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6 Ways to Honor Your Pet After They've Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Pets are considered valued family members in many homes, so it’s not uncommon for families to suffer with grief after one of their pets dies and crosses over the rainbow bridge. For some people pets offer a sense of comfort, routine, exercise, and even fill the role of best friend. In many cases, pets are service animals that perform a vital function in the health and wellbeing of their human companion. The loss of a pet can create deep emotional pain and disrupt the lives of the people who have cared for them. For Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, Sit & Stay Pet Care Services would like to offer six ideas for honoring your pet after they’ve crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

Memorialize – Create something physical in memory of your pet. Plant some catnip, a rose bush, a tree, or something to which you can give care. Make a scrapbook or video mix of things you’ve recorded of them. Use favorite toys to repurpose as holiday ornaments. Make a pet memorial stone for your garden or a terrarium for your desk or mantle.

Ritualize – Light a candle for your pet in a special place that you can light every day for a set period of time. Have a funeral for your pet and bury their ashes with a favorite toy, bone, or other items that they may have enjoyed.

Be Creative – Write your thoughts and feelings and share with others. Journal, write poems or stories about or that include your pet.

Contribute – Make a donation to your favorite animal group or organization in your pet’s name. Donate your pet’s items to your local animal shelter.

Foster – Share your love with another animal that needs a home. Fostering is a rewarding way to help an unwanted animal feel loved, and it may just help to heal your grief a little quicker.

Display – Make jewelry from their pet tags. Use their ashes to wear in pet urn necklaces or charm bracelets; or those who like tattoos, have their ashes added to ink for a tattoo of your beloved fur baby. (Check this link for more creative ways to use ashes.)

These are but a few examples of how to honor the passing of a pet. And while there are many different ways to do this, there is no incorrect way. Even if an outward physical approach is not taken, the way to honor a pet will be as unique as the relationship that was forged between your pet and your family. They will always have their paw prints impressed upon your heart.

For Additional Resources on Grieving or Honoring Your Pets:

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