Pet owners of all types know that our pets are a part of the family. Dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, and everything in between serve as integral members of the family who provide memories, laughs, and snuggles for years. Unfortunately, many people are all too familiar with the pain and devastation that comes with the loss of a beloved pet. When a pet dies, it can be just as painful as losing a human. With their unique personalities and unmatched loyalty, our pets play an important role in our lives, so much so that their sudden absence often leaves us feeling empty and broken.
In the same way you would have a funeral for a deceased human, you should absolutely pay your respects to your dear furry friend. Headstones serve as a physical marker of the gravesite and offer a place where one can retreat to remember and sit with their lost pet. Gathering at this place of refuge during a small service and any time in the future acknowledges the emotional loss and sadness that comes with losing a pet. No one is ready to say goodbye when it comes time for your furry friend to cross that rainbow bridge, so a headstone is one way to memorialize your pet and bring comfort to the family.
Many people don’t even know that pet headstones exist. Depending on your circumstances, there are a couple of options that may work best for you regarding the burial and memorial process of your pet.
- Homemade Pet Headstone: If you have young kids in your family, making your own headstone for a beloved pet after it passes may be beneficial. During this process, children can learn about death and feel connected to the pet one last time. Including children in the process of the headstone, creation is a great way to recall fond memories with your pet and make the transition a little bit easier. Depending on your time, supplies, and skill level, there are a few different methods for DIY pet headstones.
- Make A Mosaic -- With a bag of concrete, a concrete mold, and some colorful beads, you have all the supplies necessary to make a lovely headstone mosaic. Pour the wet concrete into the mold and etch the name of your pet, along with any other desired text, in the cement with a stick. While the concrete is still wet, allow children to make a mosaic out of beads, buttons, or rocks. They can incorporate things that remind them of their pet. Once the concrete is dry, you can paint the stone with an outdoor paint or simply place it at the gravesite.
- Find A Big Rock -- Save yourself the time and effort of creating your own slab. If you live in an area with rocky lakes or rivers, you can probably find a relatively large smooth rock that is perfect for a pet headstone. Once you find a rock, allow the kids to paint it with outdoor paint and write messages in permanent marker. If you have multiple children, let them find their own rocks to decorate individually. Whether your pet’s memorial site has one headstone or ten, it’s sure to be a testament of love.
- Wooden Memorial -- Although headstones are typically made of concrete or stone, a wooden memorial can serve the exact same purpose! Tell your family to think of a shape that reminds them of your furry family member. It could be a cross, a heart, a paw, or anything else! Once you’ve decided on a shape, go to a craft store and see if you can find it. If not, many hardware stores sell slabs of wood that you can carve to your desired shape. Either carve or paint your pet’s name on the wood and allow the children to decorate the rest.
- Custom Pet Headstone: If DIYs aren’t your thing, you can order a custom headstone for your pet the same way you would order one for a human. Typically, pet headstones are smaller, but you can still include any information you desire. Add a paw print or a picture of your pet for an extra personal touch. The choices that come with pet headstones are endless so you can pick the color, shape, and style that work best for you.
No matter how you memorialize your pet, remember that losing your companion is never easy. We hope you find refuge in remembering your furry friend every time you visit the headstone that you so lovingly gifted them.