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11 Ways To Remember A Late Pet

11 Ways To Remember A Late Pet

According to a recent survey, there are over 63 million American households that own at least one dog. That’s almost 40 percent of homes in the country that have been blessed by a four legged best friend. 

Some experts even go as far as crediting our unique relationship with dogs as being one of the main reasons that humans survived over Neanderthals!  

Fast forward a few thousand years, and here we are. Pet stores, products, and grooming are all over the place, and many young families are opting to stick with their fur babies instead of having human children. In 2020 alone Americans spent 103.6 billion dollars on our dogs. Clearly, dogs have become an integral part of many households across the country.

But why is our modern connection to dogs so strong? After all, they are costly, and most of the time, they aren’t helping us track down our food anymore. So why are we so connected to our pricey pets? 

Modern studies have shown that dogs can offer even better emotional and psychological comfort than humans in a variety of ways. Oftentimes, dogs provide a very reliable and lasting relationship, are a better receiver of care, and are a better source of companionship than human counterparts. Finally our bond with our dogs is usually much less complex than with other humans. Just make sure they are fed and walked, and they’re always there for us no matter what. 

For many, this is the reason why when our dogs near the end of their life, it feels like a person we love is dying, or a part of ourselves has died. From personal experience, when my childhood dog died, it felt like a part of me died. After all, many scientists say that our bond with our dogs is stronger than many of our human relationships. It’s a real shame that our dogs give us so much, but can’t stick around for as long as our human friends. Mourning the loss of a loyal and loving dog is always hard and takes time. 

Finding a special way to remember such a special part of your family and life can be a daunting and emotional task. However, there are ways to cope, and help the whole family appreciate the time that you were able to spend with your pet. We’ve put together a list of some heartfelt and special ways to cherish your late pet. 

No matter if your dog was mutt or purebred, they always give all of themselves to us, and they deserve a meaningful way to be remembered, and creating your own special keepsake to remember them by can be a good way to cope with your recent loss. No matter what you choose to do, we hope that you’re able to remember all of the love and joy that your dog gave you, and find some peace in the fact that they will always be a part of your and your family. 

1. Paw Print Imprint

If your trusty pal is sadly nearing the end of his/her life. One thing that many veterinarians office’s offer are pawprints made in concrete or clay. These are easy to make and will allow every member of your family to always have a part of their beloved dog around forever. They are also easy to display in a special area of your home or office, so you can get a small reminder of your pup every day. They are also a good item to put in a memory box, another item coming up soon on our list!

2. Custom Pet Canvas Print

canvas print pets

Over the course of our dogs' lives, we probably take thousands, if not more photos of them. Just picking out your favorite photo will be the longest and hardest part about getting it printed onto a beautiful, elegant custom pet canvas print at For an affordable price, they’ll turn a snapshot of your dog into a gallery quality work of art that will last a lifetime and hang on your wall for years to come. This is the best way to make the most of all of your favorite pet photos.

Furthermore, they can also create a custom fleece or woven blanket, and even pillows, so you can still have a way to cuddle up with your buddy even after they’ve passed, and be reminded of all the warmth they brought into your life. For any of these special photo products, all you need to create a heartfelt piece of art that cherishes your dog is your favorite photo of them.

3. Memory Box 

Next, making a memory box is a great way to keep all of the special objects that remind you of your pup in one place, and revisit them all every once in a while. Even a small to medium sized box can fit their collar, their favorite toy or tennis ball, some sand or soil from their favorite park or beach, and a small portrait. There are plenty of extremely skilled artisans that can create an elegant looking box for you to display on a countertop, shelf, or any special spot in your home.

You can even use a memory box to hold all of the other items on this list! Also, it makes for an easy way to have all of your favorite keepsakes in one place, so you can make sure they stay together, and visit them all when you want to take a moment to cherish the time that you and your dog spent together. 

4. Giving Back To An Animal Shelter

canvas prints pets

If your dog was a shelter dog, there’s just no better way to honor their memory and make them proud than by giving a donation or some of your time to an animal shelter in need. Unfortunately there are thousands and thousands of dogs out there that didn’t get to enjoy the love and care that you gave yours. In 2018, over 3 million dogs entered shelters in the United States. What better way to honor your late dog than to help others that need it?

All it takes is a quick google search to find a variety of ways to help. We know that your dog would be proud of you for helping out other dogs like him/her that are in need of little love and attention. If you don’t have the time to physically help out a shelter, consider making a donation in your dogs name to a local shelter near you. And who knows, you might just fall in love with a dog all over again, when you’re ready.

Speaking from personal experience, I know that after a few months or a year, it’s hard not to go to an animal shelter and see some pieces of your old dog's personality in others. 

5. An Outdoor Memorial 

canvas prints

This outdoor memorial can be adapted to your home or living situation, and allows you to use your own creativity. Some pet owners choose to build a bench, or a small personalized stone or marking as a place to visit to reflect upon and appreciate all of the time that they were able to spend with their beloved dog.

Many mourning pet owners can even plant a tree outside in their favorite spot, and you can even get a kit that uses your pets ashes to help the tree grow. This way, you can watch the tree grow over the years, and enjoy sitting under its shade while you remind yourself of all of the special times that you spent together with your dog.

6. Custom Jewelry

There are a variety of outlets that will help you create a piece of custom jewelry, either using your dog's unique paw print, their nose, or even their ashes. It’s the perfect way to remember your dog in an elegant way, and always keep a piece of them with you if you so choose. There are a variety of very talented and tasteful vendors on Etsy and other sites that craft these custom pieces out of love and care, that will work with you to help keep your dogs memory around forever.

7. Dog Collar Keychain

Wondering what you can do with a dog collar after he/she has passed? It can be used to create a very meaningful and heartfelt keepsake. One of the best ways to always keep your dog with you is to get their collar turned into a keychain tag.

Oftentimes, collars are long enough to create a few keychains, so every member of the family can carry a piece of your pup with them at all times. You can keep them on your keys, a backpack or attach them anywhere that you’ll appreciate a small reminder of your pup. For something even more unique, consider having a piece of the collar turned into a bracelet.

8. A Tasteful Tattoo

Looking for something even a little more unique. Getting a tattoo of your pet is truly the only way to keep a piece of your pet with you all the time. No need to get a full on portrait piece, many people get dainty and more abstract tattoos that remind them of their pets like a small paw print, or even the outline of their ears.

We recommended talking with your local tattoo shop and bringing them some of your favorite photos to work out exactly what you want! This is definitely the most permanent and surefire way to always have a memory of your pup with you wherever you go.

9. A Customized Ornament

We’ve just passed the holiday season, but creating your own personalized holiday ornament is a great way to keep your pup's memory alive and have him or her with you for the holidays every year. There are plenty of templates and customization options around the web, and most likely in pet stores as well, so you can create a heartfelt ornament that cherishes your dogs in a special way, and hang it on the tree every holiday season, or in special place in your home year round for years to come.

10 . A Memorial Stone 

A memorial stone is a simple yet heartfelt way to place a meaningful piece of decor that will keep the spirit of your dog in your home forever. Good for use either outdoors or indoor, you can order a standard stone or personalize your own from a variety of sites. You can put your pet's name, a small photo, and maybe even a small quote or the dates of their lifespan on the stone. It can be a great thing to add to your backyard, a memory box, or display in any area of your home. 

11. A Replica Plush or Stuffed Animal 

Finally, we fell in love with this site because they create super accurate and heartfelt replicas of almost any pet in the form of plush stuffed animals. Check out this video of a dog owner that recently had a pet pass away receiving a “Petsie” of their dog. We think that these are a great way to keep your dog and their memories around, and a good way to help any younger children in your family cope with the loss of their best friend. All it takes to create is your favorite photo of your dog. 

To sum it all up, coping with all of the feelings that come when your dog dies are hard, and most importantly you should take your time digesting all of the emotions that come with it.

There are plenty of other ways outside of this short list to remember your loving dog, we just hope we could help you remember the good times and the joy that your pup brought to your life, and how much they loved you every day of your life. If you’re in this unfortunate situation, we’d like to offer you our deepest condolences and remind you that there are plenty of ways to help you feel better!