A sympathy gift honors the life of a dog or cat, which will help ease the pain of death. These heartwarming pet memorials and gifts include ways to say goodbye after a beloved dog or cat dies. Grieving pet loss is a sad but important way to heal. These sympathy gifts and pet memorials will help, especially if the owner feels guilty about the dog or cat’s death. This isn’t just a list of pet sympathy gifts and memorials; I also included stories of how real pet owners memorialize their beloved dogs and cats.
A ‘You Left Paw Prints On Our Hearts’ Paw Print Pet Memorial Stone with Photo Frame is a simple yet meaningful pet loss gift that features a beloved dog or cat in their happiest moment. Whether you’re grieving the loss of your pet or your helping a grieving friend or family member say goodbye, you will be touched forever by this sympathy gift. It comes in a beautifully designed box ready for gifting. This pet memorial stone can sit in your garden – or even on your desk or bookshelf. You can create your own tribute to your faithful pet, and personalize the photo the way you want. This is a beautifully crafted stone-like design that looks and feels real, but won’t be too heavy or cumbersome to hold.
If you’re searching for a pet memorial gift for someone whose dog or cat died, you might include this sympathy quote in the card:
“Best friends come in all breeds, shapes, sizes, and colors. Your pet was incredibly special; may you remember the fond memories and keep your beloved dog or cat forever close in your heart.”
Another lovely sympathy quote is: “No longer walking with us, but forever in our hearts.”
8 Sympathy Gifts After a Dog or Cat Dies
Engraved stones, beautiful urns, and online tributes are meaningful sympathy gifts that help ease the pain of pet loss. Here, you’ll find some traditional sympathy gift ideas as well as meaningful stories from pet owners who lost their dogs or cats. It can be helpful and comforting to learn how other coped with the loss of an animal companion. I included ideas for pet memorial services, online dog and cat blogs, and even picture books about their lost pets.
Be sensitive to the depth of grief, pain and loss that accompanies the loss of a pet. The most compassionate sympathy gift you can give is acceptance. Tell your grieving pet owner to take as much time as she needs to grieve her dog or cat’s death. Pet loss grief goes deep and never completely heals – especially if guilty feelings are involved in the dog’s or cat’s death.
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” ~ Vicki Harrison.
“Forever in my heart” – a special place in her heart and home
A Pet Memorial Picture Frame Sympathy Gift for a Dog or Cat is a special sympathy gift, more touching than a plain photo frame. This frame says “No Longer By My Side; Forever in My Heart.” It’s a comforting gift to give someone grieving pet loss, especially if you include a photo of the lost dog or cat.
Here’s what one reader says about the loss of her cats: “When our two very old cats, Harry and Blackie, had to be put down from illness, we did three things. First, my wife and I thought it was important that the house not be empty of an animal presence. We adopted two rescue kittens who were so lively and crazy as kittens are that they occupied our time. Second, we created a picture memorial for Harry and Blackie.
We put out framed photos on a library table and we remember them in happy times, though we still feel a lot of sadness that they’re gone,” says Ian. “Finally, as way of honoring the memory, I put a picture of Blackie on the cover of my first collection of fiction, Hunger and Other Stories. In the picture, he’s on a patch of carpet and I know that any second, he’s coming over to sit in my lap.” – from When You Miss Your Cat More Than You Thought Possible.
A cremation urn for the dog or cat’s ashes
A Classic Paws Series Pet Cremation Urn allows the owner to keep the beloved dog or cat at home forever. The Paw Print series of pet cremation urns are wonderfully designed and slate colored, with hand-carved paw prints. These pet loss memorial urns are true works-of-art; they are hand forged and carved by old-world artisans from India. Each vase comes with a threaded screw-on top for easy and safe installation of the dog’s or cat’s ashes.
This pet loss sympathy gift may seem morbid, but it can be incredibly healing. “Taking my cat’s ashes home was what helped me with the death of Pepper,” says Diana. “A company by the name of Heavenly Days gave me her ashes and made a paw print mold. I keep the ashes and mold on my mantel piece, and I was grateful to receive this type of sympathy gift to help me deal with the pain of pet loss. My computer icon is also of my cat, so I always remember her when I log in. I have not gotten a new pet yet. I am not quite ready to move on my cat has been with my family for over 16 years, so it might just take me a little longer to get over my grief.”
An online pet memorial or tribute
“Online pet memorials are becoming common on the internet,” says Pam. “People post a photo and a little life story about the pet. I’ve read many wonderful tributes to dogs who served as family companions, along with cats who curled up in a child’s bed every night for many years. Part of the healing process when you’re grieving pet loss is sharing stories and remembering the pets we love.”
Starting an online dog or cat blog with photos and sympathy messages can be a beautiful gift that helps someone grieve pet loss. If you’re not sure what to say in an online pet memorial, read Words of Comfort for When Your Heart is Broken.
A pet memorial service in a garden or park
“I firmly believe in holding some sort of memorial service for a pet,” says animal lover Pam Vetter. “It doesn’t have to be large or expensive. It can be only immediate family at home – but a funeral or memorial helps us honor a life lived, whether it was a human or a pet.”
An Evergreen Enterprises Dog Paw Print Devotion Garden Stone is a beautiful way to memorialize a beloved dog or cat. A memorial service is a healthy way to say goodbye and grieve the pain of pet loss.
This Paw Print memorial stone is a particularly touching pet loss sympathy gift because it says “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” And, it doesn’t require a photo to be sent (which can take more time than you have). Memorial stones are wonderful gifts because they can be placed anywhere – not just in a garden. Walkways, front doors, and even indoor hallways are good spots for a beautiful memory of a beloved dog or cat.
A video or sound recording of the pet memorial service
A memorial or funeral for the dog or cat gives the owner a chance to heal and remember. Just like with “celebrations of life” or memorial services for humans, a pet celebration of life gives people time to stop, reflect, and honor the dog or cat’s life.
You can videotape the pet’s memorial service and give it to the pet owner. She may want to watch it on the dog or cat’s special anniversaries or birthdays. Pam says that full funeral services for dogs and cats – officiated by clergy – are offered by some pet cemeteries.
“While I think this is a good service, not everyone can afford thousands of dollars in dog or cat funerals or pet memorial services,” she says, “But, everyone can do something smaller in their own home, whether it’s lighting a candle in remembrance or framing a photo of the pet. Give yourself the gift of saying goodbye to your dog or cat in a more formal way. This can help you grieve and ease the pain of pet loss.”
6. A dog or cat toy invention – a creative pet loss sympathy gift
“We had a cat for 19 years and it was terrible when we had to put him down,” says animal lover Vivian on Comfort and Prayers for the Loss of a Beloved Dog or Cat. “My therapy for the past four years has been to invent a toy cat that sounds and feels like a real purring cat. My husband says it has been the most expensive grieving process he could imagine.”
Here’s the best part of this pet loss sympathy gift: “I tried to turn my family’s grief about our pet loss into something that can provide joy to others who never had the experience of owning the perfect cat.” Dealing with the pain of pet loss isn’t just about grieving; it’s about cherishing the best parts of the past with the cat or dog.
A scrapbook, journal or book that features a beloved dog or cat
A Dog Scrapbook for Pet Lovers is a comforting sympathy gift – especially if you take time to fill in the pages with the bereaved pet owner. Sit with her, sift through photos, and talk about the memories each picture brings. I like this pet loss gift idea because it will help heal the pain of pet loss through talking and heart-to-heart connection.
Another more elaborate gift is to write the story of the dog or cat’s life. This pet loss memorial gift can be an autobiography or memoir of the owner’s and pet’s life together.
To remember her beloved dog, Diana Scimone wrote a series of books about a traveling dog. “Adventures With PawPaw features a little dog who travels to a different country in each book, introducing young kids to other countries and cultures,” says Diana. “So far PawPaw has visited China , France , and Costa Rica – and is packing his bags for Kenya, Italy, Egypt, Israel, and other spots.”
A special spot outside in the yard – with a pet memorial stone
The heart-shaped Beadwork Garden Stepping Stone – Paw Print is a visual reminder of the love and joy a dog or cat brought to the owner’s life. “No longer by my side…but forever in my heart.”
“Our seven year old dog died very suddenly two years ago,” says a reader called Meagan. “We were all heart broken. We planted a rose bush in our dog’s honor and put a plaque by it to memorialize it. When our family heard what we had done, they all sent us more rose bushes. Now we have “Bailey’s rose garden.” Also, our daughter was only five at the time, so to help her cope, we got a balloon and released it ‘up to Bailey in heaven.’ This helped her to process the loss of our beloved pet.”
Help Saying Goodbye and Easing the Pain of a Pet’s Death
In How to Heal Your Heart After Losing a Pet: 75 Ways to Cope With Grief and Guilt When Your Dog or Cat Dies, I share a variety of different and healing ways to cope with pet loss. Grief is painful when faced in big chunks; my tips are designed to be “bite-sized”, which means you won’t have to sit and read through a huge amount of difficult information about healing after a pet dies.
To write this ebook – which you can have immediate access to – I interviewed veterinarians, grief counselors, and pet experts for the best ways to survive the death of a beloved dog, and I included stories from real pet owners who coped with guilt and grief in sometimes surprising ways. This would be a helpful pet loss sympathy gift to email your friend, because it would help her grieve and heal the pain of her dog or cat’s death.
“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”
In Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, Jon Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. He draws on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections to help pet owners grieve the pain of pet loss.
This isn’t exactly a “pet memorial gift” but it is a thoughtful sympathy gift for someone who is dealing with a dog or cat’s death. Jon Katz gently asks readers to consider if they gave their pets good lives and if they used their best judgment in the end. In dealing with these issues, he encourages pet owners to accept their dog or cat’s death and let go of the pain.
“When you lose a dog or cat, you lose love, plain and simple. Love is hard to come by in our world, and love you get every day, no strings attached, is precious.” – Jon Katz, Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die.