Memorializing your pet after saying goodbye

February 29, 2024by sacvalleyvet

Memorializing your pet after saying goodbye

Sacramento Valley Veterinary Services

Sacramento In Home Pet Euthanasia

Sacramento Mobile Pet Euthanasia

We are so fortunate to live in a time where we recognize how much animals enrich our human experience. They bring joy and fullness to us every day, and become family members and our best friends. Unfortunately, having pets means eventually having to say goodbye and the way this loss impacts us can be excruciatingly painful. The tangle of emotions surrounding pet loss is often very complex, and a topic not often discussed in our culture. You may feel grief, loneliness, guilt and even relief. At times it can feel like getting through the loss of a pet is impossible, so here are a few ways to hopefully soften those emotions and help you through this difficult time.

  1. Talk about your recently deceased pet. While this can be too difficult for some at first, talking about your pet’s life to people can help you remember how special your bond was. Tell funny stories! Pets are comedians without even knowing it and laughter is a beautiful medicine. If you can, do this with people that also had a relationship with your pet. It’s lovely to hear how your pet may have touched other peoples’ lives without you even knowing it.
  2. Write a letter or story about your pet. Remembering all the fun adventures you had, and silly antics that would make you smile can help shift the focus towards the joy of your relationship. Writing can also help to put our feelings into words, which can make difficult emotions more tangible and easier to process. Consider writing a letter to your pet on dissolvable paper and release it in a nearby stream or lake (this can be especially helpful for children).
  3. Use some fur for jewelry or trinkets. For pets with long enough fur, you can have this spun into yarn for a scarf or woven into a hat band. You can also trim some fur and have it embedded into resin for one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. If you are the outdoorsy type, fur can be made into fishing flies.
  4. Get creative with your pet’s ashes. If you choose private cremation for your pet, your pet’s individual ashes will be returned to you. Of course, having them in a beautiful urn or box is fine. You can also take some of your pet’s ashes to his or her favorite places and sprinkle them there. You can mix some of your pet’s ashes in soil and grow a memorial garden.
  5. Memorialize your pet somewhere special to him/her. If your pet had a favorite spot outside, build a small monument where you can go visit. You can have a simple headstone made, build up a pile of stones, or place your pet’s collar around a rock. Even if your pet is not buried there, having a serene place to be able to go to feel the presence of your recently passed companion can be therapeutic.
  6. Have a custom painting or sculpture made. While this would be a lovely thing to do on your own if you are so artistically inclined, for the rest of us, we turn to the internet. There are thousands of artists that are also animal lovers doing beautiful pieces of artwork to memorialize pets. For those that are more technologically savvy and less artistic, there are many companies that can make a blanket, pillow, or wall hanging from a favorite photo.
  7. Donate to a rescue, shelter, or veterinary group in honor of your pet. One of the most beautiful ways to deal with any heartache is to give. This can be a monetary donation or offering up your recently deceased pet’s medications, food, and other supplies to help another pet in need. This can be a therapeutic way to give essentials to another pet and not have empty beds or food bowls lying around the house.
  8. Adopt or foster a new pet in honor of your recent loss. While this can be hard for many and taking time between animals may be necessary, giving a home or even a temporary soft place to land to another animal in need in can be a way to honor of your recent loss. It can also be a sweet way to pay it forward, as well as putting a band-aid on your aching heart.

Pet loss can be devastating, but we hope some of these ways to memorialize your pet after a loss helps. We hope your tears turn to a smile sooner than later when you remember more of your pet’s life than their loss. Additionally, don’t ever be ashamed to seek out professional help and therapy.


West Coast Memorial Services

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine

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Arden, Downtown Sacramento, Elk Grove, Florin, Freeport, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Land Park, Lock, Lockeford, Lodi, Meadowview, Midtown Sacramento, North Laguna, Oak Park, Rancho Murieta, Rancho Cordova, Rosemonet, Ryde, Sloughhouse, South Sacramento, West Sacramento, Wilton

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