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7 Pet Memorial Gifts and Ideas for Saying Goodbye to a Dog or Cat

These beautiful, touching pet memorial and gifts include engraved stones, urns, and online tributes to lost pets, to help you remember and say goodbye to a beloved dog or cat. Here, pet owners share how they immortalized their beloved animals and describe different types of pet memorials, ranging from personalized pet memorial stones to beautiful urns that contain a dog’s or cat’s ashes.

A Personalized Pet Memorial Stone that sits in your garden or on your desk or bookcase might be a lovely way to remember your dog or cat.

Best friends come in all breeds, shapes, sizes, and colors. Your pet was incredibly special; may you remember the fond memories and keep your beloved dog or cat forever close in your heart.

7 Pet Memorial Gifts and Ideas for Saying Goodbye to a Dog or Cat

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” ~ Vicki Harrison.

Video of a pet memorial service

“I firmly believe in holding some sort of memorial service for a pet,” says Pam Vetter. “It doesn’t have to be large or expensive. It can be only immediate family at home – but a funeral or memorial helps us honor a life lived, whether it was a human or a pet.” You can videotape your pet’s memorial service, and watch on your dog or cat’s special anniversaries or birthdays. Vetter also says that full funeral services officiated by clergy are offered by some pet cemeteries. “While I think this is a good service, not everyone can afford thousands of dollars in pet funerals. But, everyone can do something smaller in their own home – whether it’s lighting a candle in remembrance or framing a photo of the pet. The best thing to do is say good-bye to your dog or cat with a smile.”

Online pet memorials or tributes

“Online pet memorials, which are becoming common on the internet,” says Vetter. “People post a photo and a little life story about the pet. I’ve read many wonderful tributes to dogs who served as family companions, along with cats who curled up in a child’s bed every night for many years. Part of the healing process when you’re grieving pet loss is sharing stories and remembering the pets we love.”

Urns of your dog or cat’s ashes

“What helped me with the loss of my cat, Pepper, is having her ashes,” says Diahna Husbands. “A company by the name of Heavenly Days gave me her ashes and made a paw print mold. I keep the ashes and mold on my mantel piece. My computer icon is also of my cat, so I always remember her when I log in. I have not gotten a new pet yet. I am not quite ready to move on my cat has been with my family for over 16 years, so it might just take me a little longer to get over my grief.”

Coping with pet loss is especially difficult when you’re dealing with guilty feelings after your dog or cat dies.

A special pet memorial spot in your home

“When our two very old cats, Harry and Blackie, had to be put down from illness, we did three things,” says Ian. “First, my wife and I thought it was important that the house not be empty of an animal presence. We adopted two rescue kittens who were so lively and crazy as kittens are that they occupied our time. Second, we created a picture memorial for Harry and Blackie. We put out framed photos on a library table and we remember them in happy times, though we still feel a lot of sadness that they’re gone. Finally, as way of honoring the memory, I put a picture of Blackie on the cover of my first collection of fiction, Hunger and Other Stories. In the picture, he’s on a patch of carpet and I know that any second, he’s coming over to sit in my lap”. – Ian Randall Wilson

A dog or cat toy invention

“We had a cat for 19 years and it was terrible when we had to put him down. My therapy for the past four years has been to invent a toy cat that sounds and feels like a real purring cat. My husband says it has been the most expensive grieving process he could imagine. I tried to turn my family’s grief into something that can provide joy to others who never experienced owning the perfect cat.” – Vivian Hoard

Gifts for lost pets, such as books, journals, or photo albums

To remember her pet and cope with pet loss, Diana Scimone wrote a series of books about a traveling dog.” Adventures With PawPaw features a little dog who travels to a different country in each book, introducing young kids to other countries and cultures,” says Diana. “So far PawPaw has visited China , France , and Costa Rica – and is packing his bags for Kenya , Italy , Egypt , Israel , and other spots.”

A special spot outside in the yard – with a pet memorial stone

“Our seven year old dog died very suddenly two years ago,” says Meagan Farrell. “We were all heart broken. We planted a rose bush in our dog’s honor and put a plaque by it to memorialize it. When our family heard what we had done, they all sent us more rose bushes. Now we have “Bailey’s rose garden.” Also, our daughter was only five at the time, so to help her cope, we got a balloon and released it ‘up to Bailey in heaven.’ This helped her to process the loss of our beloved pet.”

There are many different types of pet memorial stones, such as a Devotion Pet Garden Stone – it’s beautiful.

Resources for Coping With Pet Loss

how to heal after losing your petIn How to Heal Your Heart After Losing a Pet: 75 Ways to Cope With Grief and Guilt When Your Dog or Cat DiesI share a variety of different and healing ways to cope with pet loss. Grief is painful when faced in big chunks; my tips are designed to be “bite-sized”, which means you won’t have to sit and read through a huge amount of difficult information about healing after a pet dies.

To write this ebook – which you can have immediate access to – I interviewed veterinarians, grief counselors, and pet experts for the best ways to survive the death of a beloved dog, and I included stories from real pet owners who coped with guilt and grief in sometimes surprising ways.

How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog DiesIn Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, Jon Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Accidentally causing your dog’s death or pain is an extremely difficult experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Jon draws on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections to help pet owners grieve the loss of their dogs. He gently asks readers to consider if they gave their dogs good lives and if they used their best judgment in the end. In dealing with these issues, you will deal with guilt about your dog’s death, and let go of the pain.

I welcome your thoughts on dealing with guilty feelings after the loss of a dog. I can’t offer advice our counselling, but you may find it helpful to share your experience. Writing is one of the best ways to process grief and guilt after your dog dies, and can help you resolve your feelings.

Dealing with guilt after the loss of a dog isn’t just about grieving; it’s about cherishing the best parts of your life with your dog. If you feel like you’ll never be happy again, read How to Recover From Loss and Survive Grief.

If you’re feel guilty because of the part you played in your dog’s death, read How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Beloved Dog.

Do you have any thoughts on remembering your pet, pet memorials, or gifts for lost pets? Please comment below…


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11 thoughts on “7 Pet Memorial Gifts and Ideas for Saying Goodbye to a Dog or Cat”

  1. Thanks Georgia! I like your website, which offers several different types of “loss of dog” and “loss of cat” pet memorials, ideas, and gifts. You really do offer unique items celebrating furry family members 🙂

  2. I really love your idea of having a special pet memorial spot in the yard. When my family’s cat passed away, we made a little spot like you described in our backyard to remember him. It has a little marker with his paw print pressed into it. It’s been a great way to keep his memory alive.

  3. Thank you for your comments – I really appreciate them!

    Thinking about a pet memorial can be very painful, but it may be the best way to say good-bye to your dog or cat.

  4. Reading acouple of these brought tears in my eyes. See my 12yr Pit Bull Mix Romeo just had major surgery done two days ago to get some Tumors removed. He was in so much pain but I laid there with him the 1st night and promised i would never put him through so much pain again. My dearest romeo was the only one i could count on as a child with no mother or father this little guy showed me love compasion and responsibilities. I love him so much. I will never let him go through pain again.

  5. Rocket – My Sweet Boy
    B: 8/2004 D: 8/23/2012

    Rocket – my dear, Sweet Boy – you are very much loved and we miss you terribly.
    When David said we are going to adopt a 3-yr old Doberman, I had a preconceived idea of Dobermans and boy did you change that. The first time I met you in 2008, I was shocked how big you were – you weighed over 100 pounds, were all legs and muscle, you came over and sniffed me – I was a little afraid of you. But you were gentle and so very handsome. In fact, everyone who met you said that you had the sweetest personality – a good natured dog.

    Over the years I became more and more attached to you. We took nice long walks. I found you a winter coat, you looked so handsome in it. I would play ‘tug on the ring’ with you in the yard.

    You never barked unless there was a good reason, then your hair would rise up along your spine. You had a very deep bark that warned when the mailman came down the driveway, he carried doggie biscuits and how you liked that!

    You loved having your ears scratched and your head petted – you would nuzzle your head into our hands so we would keep petting you. Your fur was like velvet – so soft.

    You would greet us in the morning with ‘Mr. Snowman’ – how you loved him. We gave him to you your first Christmas with us, he got a little tattered, was sewed up a few times, but he was still in good enough shape for you to carry him around. You were so gentle with him. Mom said she knew you weren’t feeling well when you didn’t greet her in the morning with ‘Mr. Snowman’.

    You loved to suckle blankets – I thought it was cute – how such a big dog would bunch the ‘bankie’ up between your paws and suckle it until you went to sleep. Eventually, there would be little holes in the fleece blankets. During the winter I would look outside and see little pieces of different colored cloth – went right through you. I found a piece of it in the dirt where Mom and I put the garden out front summer of 2012 – must have been out there for quite a while.

    I remember how you would cock your head to one side and then the other when asked ‘does Rocket want a ….?’ How you loved to eat carrots – we would go to the butchers and get you huge carrots. We’d say ‘Rocket want a carrot?’ and you’d come running into the kitchen. You loved green beans, I would throw them over the garden fence and you would jump to catch and eat them. I always smile when I think of the time I was picking green beans in the garden and you got into the garden and were eating green beans from one side of the bush while I was picking them on the other side of the bush.

    You were diagnosed with Wobblers in Fall 2010, you were only 5-yrs old. By Spring 2012, you had trouble getting around, and needed help to get down the front stairs. But once down, you could get around OK – but wobbly. The Wobblers was somewhat under control, you were on a very low dose of steroid and we had room to increase it if needed. You loved getting your meds because we would wrap them in cheese or ham and you got an extra treat. You knew when it was time for meds and would go into the kitchen at med time and wait.

    The Megaesophogus was really hard to manage. David built you a raised food bowl; we changed your food to IAMS Puppy chow, which made your coat glisten. Tried meds, smaller feedings, mixing yogurt with your food to make it easier to go down. Giving small amount of water. But eventually you had a hard time keeping your food down and kept getting sick during the night.

    On Aug. 10, 2012 Mom came for 10 days. That night you were feeling great – ran to the door to go out, were suckling your blanket, wanted you head scratched for hours. You were feeling your old self, my heart was so glad. Then the next morning you fell and hurt your right front elbow, we took you into the Vet make sure it wasn’t broken, they said it looked like a sprain. It got better and then worse, a hole opened up in the elbow, it was hard for you to walk. The next 12 days were hell watching you try to get around and knowing you were in pain. You were puking all night and lost weight. When you breathed you were gurgling, you sounded like you had pneumonia again. Your right rear leg started curling under. I know you had to have been miserable, but you never complained, whimpered, or let us know you were in pain.

    When we made the final decision, I was numb with grief, in pain – I’m crying while writing this. At the time I knew it was time, you were weak and could barely stand. When you were going to sleep that day, I said ‘my sweet boy’ and you turned your head towards me, you knew I was there, you were not alone. Afterwards, I tore myself up with feelings of guilt and ‘what if we tried….’ He was so young. It’s so useless to do that. I know that you were so very sick but wanted to try everything and anything to help you. The Vet did not even offer alternatives, his assistant said she saw you and knew it was time, you were tired, weak, had lost weight, could hardly stand, and did not feel well.

    We buried you at home by the woods and garden. We wrapped you in your blue blanket which you had barely suckled the previous six months. I put Mr. Snowman and Mr. Bear with you, also a huge bone we were saving for you, a large carrot, and some fresh green beans with you. We planted a Forsythia bush by you, to give you some shade in the summer and it will be the first thing to flower next Spring.

    We both love you and miss you. David says you were one of a kind and he is right. The house feels empty, too quiet; I miss you greeting us with Mr. Snowman in your mouth when we come home. Tasha doesn’t leave my side and misses you too.

    Sleep, my Sweet Boy, we brought you home to rest. You can roam the woods to your heart’s content.
    We love and miss you.

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for sharing your pet loss stories here…this is one way to remember your lost pet, and memorialize him or her!

    In sympathy,

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I found this poem today….

    My best friend closed his eyes last night,
    As his head was in my hand.
    The Doctors said he was in pain,
    And it was hard for him to stand.

    The thoughts that scurried through my head,
    As I cradled him in my arms.
    Were of his younger, puppy years,
    And OH…his many charms.

    Today, there was no gentle nudge
    With an intense “I love you gaze”,
    Only a heart thats filled with tears
    Remembering our joy filled days.

    But an Angel just appeared to me,
    And he said, “you should cry no more,
    GOD also loves our canine friends,
    He’s installed a “doggy-door”!

    by Jan Cooper

  8. memorial jewellery

    I lost my dog last year and your story has bought tears to my eyes. Really sorry about your dog. Blessings. Fionaxx

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Diane,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Vida…and I thank you for sharing your beautiful story of unconditional love. She lives on not only in your heart, but the hearts of all the people who read your story.


  10. In Memory of Vida…………. 2003 – Died March 13, 2010

    It’s been five weeks since I last snuggled with her. As I gaze upon her grave in the backyard, there is such a yearning to see her again. I believe God put dogs on this earth to show mankind what unconditional love is all about. Let me explain.

    Two years ago as I was undergoing treatment for cancer, I was racked with nausia and vomiting after chemo. I would be stretched out over my bed, sick and weary. Vida would sit on my bed with me, sometimes licking tears off my face as I complained how aweful I felt. Weeks turned into months, and my lethargic body lay limp with fatigue. And then there was Vida-stretched out next to me, snuggling closer and closer by the hours. She was a vital dog, strong and powerful. Her breed was a Presa Canarie Mastif, rumored to be a violent type of dog. But Vida was gentle and powerfully loyal, and I loved her so much. She could have been playing and romping in the backyard, but she stayed by my side like a loving friend. There were times I would swear she could read both my feelings and my thoughts. The sicker I was, the closer she became.

    Animals don’t demand much. Just returned love, food, water and shelter. In turn, they give so much more. When I looked into her eyes, I could feel the love she returned to me.

    Three months before her death, she was diagnosed with acute renal failure. She was only seven years old, so the diagnosis was hard to take. We expected to have her five to seven years longer. She was nursed by my daughters and son, as well as us. She had IV drips and a special diet. She never complained. She went between my home and my daughters home. We worked closely with our vet to help expand her life as long as possible. For awhile, she didn’t even seem sick. But then the day came when she could not eat or drink water. She was sick and nauseaded and threw up anything we tried to feed her. The doctor did blood work, and comfirmed the worse.

    We knew we had only one thing left we could do for her. We placed her in my bed, the same bed where she layed with me through my sickness, and made her comfortable. We gave her eyedroppers of water and snuggled closely with her. We looked into her intent eyes and sent her love. We talked to her, and whispered affectionate words of gratitude to her. Someone was with her for the next few days around the clock. She was never alone. The final morning arrived, and each one in the family sat on the bed rubbing her sick body. The tears began to fall. She was too weak this time to lick them, but she gazed at us in loving thankfulness. The time had come for the doctor to injet her with the medicine that would end her final day. With heavy hearts, we watched as the morphine did its job. Her body was lifeless. She was gone. My son wrapped her in her favorite blanket, and lifted her body from the bed.
    Her grave had been dug. Jesse gently walked her down to her final resting place. It was over. She was gone from us, but remains in our hearts forever. She was a blessing from God, a gift to show our family what unconditional love really looked like.