There’s no getting around it: our pets are very much a part of our family. Your fur ball has spent their days being the non-conditional love-giver that you want and need. They are bummed to watch you leave in the morning and overjoyed to see you when you return home in the evening. That is true love. When we experience the heartbreak of losing a pet, it can feel as emotionally taxing as losing a human family member, so how can we properly memorialize their existence in a way that does our deceased pet and best friend justice?

In the throes of grief, it is natural that your creativity becomes stunted. This makes figuring out just how to remember our pet in a truly meaningful way feel overwhelming. We can help with five ideas that will keep your pet’s memory alive and well.

Creative Ideas For Remembering Your Pet

One excellent way to remember your lost pet is to hire an artist to create a portrait of the animal. Check out local artists who specialize in pet paintings and be sure to scope out their previous works to see if their specific style speaks to you. Once you find an artist whose vision aligns with your own, find a favorite photograph of your pet for them to work from. Did they have a habit of always sticking their tongue out or doing something goofy with their ears? Make sure it’s represented in the painting you have commissioned. Having a customized piece of art of your dear friend to hang up in your home will remind you of the happy times you shared together.

If you’re a daily coffee or tea drinker, having a mug with a photograph of your pet is a fantastic way to start your morning in caffeinated remembrance of the joy they brought into your life. If you have a go-to picture of your recently deceased animal, find a shop (local, preferably, or online) that can superimpose it onto a mug so that you never miss a morning with the memory of your furry bestie.

Did your pet wear a collar with a name tag? If the answer is yes, how about transferring your pal’s tag to your keychain? This allows for a (totally free) daily reminder of your cat or pup that can brighten your day unexpectedly. As time passes and the pain of our loss lessens, it can be wonderful to have a simple, jangling reminder of our sweet friend such as this. Perhaps even hanging on to the tag in a more private way, such as inside a personal jewelry box or a small box designated for this very purpose that you can visit or stumble upon as you wish.

More Ways To Remember Our Pets

Having an intimate service for your pet with family and close friends is a special way to celebrate the love our pet gave to us on this earthly plane. A service can help by allowing you to articulate the bond you shared with this extraordinary creature in community and can do wonders for the grieving process. Sometimes during a service, pet owners will read a passage that reminds them of their dear pet, a journal entry about their pet’s impact on their life, or even just sit in peaceful silence remembering good times. Setting aside the day each year to remember your old friend is another way to keep their memory fully alive.

Another wonderful way to remember our deceased fur balls is by finding a beautiful and customized urn to hold their ashes, something that keeps them nearby in a stylish and nuanced way. Sometimes it’s nice to sprinkle your pet’s ashes around their favorite park or the sunny spot they could constantly be found lounging in. Finding a meaningful way to scatter your pets ashes will be completely dependent on your own preferences (and theirs). Figure out what works best for you and your family and do whatever would make your loyal pet most proud.

Coping with the loss of our pets is a difficult journey and requires endless love and support from yourself and those around you. It is never helpful to minimize the grief. Instead find creative ways to keep their memory alive such as the ones expressed here. There is no magical cure to stop missing your be(a)st friend, but as is life, it gets easier with the passage of time. Our best pets are irreplaceable and you deserve to keep their memory alive in any way that feels most appropriate to you and your loved ones.