World Pet Memorial Day is June 9—a day to remember and celebrate our deceased pets whose spirits remain strong in our hearts. Pets become family members, and when they pass, the pain can be just as intense as that felt when a human family member is no longer with us. While we realize this day may be challenging for some, doing something special to recognize your departed pets may help you grieve, find closure, and perhaps find joy. We know you will never forget those furry friends who truly changed your life for the better, but with the following tips, you can continue to make beautiful memories long after their passing. 

#1: Create a photo keepsake of your furry friend

Take a journey back to the good ’ole days—gather your favorite photos of your pet, purchase a cute photo album, and insert the printed photos, as well as small keepsakes, such as your pet’s identification tags, a paw print, or a lock of hair. No prints? No problem. Create a book online with a website that uploads your virtual photos and mails you a prepared book. Other ideas include a collage, or a personalized frame that highlights your favorite photograph of your pet. 

#2: Consider a custom item that represents your individual pet

If jewelry, artwork, or other items are more your style, plenty of small businesses create unique and delightful pet keepsakes. This shop crafts custom necklaces, bracelets, and key rings using your pet’s name, and paw or nose print. If your pet was cremated, you can have a piece of jewelry made from their ashes, or a lock of their fur, so you can keep your beloved pet close to your heart. Shake up your pet gallery wall with a personalized pet portrait from this shop or this one for a one-of-a-kind representation of your beloved pet. It doesn’t get more personal than that! If you enjoy sitting outside in a favorite shady spot and fondly remembering your pet, a garden stone with their name and picture can help trigger happy memories. 

#3: Grow a long-lasting memory of your pet

Capture your endless love for your deceased friend with a garden memory. A tree that provides shade, comfort, and beauty can be a delightful tribute that keeps growing each year. If flowers are more your style, plenty of floral options can show you care. Choose one that symbolizes what your pet meant to you, and how you want to remember them. The gladiolus, which symbolizes strength of character, faithfulness, and honor, is a popular memorial choice. Red roses are a classic choice, and represent love and grief, whereas dark pink roses are said to express thankfulness. Lilies, which are said to symbolize the deceased soul returning in a state of innocence, are another popular choice. However, be cautious with lilies if you have other household pets, as many lily varieties are toxic to pets, especially feline friends. 

#4: Spend some time in your pet’s favorite spot

Whether your furry friend was a trailblazer or preferred a particular sunny spot on the couch, take a while to appreciate your pet’s favorite place. Put yourself in your pets’ paws, and envision where they liked to spend their days. Head to the dog park for an afternoon, take a swim in your pooch’s favorite watering hole, or hang in the sunroom and birdwatch. Simply taking a nap in the sun can pay tribute to your pet’s sweet life. Remember the fun times you shared with your pet, while you enjoy their favorite activities.

#5: Volunteer your time or money on behalf of your four-legged friend

Nothing says you care like volunteering your valuable time or funds to help a reputable organization. Many shelters and rescue groups need volunteers to walk dogs, clean kennels, or perform other duties. If you are financially able, consider donating to a fund that serves to aid families who cannot afford non-elective medical procedures for their pets. Your donation will not only directly impact an animal’s life, but will also make a wonderful salute to your long lost pet. 

At Countryside Veterinary Hospital, we know the hardship that comes with losing a pet. May you find peace in remembering your furry friends this World Pet Memorial Day.