7 thoughtful ways to honour your pet’s memory

Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a beloved pet, whether they pass away suddenly or due to old age, saying goodbye will always be painful. Although humans have many rituals for mourning the loss of a loved one, there are no specific traditions for mourning the death of a pet. So pet owners need to come up with their own interpretation of dealing with this loss. Finding a special way to honour your pet and celebrate their life can even be an important part of the healing process. Here are seven ideas for heartfelt ways to keep your pet’s memory alive.

1. Commemorate your pet with others

When coping with the loss of a pet, it can be helpful for some pet parents to connect with their family and friends. You can consider hosting a memorial service for your pet, share memories and say a final farewell.

2. Create an outdoor memorial for your pet

Did your pet have a favourite spot in your garden or love going on walks to a specific park? You could create a special place in their memory somewhere outdoors. Put their name on a stone, plant something in their honour, or have their name engraved on a park bench. (Our EarthPet Tree-in-a-Box option works really well with this idea as well.)

3. Preserve their paw print

Although it’s hard to think of this in advance you could try to capture your pet’s paw print (or even nose print) on paper or make an imprint in salt dough or clay. This way you can have a unique memento of your pet to keep in a special place or even use it later to an artwork. Some veterinary clinics actually offer this service when it’s time to say goodbye and might for example include a card containing your pet’s paw print.

4. Customised art or jewellery

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to personalizing artwork or a piece of jewellery in honour of a pet. Turn your favourite photo into a custom watercolour pet portrait, or have your four-legged family member’s nose or paw print engraved into a necklace. Reach out to a local artist to get ideas! Two options which we support are:

  • Heart Strings Jewellery for horse owners – beautiful jewellery created by Gaby Milner using your horse’s hair (more details here)
  • Adorable hand-sculpted pet figurines created by Clay Creatures SA (https://facebook.com/claycreaturessa)

5. Celebrate their birthday

Sometimes it also helps to honour your pets birthday once a year, even if they have passed on. Whether this means visiting a special place you often went with your pet or simply looking through old photos, it can serve as a dedicated time each year to reflect and celebrate just how much your pet meant to you.

6. Honour their remains

While we can’t hold a funeral for our beloved pets in the normal way to bury their bodies, through services offered by companies like EarthPet there are definitely ways to honour their remains:

After the BioBurial process has taken place we have the Return of Compost option for pet owners who would like to take home the compost that their pet’s remains contributed to. It can then be mixed with soil and used in whichever way you feel will celebrate your pet’s memory. You can get a Tree-in-a-Box from us as well and add the compost to either the seeds of Bladder-nut, Black Monkey-Thorn or Wild Olive trees and grow a lovely tree in memory of your pet.

(Essentially our BioBurial Return of Compost option allows pet owners to still ‘bury their pets at home’ but in safe and legal manner. It is legal to bury your pet’s compost, while burying the body in the traditional manner is not.)

So if you do have the opportunity to take home your pet’s remains, you can think of a creative way to honour them and place them or scatter them in a meaningful spot.

7. Give to animals in need

Honour your pet by donating to an animal charity. There are so many organisations who are helping animals and could really use the donation. Your gift can impact lives of pets that are for example living in a shelter directly and make a big difference. You could even go for something a bit more unconventional, like sponsoring a bucket of tennis balls for the local dog park in honour of your dog who loved to chase them.

And sometimes, while the loss of one animal can cause an overwhelming sadness, welcoming a new one into your home (when you’re ready of course), can lift you up and also remind you of the joy of the journey of bonding with a pet, and why we choose to love and lose anyway.

Whatever makes the burden easier to bear and helps you remember the love you shared with your pet – there is no right or wrong way to mourn your animal companion.

Contact us if you would like to find out about any of the options available from EarthPet.