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Pet Aftercare

12 Pet Memorial Ideas to Honor a Deceased Pet

There are many ways to honor a dog or cat who passed away. Here are some ideas to memorialize your pet.

Dr. Bethany Hsia

April 17, 2023

Losing a pet is like losing a member of the family. You spend part of your life used to having your furry friend by your side. When suddenly they are not around anymore, their absence might be difficult to process.

For many pet parents, memorializing their cat or dog is a way to process grief and honor their best friend. Here are some touching pet memorial ideas to keep your pet’s memory alive.

12 Ways to Memorialize a Pet

Create a Paw Print or Nose Print

One meaningful way to remember your furry friend can be to take a mold of their paw or nose. Many vets and crematoriums offer this service. There are also DIY kits available online so that you can create a lasting keepsake at home. The resulting piece can be transformed into an ornament or placed in a frame. It is important to plan in advance since the molds must be taken before or right after the pet's passing.

Another option to capture a pet’s nose or paw print is to use food coloring. This can be done at home, if you feel it is the right option for you. All you need is food coloring, paper towels, a sheet of paper, and a damp washcloth.

Start by using a paper towel to gently dry your pet’s nose or paw. Then, use another paper towel to dab the food coloring over your pet’s nose or paw (be sure to get the whole area). Next, you'll grab your sheet of paper and gently press it onto your pet’s nose or paw to capture the print. Finally, use a damp washcloth to wipe your pet clean.

Paw Print or Nose Print of your Pet

Jewelry to Remember Your Pet

There are several ways you can use jewelry to memorialize your pet. You can get your pet’s name engraved on a ring, get their picture engraved on a necklace, or even wear a small portion of their ashes around your neck. Jewelry can be a good option to help you process your grief while feeling you have your pet close to you at all times.

Places to purchase personalized jewelry online include Etsy, Amazon, Chewy, The Pet Pillow, and many more.

Donations in Honor of a Deceased Pet

A good way to celebrate your pet’s life is to help others. Go to your local animal shelter and volunteer your time to help dogs and cats in need. You can also make a donation in the name of your lost pet, giving either money or supplies to the shelter.

Volunteer work and donations not only honor your pet’s life—they can help you process your grief as well. According to Dr. Sarah Shelton, a licensed clinical psychologist, after a pet passes, owners have a lot of love inside them that can be rechanneled in a positive way. Volunteering or donating is a way to direct that love to others in need.

Related content: End Of Life Pet Services: Understanding your options

Pet Memorial Stones

A pet memorial stone is a small stone engraved with your pet's name that can be placed at your pet's burial site or displayed in your home in a special place, such as next to a photo of your pet. You can even add your pet's paw print or the years they were alive.

Pet memorial stones can be purchased online at Amazon, Chewy, Etsy, and other retailers.

Memorial stone of your Pet

Pet Memorial Tattoo

Tattoos are often used to pay tribute to a loved one before or after their passing. You could honor your pet in several ways. You can tattoo their picture, their paw print, or their name. A pet memorial tattoo is a great way to keep your pet with you forever after they pass.

Pet Collar Memorial

After your pet passes, you can save their collar and display it in your home on a shelf or table to honor their life. Another idea is framing your pet’s collar with their picture and hanging it in a special place to remember your best friend and keep their memory alive.

Biodegradable Memorial Balloon

You can use biodegradable memorial balloons to celebrate your deceased pet's life. Gather some friends and family and have them all write a message of remembrance for your pet. Tie the notes to the balloons and set them free. This is also a good way to express your grief and process difficult emotions with the support of family and friends.

Biodegradable Memorial Balloon of your Pet

Plant a Tree

Trees symbolize life and can be used as a special way to honor your pet. Did your pet have a favorite place in the backyard to play? A favorite park to go to for a walk? You can plant a tree at any of these locations to symbolize your pet's life and remembrance.

Personalized Coffee Mug

Adding your pet’s face or paw print to a coffee mug can be a way to memorialize your pet after death. It will be one of the first things you see in the morning while drinking your coffee at breakfast. For many, this is a way to keep memories alive and keep the connection to a beloved cat or dog. Some vendors also offer other ways to personalize a mug with drawings and thoughtful messages to support pet parents after their loss.

Related content: What to expect from pet euthanasia

Memory Box

Gather anything you want to keep from your pet and place it into a pet keepsake box. These things can include your pet’s collar, their food bowl, leash, pictures, or favorite toys. With a pet memory box, you will always be able to look back at all the wonderful memories you had together.

Hold a Memorial Service

You can ask friends and family to gather with you and celebrate your pet’s life after they are gone. Share fun stories and memories of your pet as a way to say goodbye to your four-legged friend. Rituals like that are also important to remind you that you are not going through this pain alone.

Create a Scrapbook

Find all the pictures you have of your furry friend and add them to a scrapbook. Under each picture, add what you remember about it or a funny story about your pet. This is a great way to memorialize your pet while chronicling their life so you will always remember the moments whether big or small.

Remembering Your Pet After Death

Losing a pet is one of the harder parts of life. We love them so much while they are here that their passing can be difficult to process and may take some time. That is why memorializing your pet can be a great way to help you remember all the good times you had together and cherish the memories forever.

CodaPet is here to help you at this difficult time. We offer in-home pet euthanasia, aftercare and pet memorabilia to help you honor your best friend’s life. Learn more about our services or book your appointment.


Dr. Bethany graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After graduation, she moved west. Dr. Bethany spent a year at a small animal exclusive practice in Washington state, where she was first introduced to in-home euthanasia.  Read More