40 Meaningful Pet Memorial Ideas to Honor Your Pet

Our pets bring a distinctive shape to our homes, and when we lose them they leave a palpable absence. But there are as many pet memorial ideas as unique pet personalities.

pet memorial ideas
40 Meaningful Pet Memorial Ideas To Honor Your Pet

Funeral Service

We associate funerals with humans, but losing a pet is equally challenging. One of the most meaningful pet memorial ideas is to hold a funeral service for your pet. 

A funeral service doesn’t have to be religious. Bring together all your pet’s favorite people and take the time to remember your departed pet.

Share Memories

Another meaningful way to memorialize a pet is by sharing memories. Sometimes this can be painful, but don’t hesitate to talk about your pet with family members. Memories are a wonderful way to keep your pet’s spirit alive.

owner hugging a puppy
An owner snuggling with her puppy.

Light Candles

Yet another thing you can do to commemorate your pet is light a candle. You can do this ceremonially with others, or in private. We like to do it whenever we pass a church with votive candle racks.

Battery Operated Candles

If you have other pets at home, you may be understandably wary of open-flame commemorations of your pet. One way around this is to invest in a battery-operated votive candle to remember your pet.

electronic candle for dogs
Electronic candles are safe if you have pets like dogs and cats.

Frame a Favorite Photo

It can be helpful to frame a favorite photo of your pet and display it somewhere prominent, with or without candles. Pick a picture that includes both of you.

Create a Photo Collage

Nowadays, many people keep pictures on their phones. One pet memorial idea we always liked was to create a photo collage. Print off photos that showcase your pet’s personality, and turn them into a collage.

a dog photo collection
A flipped dog photo collection.

Have a Paw Print Taken

Clay pawprints give you a piece of your pet to hold on to after they’ve gone. Not everyone recognizes them as pet memorials, which can be helpful for more private grievers. But you’ll know what it is and find comfort in it. (The best paw print impressions here)

dog paw print in clay
A dog paw print in clay.

Design a Video Collage

Another pet memorial idea for people who enjoy their multimedia is video collages. These are perfect for pets that had too much personality to showcase in something as static as a photograph.

Golden Retriever with owner
Golden Retriever with his owner on her laptop.

Design a Reliquary

Reliquaries aren’t for everyone, but another option many pet cremation services offer these days is the chance to design a reliquary containing your pet’s:

  • Fur
  • Eyebrows
  • Teeth

Pet-Inspired Jewelry

If a reliquary feels too Victorian, consider a custom charm, necklace, or bracelet made with your pet’s likeness on it. Wearing the jewelry will combine your love for your pet with a beautiful work of art.

creating personalized jewelry design
Creating a dog-inspired jewelry design.

Commission a Pet Portrait

Another popular pet memorial idea is to have a portrait made of your pet. The advent of Etsy means the internet is now rife with artists more than happy to do a sketch, print, or photo of your pet for you to frame and hang in pride of place in your home.

Lantern Ceremony

Another creative way to remember your pet is through a lantern ceremony. You can do this by floating a lantern out to sea or sending a sky lantern into the stratosphere.

However, neither of these options is eco-friendly. If you decide to build a floating lantern, take time to find rice paper that biodegrades

The other thing to remember is that sky lanterns are illegal in some states because the materials can be dangerous to wildlife. If this is how you want to grieve your pet, do your research first and make sure your state allows sky lanterns.

paper lantern
Hundreds of paper lantern in the sky to give thanks to their dogs.

Scatter Ashes

If you decide to cremate your pet, another memorial idea is to scatter your pet’s ashes at a special place. However, if the place you choose is private property, make sure you ask before turning up to scatter your pet’s ashes.

Launch Fireworks

Even though many pets find fireworks upsetting, they can be an excellent memorial idea. It’s possible to have your pet’s ashes made into fireworks, and launching them is an excellent way to celebrate your pet’s life.

blue and red fireworks
Dogs are scared of loud noises such as fireworks.

Compile a Scrapbook

Scrapbooking is another pet memorial idea that many people appreciate. In addition to pictures, you can integrate:

Plant a Tree

One of the best green pet memorial ideas is to plant a tree. You can do this in your garden or in a place your pet loved, like a park or ravine.

Weimaraner looking up the tree
A Weimaraner looking up the tree in the backyard.

Plant Your Pet’s Favorite Plant

If you aren’t sure how to donate a tree to a local park or can’t deal with the paperwork, you can always plant a favorite plant in your back garden.

old man with his dog in the garden
A man plants herbs with his dog.

Flower Pot Urns

Some crematoriums offer the option to bury your pet’s ashes in a flower pot, and we love this option, especially for green-thumbed pet owners. That way, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your pet behind.

Cavapoo with flowers
A Cavapoo with flowers, posing for a photo.

Memorial Plaques

Memorial plaques are another way to remember your pet. You can set them on the mantle, the wall, or over your pet’s favorite place to spend time. They’re less obvious than some pet memorial ideas but still allow you to remember your pet.

Engraved Benches

Something else to consider is a commemorative bench. Parks are full of benches dedicated to departed loved ones, and there’s no reason you can’t dedicate one to the memory of a pet.

Chihuahua puppies
Chihuahua puppies on a bench.

Engraved Fountains

One of our favorite pet memorial ideas comes from a local fountain. A bereaved owner commissioned it in memory of his pet so that other dogs walking that way would always have clean water to drink.

dog drinks water
Golden Retriever drinking at the water fountain.

Rock Urns

Rock urns are another pet memorial idea. We like them because they’re unobtrusive. To the unfamiliar, these look like rocks, but the inside is hollow and holds your pet’s ashes. You can easily integrate them into your backyard’s landscape.

goldendoodle puppy
A happy Goldendoodle puppy thinking about rock climbing a wall

Use Grave Markers

If you decide to bury your pet in your garden, a grave marker is a lovely way to remember your pet. There are various options available ranging from figurines that look like your pet to markers with pawprints.

Install a Pet Statue

If you want a memorial for your garden, consider a pet statue. Like portraits, you can model these on your pet. Some can even hold pet ashes.

Memorial Quilt

Quilts have a long tradition of storytelling. Memorial quilts are a beautiful way to remember your pet. It won’t be the same as cuddling up to a beloved pet, but it’s a beautiful way to remember them.

Chihuahua sleeps on blanket
Chihuahua sleeps on a blue blanket.

Portrait Pillow

Alternatively, another pet memorial idea is to arrange for a pet memorial pillow that features your pet’s picture and name. You can use this as decoration or sleep on it.

snoozing shiba inu sleeping
A cute Shiba Inu catches some sleep on a comfy pillow

Bury Your Pet’s Possessions

Knowing what to do with the things your pet leaves behind can be tricky. Do you use them for a subsequent pet? Donate them to shelters? One popular pet memorial idea is to bury them with your pet’s urn in a meaningful place.

Miniature Schnauzer toys
Miniature Schnauzer’s toys at the background.

Pet Memorial Box

If you can’t bring yourself to bury your pet’s favorite toy, another way to remember your pet is by creating a memorial box. You can fill it with all the things they leave behind, like:

And whenever you need to, you can look into it and remember the pet you loved.

Memorial Christmas Tree Ornaments

Even though they’re seasonal, Christmas ornaments inspired by your pet are another excellent way to remember it. Hang them on the tree and think of your pet whenever you see them.

Russian toy terrier with frisbee
A Russian Toy Terrier plays with a frisbee. Small dogs play frisbee too!

Plush Replicas

Having a plush replica made is another way to remember your pet. It won’t be as lifelike as the original, but the likenesses are good, and you can still cuddle them while watching your favorite show.

Cremation Diamonds

There are lots of pet memorial ideas when it comes to jewelry. Another option is having your pet’s ashes carbonized into a diamond you can wear as part of a ring or necklace.

woman wears diamond ring
A woman who is also a dog owner wears diamond ring.

Cremation Jewelry

Integrate your pet’s ashes into things like necklaces and bracelets or earrings that allow you to keep your pet close whenever you want.

Volunteer at a Shelter

Another way to honor your departed pet is by volunteering at a shelter. You can help other animals find homes, and rest assured that those animals will enjoy the love and affection you remember giving your pet.

taking care of dogs
A young woman taking care of dogs in an animal shelter.

Sponsor a Special Needs Dog or Cat

If you aren’t ready for animal contact, you can keep your distance by sponsoring a special needs dog or cat. That enables shelters to cover some of the medical costs these animals come with and can help rehome them, too.

dog chases the cat
The puppy chases a cat above the table at the park.

Custom Puzzle

If you or your family enjoy a puzzle, this can be an excellent and creative way to remember your pet. These days, everybody from Walmart to Shutterfly allows you to customize puzzles with pictures of your choosing.

Memorial Wind Chimes

If you want a memorial for your garden, wind chimes are a beautiful way to remember your pet. Every time you hear them, you’ll think of the hours you spent together.

Memorial Coffee Mug

Many pet owners’ morning ritual includes a cup of coffee while feeding their pet. If that was your ritual, then a customized mug with a picture or an artistic portrait of your pet can help you remember the time spent together during those early mornings.

a doodle dog steals some coffee from his owner
A recently groomed Doodle dog drying to steal a sip of coffee

Create a Customized Storybook

Another unique memorial idea is to customize a storybook about your pet. Self-publishing companies like Lulu make this easier than ever. It can be a lovely way to wander through favorite moments of your pet’s life and reminisce about the joy they brought you.

Memorial Terrarium

A terrarium is an excellent pet memorial idea. These can incorporate figurines that look like your pet or simply be something you create to process your grief.

Memorial Sun Catchers

Finally, consider memorial sun catchers. These are excellent for pets that enjoyed lounging in the sun. You can customize them to include pictures of your pet, but don’t have to. Many people find it enough to see the sun coming through them and recall how their pet would have loved them.

sun catcher
Pets such as dog and cats can enjoy watching sun catcher when light pass through it.