Memorial Ideas: Dos and Don’ts

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Creating a memorial for your pet can be a lovely way to say goodbye. Spend time creating a unique hand made memorial, or use a casket or stone plaque. There are many ways to remember your dog, cat, or any best animal friend.

When the time comes to say goodbye to your pet, nothing will make that grief any less real. You’ve lost a member of your family and an innocent life that you loved dearly. Here at CPC, we understand your pain. We strive to do everything we can to support you through your hardest time. This includes passing on some of the ideas for pet memorials that we’ve learnt over the years.

There are many ways to say goodbye to your pet, and not every idea will suit every person or family situation. Talking things through with those closest to you can be a positive step in the healing process. We’ve gathered some Dos and Don’ts for planning your pet’s passing, along with some lovely pet memorial ideas for you to consider.

Pet memorial dos 

Do plan. Planning for your pet’s passing can be a great comfort, knowing you do not have to make any decisions when you’re not in an emotional state to do so.

Do consider all family members’ viewpoints and remember everyone grieves in their own way.

– Do encourage children to keep their pet’s memory alive.

Do allow other pets in the household time to say goodbye. Pets grieve too and seeing their passed friend, especially for cats and dogs, can help alleviate pining.

Do take your time when making decisions and do what’s right for you after talking through the options.

Do allow yourself time to grieve. Losing a pet is just as harrowing as losing a human loved one and don’t be afraid to talk things through with a trained professional (grief counsellor, doctor, etc)

Do consider some homemade ideas for memorials, such as scrapbooks, memory boxes etc. The making process can be a lovely way to remember the good memories.

Pet memorial don’ts

Don’t get another pet straight away, allow yourself time to grieve.

Don’t use floating lanterns in ponds and lakes, or any other foreign materials as a memorial. These can prove deadly for aquatic life, and the surrounding environment.

Don’t bury your pet in a too-shallow grave; the heartache of that grave being disturbed will be tragic for you and your family.

Don’t make decisions about burial over cremation until you’ve spoken to the landowner or looked into the amount of work required to properly bury an animal.

– Please don’t release balloons (even biodegradable) or Chinese Lanterns as a memorial idea. These are not great for the environment and other animals. Look for some earth-friendly alternatives.

Pet memorial tattoos

– If you’re considering a memorial tattoo, do not get your pet’s ashes mixed with the ink. This is not recommended by good tattooists due to  the process putting an unhygenic foreign object into your skin. Consequently it can lead to nasty infections.

– If you’re considering a memorial tattoo, do talk to a good tattooist about your options. Things like paw prints and pictures are quite popular. Consider getting a paw print taken before your pet is cremated or buried for the tattooist to work from.

Ideas for a fitting memorial

We’ve seen some lovely memorial idea over the years. Some have been permanent fixtures while others can be moved around the house or to different homes to go with you, keeping your pet’s memory alive. We’ve had a look round and come up with a few noteworthy ideas for you.

Memorial Ornaments:

We have a wide selection of caskets and urns to fit into most home decors, you can have your pet’s ashes in their favourite room. Keeping their ashes in a casket in your house is a lovely way to have your pet fit seamlessly back into your life, just as they did when they were alive.

Other ideas for memorials include scrapbooks and memory boxes, sometimes called shadow boxes. These can include photos of your pets, perhaps a token ash, their favourite toy or collar, and other memories. These can be beautiful homemade personal arrangements that are therapeutic to make as a result. There are some great instructions on how to make a shadow box online and we particularly like this post on

Things to touch and feel

Missing the feeling of your pet can be one of the hardest parts of losing your companion. Not having your favourite fur ball to cuddle up to can be a huge wrench. While there’s nothing that can replace that feeling, having something to cuddle such as a cushion or a blanket can be a good comfort. Other ideas include a cast of your pet’s paw print to feel, for the more adventurous, paw print tattoos are a nice idea. If you’re considering a tattoo, please go to a good studio and do not mix your pet’s ashes with the ink!

Another tactile product that keeps your loved one close to you is an item of jewellery. We offer a range of token ash jewellery, where you can enclose a small amount of your pet’s ashes  within the jewellery pendant or charm.

Token Ash Jewellery

A Lasting Memorial

Maybe you’ve decided to bury your pet’s ashes? You may wish to consider an outside memorial. Headstones and plaques are a good option for marking your pet’s resting place or his favourite place. We offer a range of caskets and urns or for a wider range you can visit Urns for Ashes.

In addition, another idea we have read about is to dedicate a bench to your pet and have a memorial plaque installed. This can be a bench or chair at your own home or in your favourite park or walking spot. Be sure to contact the relevant council to discuss your options.

As a lasting memorial to help other pets, you may wish to make a donation towards your favourite charity in your pet’s honour?This donation will ensure other animals and pets will continue to benefit, even after your pet has passed.

We hope this post has given you some ideas to help cope with pet loss. It’s not an easy topic to discuss. We believe strongly in our role as a compassionate service. We treat you and your pet with the highest dignity.

Sources of petloss support

The Blue Cross

The Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) mission is to provide free and confidential emotional support. The lines are open from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm every day.
Tel: 0800 096 6606


Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress.
Tel: 116 123

Cats Protection

Launched by Cats Protection, paws to listen, is a confidential phone line enabling owners to speak to trained volunteers who can offer emotional and practical help in coping with pet loss. The lines are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Tel: 0800 024 94 94

The British Horse Society

‘Friends at the End’ is a BHS initiative designed to make sure that no horse owner has to face the loss of their equine companion alone.

Tel: 02476 840517

The Ralph Site – pet loss support

The Ralph Site is a not-for-profit online pet bereavement resource. It provides support and useful resources to pet carers around the difficult time of the loss of a beloved companion. It consists of a website, a Facebook page and a busy private Facebook group.


Pet memorial products

Large Rockery Pet Memorial Stone


Large Memorial Stone with Granite Plaque. This item can only be ordered online.


C32 Golden Retriever Resin Urn


C32 Golden Retriever Resin Urn


Round Silver Dog Bone Pet Memorial Bead – Ash Jewellery


Round Silver Dog Bone Pet Memorial Bead - available only online


15 responses to “Memorial Ideas: Dos and Don’ts”

  1. Linda Kevorkian Barbano says:

    I just wanted to thank you for the great ideas and dont’ s. I just lost my dog of 17 years, and I am making her a memorial rock for my garden. God bless

    • Jon says:

      Sorry for the late reply. Please accept our condolences of the loss of your dog. If you would like you can create an free online tribute on this website – all you need is a photo that you would like to share.

  2. Kamira G. says:

    These are great suggestions. I will share with other grieiving pet parents.

  3. Plaque Funéraire says:

    Thank you, it is quiet difficult to lose a pet, we need those pieces of advice.

  4. Erika Brady says:

    I’m glad that you mention how you can be comforted by planning the death and memorial ahead of time to make sure you’re not emotional when making decisions. This would also ensure you have time to properly research companies that design memorials. It might help to go online and gather pictures of the type of memorial you want or to sketch some ideas out on paper so that you have something to show the company to get the exact look you want.

    • Jon says:

      Thank you for your comment Erika, I agree that it’s best to shop around to get exactly what you want. A memorial is a very personal item.

  5. I remember when the pet of my friend Fita, was involved in a hit and run accident. My friend was really devastated upon his unexpected passing considering that she was with him for 7 years and to imagine losing a loved one in a blink of an eye. At first, Fita survived the accident but still in hospice upon sustaining the injuries then later resorted to pet euthanasia. I am planning to give my friend a memorial that can help her remember Fita. Thank you for this.

    • Jon says:

      I am so sorry for your friend. It sounds like an awful experience for all involved. I am sure your friend will be grateful for your empathy and the memorial.

  6. michelle says:

    Thank you so much for these ideas. I’m planning to create a shadowbox for my beloved Tyson. I love crafting, and think that would be therapeutic as well as allow me to create a lasting keepsake. In this past week since he died, I’ve been trying to think of what to do and these suggestions really help.

    • Jon says:

      Hi Michelle, I am sorry for your loss. I think a shadow box is a great idea. Once you have completed it, it would be lovely if you could share a picture on the CPCCares Facebook page. I’m sure it woudld inspire others to do the same. Jon on behalf of CPC.

  7. Charmaine says:

    Thank you for all these ideas. I had to make the decision to lay my dog to rest on the 21st of August. He was 13yrs old, my best friend, my soulmate and it’s been devastating. My vet was going to do a paw print for me and I really love the idea of having that as a tattoo. I also love the idea of having his ashes in jewellery but the box he will come back in will be completely sealed so I can’t open it.

    • Jon says:

      Good morning Charmaine, please accept my condolences on the loss of your dog. It is possible to open the casket, depending on the product you have there are 4-6 screws located in the base. They will be located at each corner or in the middle of each side. They are discreet as they are covered by the material used on the base. They should be fairly easy to locate now that you know what to look for. I hope this helps.

  8. Patricia says:

    Thank you for the do’s and don’t’s and other suggestions. I just lost my beloved 16 year old Sparky, who was the best dog I could ever have asked for. I am planning a small, flower-garden and stone memorial. I will keep your suggestions in mind.

    • Lauren Billman says:

      We are very sorry for your loss of Sparky. I am glad that our blog was able to help you with your memorial planning. Kind regards The CPC Team

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