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National Pet Memorial Day

Making the decision to have a pet put to rest peacefully and painlessly is the hardest decision a pet parent will make for a pet. Just as painful is to lose a pet tragically in an unexpected way. To honor all pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and knowing how important pets are in the lives of devoted pet parents, the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories established National Pet Memorial Day to be recognized on the second Sunday of September.

As hard as it can be for pet parents to look back on the day that they lost their pet, there are many beautiful ways that they can do something in honor of them. Here are some suggestions:
  • A pet parent can make a scrapbook or frame some of their best photos. Photos capture wonderful memories of the pet parent and pet together, and can remind pet parents of memories that may have become hazy over time.
  • If a pet is buried in a back yard or in a cemetery that allows it, planting a tree, bush or flower in their memory helps the environment, and as the tree grows, so will the pet parent’s ability to move on.
  • Honor the loss with the gift of trees to one of our nation’s forests via the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • At a cemetery, a pet parent can ask about the option for adding an inscription to a pet’s grave. The cemetery or community park may also offer the option of sponsoring a bench or tree with a plaque to memorialize their pet.
  • After a pet passes away, pet parents may keep some of their old belongings, such as toys and blankets, to remind themselves of what their pets loved the most. Keeping these items in a safe place and taking them out when missing a pet will make a pet parent feel like their pet is there in spirit, and can provide some emotional relief.
  • Another way of honoring a pet is to spend some time with pets who are looking for a loving family by volunteering at a humane society or rescue shelter. When the time is right, pet parents can even adopt one of these pets who are in need of a family.
These are only a few suggestions to help remember your pet who has gone over the Rainbow Bridge. Everyone grieves in their own way and it is important to be understanding and nonjudgmental of other family members regarding their personal way of dealing with the loss. Remember that when grieving the loss of a pet, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. It is the thought that counts.

So on this National Pet Memorial Day, take a few minutes out of the day to remember those pets that have given their love and pet parents a lifetime of wonderful memories.