The death of a dog is a heartbreaking event. Drawing on inspiration from my deceased Cocker Spaniels, I made a list of memorial ideas for dogs and beautiful ways to eulogize and pay tribute to your cherished pup.
Grief is an individual process that can leave you struggling to make sense of life in general. I wake up every day since my dogs died reminding myself of what I haven’t lost. The passing of a beloved dog is one of the most soul-crushing, agonizing, gut-stomping events in life.
I can’t bring my dogs back, but I can honor their lives through words, actions, and tributes. I’ve been clawing my way back to a sense of normalcy since my recent dog, Dexter, died. His death, like all those dogs who pass before and after him, impact my life in a permanent way.
I am not alone in my grief. With pet ownership at an all-time high, millions of pets are born, and millions pass away every year. We are the ones left behind, but we are not alone and not without choices of ways to cope. Here are 30 memorial ideas for dogs to help keep their love, memories, and legacy alive.
Pet Memorial Jewelry
From a customized remembrance locket to cremation jewelry or a lock of hair ring, there are many ways to honor your beloved dog’s memory.
1. Lock of Dog Hair Flower Ring
One of the things we miss the most about our dogs is petting their fur. Cosmic Lens Jewelry creates a custom ring made of resin and real flowers on the inside featuring a lock of your dog’s hair. I purchased this ring, and it is breathtaking and cherished.
2. Memorial Dog Cremation Ring
Some pet parents prefer a custom-made ring containing ashes or hair from your deceased dog. Consider a memorial cremation ring from BigPawCremains. Made of stainless steel in your choice of finish.
3. Customized Paw Print Ring
Send a photo of your dog’s pawprint and receive a customized sterling silver, rose gold, or 18 K gold ring in return. Your dog’s pawprint will forever be walking with you every step of the way.
4. PawPrint Cremation Dog Necklace
This pawprint urn charm comes with a black leather rope to wear it close. Made of pure sterling silver, you simply place some of your pet’s ashes inside the charm. The company provides the necessary tools to easily and respectfully complete the process from the comfort of home.
5. Dog Memorial Photo Necklace
Wear a photo of your beloved pet close to your heart with this dog memorial necklace. Submit a photo and choose personalization, if desired, and the finish. Your dog will always be near.
Remembering a Dog Gifts
If memorial jewelry isn’t your thing, there are many treasured ways to honor your dog. You can gift these to a loved one who is grieving or to yourself to soothe and hug your broken heart.
6. Custom Diamond Art Memorial Photo
Personalized diamond art allows you to order a photo of your dog to start creating a spectacular piece. You upload a photo, the company sends you the kit, and you get started on creating a sparkly, eternal, handmade portrait of your beloved dog.
7. Custom Jigsaw Puzzle
Choose your favorite dog photo, or perhaps one of you and your dog, and have it made into a jigsaw puzzle. Available in several sizes, including 1000-piece, this is a beautiful way for your family to bring their “broken heart pieces” together and assemble a puzzle.
8. Compassion Blanket
Wrap yourself in warm hugs, healing, and compassion with this luxurious blanket. The breathable fabric is machine washable and can be tumbled dry. Available in several colors.
9. Natural Wood Dog Mom and Dog Sculpture
Channel your love through this beautiful interlocking natural wood sculpture. The piece features a dog mom nestled close to her precious pup.
10. Pet Memorial Windchimes
These 18-inch musical tubes chime gently together in the wind. The metal paw print that holds the tubes together can be engraved. Makes a wonderful gift and can be hung inside or out.
Memorial Pet Frames
11. Personalized Memorial Acrylic Frame
Because someone we loved is in heaven, there’s a little bit of heaven in our home. This is one of the beautiful inscriptions on the acrylic pet memorial frame from Vona Gifts. I’ve been gifted this item and have given them to grieving pet parents. Highly recommended and can be personalized.
12. Handmade Leatherette Pet Love Frame
If your dog left a pawprint across your heart, this photo frame is for you. Personalize it with your dog’s name and year of birth and death. Available in several sizes.
13. Personalized Dog Collar Pet Memorial Frame
Humans wear necklaces, and dogs wear collars. When your pet dies, turn their special collar into a piece of art. These personalized wooden signs are available in two sizes for displaying your dog’s collar.
14. Dog Memorial Stone Plaque
Preserve your dog’s memory with this slate stone plaque and poem. Made by MyFurverMemories, your pet’s photo is handcrafted with high-definition dye ink. Personalize it with your dog’s name, years, and proudly display it.
15. Just a Girl and Her Dog Photo Frame
Sometimes less is more. This frame reads “Just a Girl and Her Dog” with a pawprint embellishment. Beautiful farmhouse look caps off this 9 x 7-inch frame.
Outdoor Memorial Ideas for Dogs
16. Dog Angel Tribute Statue
Display this angel made with crushed stone and bonded with resin outdoors, on a patio, on your dog’s grave, or anywhere in your home. This canine angel statue is topped with a UV-resistant finish for durability.
17. Tumbled Concrete Indoor Outdoor Dog Memorial
A special garden stone with your deceased dog’s name and a sweet poem can bring great comfort. Put this outside or indoors as a reminder of your pet. Gone from this earth, but never forgotten.
18. Infinity Dog Garden Stake
Made of high-quality steel, place this garden stake anywhere as a tribute and remembrance to your dog. The infinity sign is merged with a pawprint to capture your eternal bond of love.
19. Always In My Heart Garden Flag
My best friend created a small tribute garden to her Cocker Spaniel that includes a garden flag. “No longer by my side but always in my heart” is an all-weather polyester garden flag to pay respects to your dog.
20. Dog Butterfly Tribute Angel Statue
This pet statuary features a composite designer resin angel dog with a butterfly placed ever so gently on her nose. Stands over eight inches high.
Non-Tangible Ways To Honor a Deceased Dog
21. Write a Eulogy About Your Dog
When my dog, Dexter, died, I wrote a tribute that I included in my annual holiday cards, since he passed away shortly before Thanksgiving.
A eulogy pays tribute to your dog, which you can post on social media or send to family and friends.
22. Donate To A Dog Rescue Group In Your Pet’s Name
There is no greater way to honor a treasured pet than to make a difference in the life of a dog still here on earth. Choose your favorite pet rescue and make a donation.
23. Make a Memorial Video Tribute
Use easy video software to compile images from your dog’s life. You can share the video on social media. Many platforms have easy-to-use, often free, software. Other choices include Canva and Animoto.
24. Plant a Tree in Your Dog’s Honor
Every time you see the tree or plant, you’ll think of your dog. If you don’t have the space or location for a tree, you can have a tree planted in your dog’s honor. A friend of mine did this for me when my Dexter passed away.
25. Ask Family and Friends For Memory Cards
Ask your social media pals who knew your dog along with IRL family and friends to write down or type a memory of your dog. They can email the replies to you or send them through social media. Collect them all and store them in a jar.
Pull one out whenever you need a special memory or assemble them in a photo album or frame.
26. Visit Dog Mountain In Vermont
We visited Dog Mountain with Dexter twice over the years. It is 150 pet-friendly acres nestled away in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Visit Dog Chapel on the premises and put a photo of your deceased dog on the wall.
27. Bring Another Dog Into Your Life
If (and that’s a big if) and when (and that’s a big when) you are ready, open your heart and home to another dog. I used to think “never again,” but I know I could never not love a dog and share my life with one.
I’ve learned that every dog is my heart dog. No dog can replace the one who comes before or after. Dogs live presently and in the moment. I am certain in my heart that our dogs would want us to be happy.
This beautiful wooden dog tribute plaque sums it up:
28. Talk About Your Pet In a Dog Loss Support Group
When my dog died, I attended several virtual (online) pet loss groups on Zoom. Attendees were encouraged to share a photo of their deceased pet and share their feelings. I loved knowing others met Dexter even though he had passed away.
One person commented that all of our dogs were meeting across the Rainbow Bridge and hoping they could heal our hearts.
29. Light a Candle Each Night For Your Pet
I love the idea of lighting a candle, regular or flameless, next to a photo of my dog. Each night, the timed flicker candle goes on and I talk with my dog.
30. Talk To An Animal Communicator
Some pet parents may nix this idea, but I found it helpful. A qualified animal communicator can help with the grieving process and reach out to channel your pet. Just be sure the person is someone you can trust or who others recommend.
Memorial Ideas For Dogs: Tattoos
Getting a dog-themed tattoo is a perfect way to carry an image or tribute on your skin for life. I have five permanent tattoos, three of which are dog-oriented. 101 Best Dog Tattoo Ideas
Bonus Dog Grief Item To Celebrate Life
Since the passing of my beloved Dexter, I’m trying to share more about his life and less about my loss. His passing was a brief flicker, but his life and what he taught me is eternal.
Author Jacqueline Lemieux-Bokor offers a pet sympathy book to honor and memorialize your beloved dog. Remember Me As Sunshine, Love Notes From My Dog, features poetry and photography from the author. Each page beautifully captures the deep feelings for our dogs, tenderly captured on the colors of the rainbow. There is plenty of space to preserve your special dog’s memories in ball point pen. Shop at RememberMeAsSunshine.com.
Ways to Deal With Grief After Pet Loss
If you are in the throes of grief or looking for ways to help your heart heal, here are further posts I’ve written to get you through every step of the way.
Remember, love does not end because your dog died. Love is forever. No one can take that away from you, not even death.