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Pets are members of the family. Whether it’s a traditional pet dog named Fido, or a pot-bellied pig you walk on a leash, when an animal comes into our home they come into our heart and they become a part of our lives. We feed, water, play with and talk to them, and the unconditional love they give back to us is immeasurable. So when it comes time to say goodbye it can be one of the hardest things to do. The moment can sometimes be made easier by creating a long-lasting pet memorial for which to always remember the beloved.

The best way to remember a pet is different for each person and family. Some prefer to go the more traditional route with burials or cremations, while new memorial ideas are inspiring some, helping them remember their pet in unique ways. Whatever pet memorial idea an individual or family decides on, it’s sure to keep the pet’s memory alive long after they’re gone.

Burial

Traditionally, many bury their pet in the yard. It seems the easiest way to respectfully take care of the remains, as well as keep them near. As humans, it’s traditionally what we do with loved ones that leave us, therefore it seems natural to do the same for our pets.

It’s important to keep in mind some states regulate how and where you can bury a pet, so it’s key to check state laws before burying your animal companion in the backyard.

And, if your pet has been euthanized, it can be problematic for other pets and wildlife. Vets typically euthanize using a concentrated anaesthetic agent that may remain in the body of the deceased animal for up to a year. Any live animal, like the neighbors dog for example, that comes into contact with the remains of a euthanized pet can become sick or even die. So, to avoid the spread of disease or another animal getting sick, professional burial companies are a good option.

Choose a pet cemetery close to you so you may visit their final resting place as often as you like. Many offer visitation and funeral services as an option. And of course, you may choose a headstone of your liking to mark your pet memorial.

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Photo via Amazon.com

That said, if burying your pet in your own backyard is important to you, cremating the remains before you bury your pet is the safest route. The Paw Pod is the perfect biodegradable casket for your pet’s resting place. They degrade within 3-5 years, and help kids have a part in the goodbye with the ability to decorate the casket with markers and crayons.

To finalize the pet memorial, personalize a small headstone to mark the location so your pet will forever be remembered at home.

READ MORE: Why We Love Our Dogs

Cremation

Cremation is the safest alternative to keeping your pet remains at home. Many companies offer these services, including some vets, and include transportation.

Some families prefer to keep the pets remains in a nice urn placed locally in the home, such as the fireplace mantle, where everyone can remember them. Others may decide to spread the ashes in a pet’s favorite location such as a park or even in the backyard.

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Photo via Amazon.com

Today, ashes can do more than just be ashes. The death can be used as a transformation by using a product like a biodegradable Pet Memorial Urn to grow a tree with the remains of your loved one – from hamsters to horses. This positive and growing tribute is natural and sustainable, turning the “death” process into regeneration. A great way to remember a pet long after they’re gone.

READ MORE: The Best Family Dogs and What to Know

Jewelry

Ashes of your pet can also be turned into a beautiful piece of jewelry. Pet memorial jewelry is a special way to remember a beloved pet and keep them close to you at all times. From necklaces to rings, the options are almost endless. Some jewelers use the ashes in the process of making a spirit piece. Others create special urns that hold a small bit of the remains. When a pet was a member of the entire family, this is a great way to share a little bit of the pet with everyone.

Though, if you do decide to bury or scatter the ashes, you can still wear a special piece of jewelry without ashes as a nice remembrance. Some bench jewelers can engrave a nose, paw print, or even an entire photo of your pet on a pendant as a personalized keepsake.

Home Decor Memorials

Keeping the pet memorial where the pet spent most of their time may be the easiest way to grieve. Some families may want to design a coffee table Photobook for reminiscing together. Or, place the pet’s belongings such as a collar and their favorite toy in a shadow box to be nicely displayed on a wall.

For those who just can’t physically let go of their pet, taxadermy is a unique option. A taxidermist prepares and mounts the animal in a lifelike way that will last forever. It’s uncommon, and though some psychologists think it makes getting over the loss harder, it is an option for those with extreme taste in home decor.

READ MORE: Toxic Foods you may be Giving Your Pets

Tattoos

You’ll never forget your pet, so why not memorialize them in a same long-lasting way? A tattoo to remember your pet by doesn’t need to be large. A meaningful mirco tattoo is a sweet, permanent way to always have your pet by your side, even after you’ve said goodbye.

Adopting

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When a family is at peace and have processed the death of a pet, the adoption of a new pet can be a way to not only move on but give some new happiness to a commonly sad period. Some families may miss having the sounds of the pet thoughout the house, or the warmth a pet can bring at night, so adopting a new one is the way they can feel more at ease. The loss of a pet can also have specific meaning by giving a new pet a loving home. Before running out and picking up a new 4-legged creature it’s important to make sure the entire family is 100% ready to accept a new animal.

Donations

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When someone isn’t quite ready to make long-lasting decisions, a simple donation of money or goods such as food and bedding to a local animal shelter is a great way to remember the life a pet once lived by doing good. Some animal shelters have donation programs where bricks or other long-lasting items are personalized with the donator’s name. Donating money in a pets name is a sure-fire way to have their name permanently displayed and a good impression created.

Donating time by volunteering is another great way to memorialize a pet. Not only can it help animals without families receive care, but can very much help a pet owner who’s lost overcome the grief of a deceased pet. By helping others, one can heal themself.

And if time and money are at a minimum, the donation of the deceased pet’s body for research and medical training can help many more animals in the future. The pet will be doing good long after they’re gone.

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It’s no secret, losing a pet is hard. Though they may not talk like we do, a pet becomes a member of the family. Whether fur, scales, feathers – when a pet dies, it can take a long time to grieve. But with a pet memorial, we’ll be able to remember them and all the love and good times they brought us. Whatever way they’re memorialized, it’ll be perfect.

WANT TO READ MORE?

Made the decision to adopt a new cat? Check out Adopting A Cat 101: Tips for Success.

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Pet Memorial Ideas For A Lasting Impression

Photo Credits: Unsplash.com, Amazon.com,

Sources: LifeHacker.com,

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