beloved pet alive. Choosing the best way to remember your pet is completely personal to you and your relationship with them.
Whichever way you choose to remember them, taking the time to look back on the happy memories and unconditional love can help with the grieving process.
Here are some ideas we've explored that can offer support and an element of closure while also remembering them and paying tribute to the happy memories you shared.
A ceremony to say goodbye
Some people choose to have a funeral or a farewell ceremony for their pet. It’s something that can help you and your loved ones openly express feelings in a safe and caring environment while also offering a chance to say goodbye.
You could invite the people who mean the most to you (and your pet) and say some words about your favourite memories of them and what made them such a special pet. This ceremony could be held either at your home, their favourite park, or a spot on their favourite walk. If you choose to scatter your pet's ashes, this might also be the right occasion to do it. Alternatively, you might prefer to choose a different location, or do it at a time when you're on your own and can say goodbye privately.
Talking is an important part of the grieving process, and speaking about your favourite memories with people who understand and support you is a good way to help the grieving process while also paying tribute to your pet's memory.
Some people find it useful to create a lasting memory in the form of a scrapbook, photo album or a memory box. These ideas can also be a nice way to get children involved and help them through the grieving process by remembering their pet positively. It's also something that they can put away and revisit the memories in future years.
A natural tribute
To create a natural and lasting tribute, planting a tree or flowers in memory of your pet is a wonderful way to remember them. It could be their favourite spot in the garden or somewhere they always loved digging and sniffing around! You could even use their food or water bowl as the planter. Another lovely idea is to have their name etched onto a chair or bench in the garden.
Turning something sad into a positive
An uplifting way to mark a pet's anniversary or their birthday is to volunteer at a local animal shelter or donate to an animal charity in their memory. Many animal shelters also really appreciate local dog-walkers who are happy to take the pooches out for their daily walks before they go on to find their forever homes.
Pet memorial jewellery
We've experienced pet loss ourselves, and we know how devastating it is. It was going through these heart-breaking experiences that inspired us to start our pet memorial range.
To create a lasting memory of your pet, our specialist designers can design a beautiful piece of jewellery using the true paw print. They will work carefully with the image, removing any marks from fur and miniaturing the print, keeping all the unique detail to fit on your chosen necklace, charm or bracelet.
Cremation ashes jewellery
Alternatively, our cremation ashes range can also encompass pet cremation ashes to create a lasting tribute.
Jewellery made from ashes is becoming more popular than ever, and we offer two different options – cremation ashes jewellery and self-fill ashes jewellery.
The cremation ashes jewellery range means you can create a piece of jewellery, including necklaces, rings, cufflinks, charms and earrings, using the ashes from your pet.
The cremation ash is very delicately set into resin, which has a beautiful glass-like appearance while being very hard-wearing, making it the perfect material for ashes jewellery. Available in various colours, the cremation ash is layered to create a beautiful floating and sparkling appearance within the jewellery.
Self-fill ashes jewellery
Our other range for jewellery made from ashes is the self-fill ashes collection. These pieces are designed to hold a small token of cremation ashes – the ideal way to keep a pet close in a beautiful piece of memorial jewellery.
All our urn necklaces are made from sterling silver and come with the equipment and instructions needed to transfer a small amount of ashes into the necklace. You can also choose to have your ashes necklace personalised with text, like the name of your pet, or a date.
You can take a memorial one step further with a tattoo of your beloved pooch's name or a portrait of them. Several tattoo parlours around the UK will mix ashes with body ink to create a lasting reminder and a unique tribute that's a permanent fixture on your skin and a constant reminder that they'll always be with you, even if they’re not physically there anymore.
Remember them through art
Many artists can create a beautiful portrait from a pet's photograph. You might be asked to submit one to five photos, and the artist will create a custom piece from sketches, paints or watercolours.
Your pet's possessions
You might want to keep hold of your pet's possessions as a memory of them. But whether you're keeping items like their bed or toys or removing them permanently, be sure to do it gradually. The first step can be to move them to a different location, easing the transition. Then when you feel ready, you could store them away in a safe place (in a garage or loft) so that they don't serve as an everyday reminder, but you can look at them when you feel strong enough to sit comfortably with the memory of them.
You might want to keep something of theirs handy, and if you do, you could have their blanket embroidered with their initials and/or a pawprint and keep it somewhere nearby, on a sofa or chair, for times when you want to sit and remember them.
If you choose to remove the belongings permanently, many animal shelters will accept donations of beds, toys and sealed food – which could be a nice gesture in your pet's memory.
We've written about pets and grief on our blog previously (have you read our piece about grieving the loss of a pet? We hope it offers some help, support and advice). We understand how devastating it is to lose a pet – we've been through it ourselves and know how difficult it can be. If you've been affected by this and would like to speak to somebody, Blue Cross offers a free and confidential Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS).