August 3, 2020
Great Gifts for Someone Who Lost a Pet
It is heartbreaking when someone's pet dies, but you can comfort them. This guide lists some great gifts for someone who lost a pet.
For a lot of people, losing a pet is like losing a child. Our furry friends aren't just a part of our lives—they're a part of us. Having to say goodbye to that part can cause unbearable grief.
This kind of grief can be just as difficult to deal with from the outside. Although you haven't lost someone yourself, you know that your friend or family member is suffering. You want to help, but you don't know what to do about it.
If you know your person's love language, figuring out how to offer your condolences might be a simple process after a little bit of thought. For everyone else, though, a solid standby is the art of giving gifts. The only question, then, is what gift to get.
We can't speak for everyone—every pet and every pet owner is different—but we have some good ideas to use as starting points. These are our picks for the best gifts for someone who lost a pet.
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What Do You Do When a Friend's Dog Dies?
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), a little more than 67% of American homes have a dog. This easily makes them the most popular pet in the country. Unfortunately, this means the probability of a pet owner losing a dog specifically is also higher.
If you know someone who's mourning the death of their dog, these are some great gift ideas to help console them.
Personalized Dog Tags
This is one of the best ways you can honor the loss of someone's canine companion. For decades, people have used dog tags to commemorate their loved ones, human and dog. A large factor behind their popularity is how versatile they are.
People can wear them as jewelry (usually a necklace, but dog tags can be double-bound to make bracelets, too), hang them in a place of honor, or store them somewhere private.
The most important detail for dog tags is personalization. You can buy cheap, generic dog tags at kiosks in most brand-name pet stores, but they usually include only the pet's name and owner's contact info. If you want to include the dog's date of death or a special message about the dog's life, you should probably go with an online retailer.
You also need to make sure that the information is correct. Whatever you decide to put on the dog tags will be engraved. This means that, if you or the engraver made a typo, you'll have a much more difficult time fixing it than you would with just paint.
Keepsake Stand for a Collar or Leash
If you're helping to mourn a particularly active dog, a beautiful idea is to buy a keepsake stand for the owner to display the dog's collar and/or leash. This kind of display will help the owner remember the good times of taking his or her dog to the park, on car rides, or wherever else they used to travel together.
It's also a great way to tie-in other mementos. For example, if the dog already had dog tags, it would be more meaningful to buy a place that can frame them alongside the leash and collar rather than buying brand new dog tags.
Memorialize a Cat
Cat households make up 56% of American families, making them the most common pet after dogs. Although they are frequently pitted against each other in questions like, "Are you a dog person or a cat person?" the loss of a beloved cat is no different from the loss of a beloved dog. Physical relics to help get through the mourning process will be a little different, though.
Cats are free-spirited and independent by nature. This, among other reasons, means that cats are very unlikely to have collars, leashes, or nametags. If you want something personalized after a cat, then, is a clay mold of their pawprint.
If you want the pawprint to match the cat exactly, this can be a little tricky. The good news is that many veterinary clinics across the country allow you to buy clay mold kits directly from them. This also means that they can make the molds themselves without requiring the cat's owner to manipulate its body after its death.
If this isn't an option, you can also buy generic molds of cat pawprints and have them engraved with specialized info.
Pet Memorial Stones and Urns
A lot of pet owners opt to have their deceased furry friends cremated so that they're never truly gone. If this is true for your former cat owner, a great gift is a memorial stone or urn for holding its ashes.
For people who tear up at just the mention of their lost pets, urns could be an excellent idea. Urns are fairly simple, but they have the benefit of looking like antique decorative furniture. This means that people who see the urn will be unlikely to ask what's inside it, and the owner can continue to have his or her cat nearby without adding to their own pain.
If you want something more distinctive, though, you should definitely go with a memorial stone. Most memorial stones have predefined patterns you can pick from, but some online retailers can make custom molds to look like the lost feline. You can also get these memorial stones engraved with special messages.
Great Commemorative Gifts for Any Kind of Pet
Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in the United States, but they aren't the only pets. You may know someone who's lost a hamster or guinea pig. Maybe the pet wasn't even furry at all. Plenty of pet owners have parrots, canaries, lizards, snakes, frogs, fish, and every other kind of animal you can think of.
Because these pets aren't as common, though, finding gifts with their memory in mind can be difficult. If this is the challenge you're facing, we recommend the following.
Getting a professional portrait for a lost pet is a particularly meaningful gesture. It's a great way to keep a pet fresh in everyone's memory by capturing the essence of how it looked when it was alive.
That said, they don't have to be expensive. With virtual technology advancing every day, we now have the ability to convert photographs to canvases in a way that makes them look like they were handpainted. You can even do it yourself if you have a basic understanding of how to use Photoshop or similar photo editing programs.
For a more personal touch, though, you can certainly hire someone to create a painting for you. In this case, all you'll need is a picture of the lost pet for the artist to use as a reference. If you'd like to include the pet's owner, you'll also want to send the artist a picture of him or her.
Losing a pet is difficult for anyone, but it is especially traumatic for a child. For a lot of children, pets are their first best friends. Sometimes, they're even their first snuggle buddies.
No one and nothing will ever be able to fill that kind of loss. However, you can help a child cope by getting them a stuffed animal modeled after the pet they lost. Quite a few online companies offer this service nowadays, so you'll have plenty of options to pick from.
Like pet portraits, all you have to do to achieve this is send the website a picture of the pet. You'll need a full-body photo, though, to make sure the company can recreate the pet from every angle. A headshot alone won't be enough.
For an even more personal touch, you can also get a stuffed animal of a picture that the child made himself or herself. These stuffed animals will definitely be on the wonkier side, but they will also be
Another great gift idea for children is to get them a personalized book with their pet as the main character. This sweet gift idea requires a form with the pet's name, the child's name, a photograph of the pet, and any other information you want to make sure the book includes.
Good examples include the pet's favorite foods and activities or people and other animals that the pet particularly enjoyed.
This is a different kind of gift because it isn't something you can physically bring. Instead, this gift represents a willingness to provide time, money, and emotional support (especially for people who've never gotten a tattoo).
Like the previous gift ideas, the only thing you need for a personalized tattoo is a photo of the lost pet. A professional tattoo artist will be able to create a rendering of it from that alone to forever ink on your person's skin. That way, their pet will never be forgotten and will literally always be a part of them.
Another unconventional gift idea is to donate money to a worthy cause on behalf of the pet or its owner. This is an exceptionally thoughtful gift for a person who regularly gives to charities. To keep it relevant, though, we definitely recommend donating to an animal-specific charity.
If the person's pet came from a shelter or rescue facility, try to donate back to them. Local animal shelters are always in need of extra funding, so your contribution won't go unnoticed. It may also help other pets connect with new owners.
If the person's pet died from a particular disease, you could also donate to a specialized charity devoted to curing or treating it. A good example is the Animal Cancer Foundation.
Before donating to a big-name or international charity, be sure to check out Animal Charity Evaluators. They keep a comprehensive, up-to-date database with reviews and ratings on just about every animal charity in the world. As such, they're a great resource to use if you want to be certain that your money goes to underprivileged animals and the people who care for them, not the CEO's pocket.
Other Tips for Buying Gifts for Someone Who Lost a Pet
These are all great ideas for what to buy someone who's just lost a pet, but we also need to cover what not to buy. If you're set on getting someone a gift, here are some tips to keep in mind.
If you're going to get a card, make sure you write something meaningful inside of it. Giving a generic Hallmark card could make your friend or relative feel like you don't really care and that you just picked something up to tick a box. At the very least, make sure to mention the lost pet's name.
Don't assume that taxidermy is a good idea. Some pet owners may find it sweet and commemorative, but others might find it creepy and morbid. If you're thinking of taking this route, make sure to ask the person first.
Don't push the person to get a new pet right away. You might think that getting someone a new pet will help them get over their loss more quickly, but it might come across as insensitive. Think about it this way: you might be unintentionally suggesting that the lost pet is replaceable, and this new pet you bought is that replacement.
Everything You Need to Know About the Life and Death of Beloved Pets
In addition to specializing in lighthearted, personal books about your very favorite furry friend, Petventures Book has tons of other products that will be sure to have your pets' tails wagging.
We also have a blog where we post about our favorite dog names, cute activities to do with your pets, and more ideas of gifts for someone who lost a pet. If you want to check us out, please feel free to visit our page.
Written by Petventures
Petventures was created by a group of dog and cat lovers in New York and San Francisco, inspired by our amazing pets. While we occasionally growl and hiss at each other over the respective merits of our feline and canine companions, we are united by our love of art, storytelling and goofy critters.