When a pet passes away, you may feel saddened by their loss and want to memorialize them. There are many kinds of pet keepsakes available on the market, but one of the most meaningful for some is a paw print memorial or keepsake. They can be really thoughtful if you choose to make them from the actual paw print of your deceased pet.
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Here are some paw print keepsake or memorial ideas. Some are DIY, and others you can search for on the online marketplace. Regardless, they are sure to give you comfort as you remember the life of your beloved animal.
Memorial tip: Like the memorial and keepsake ideas below, an online memorial page can be a meaningful and lasting tribute to your beloved pet. Cake's online memorial pages are easy to use and completely free. You can also use them to raise funds for a pet-related charity or to cover outstanding veterinary bills and final expenses.
Paw Print Memorial or Keepsake Ideas
Here are some pet memorial ideas. Even though this article’s focus is something you would create or purchase to remember a deceased pet, you may consider making one of these for your living pets as well.
1. Paw print memorial stone
Pet memorial stones are common ways to commemorate the life of a dog or cat. They can be placed at the burial spot or in a memorial garden. Some paw print memorial stones have the actual paw print of the animal.
2. Paw print painting
If you are talented with detailed painting, you may consider using your pet’s paw print as a starting block for a picture. Once the basic shape is stamped on a canvas, you can fill in the lines and paint the print in bright colors and patterns. Add a beautiful label to the painting, so all who sees it knows the print originated from your loved companion.
3. Paw print necklace
Look for online companies that will use the image of your dog’s or cat’s paw prints to create a piece of jewelry. Some of these pieces can include pendants where the shape of the print is made with a metal mold. You can keep your deceased pet close by wearing the necklace close to your heart.
4. Paw print ornament
One of the easiest paw print crafts is an ornament. Purchase a flat stone ornament and place the paw print on the side. You can decorate the ornament with themed ribbons that remind you of your companion.
Of course, don’t feel like you need to wait for the holidays to display your commemorative piece. This is something that you should feel comfortable leaving up all year.
5. Paw print memorial sticker
There are a few online companies that will create high-quality vinyl stickers suitable to put on the window of your car. Besides displaying your pet’s paw print, you can add the name, birth date, and death date of your pet.
6. Paw print windchime
Wind chimes are lovely commemorative gifts to remember a beloved pet. Every time you hear the wind chime tinkle in the breeze, you will be reminded of your pet’s impact on your life. Search for companies that will personalize the clapper with the image of the paw print.
7. Paw print tattoo
You may consider getting a paw print tattoo to remember the life of a beloved pet. Look for a tattoo artist who has experience with such work. To make the tattoo extra special, look for a company that will inject some of the animal’s cremains in the tattoo ink.
8. Art project with paw print and handprint
There are many DIY ideas online for crafts you can complete with a paw print. One project shows a brightly colored handprint. The palm is overlaid with the white paw print of a beloved pet.
Read our guide on handprint keepsakes for more ideas.
9. Paw print urn
If you choose to cremate your pet, consider keeping your dog’s or cat’s ashes in an urn. Some urns can be personalized with a metal or stamped paw print.
10. Paw print and collar frame
Look for a memorial gift that allows you to place a photograph of your pet near the image of its paw print. Some of these gifts even allow you to store the pet’s collar’s or tags as well. Such gifts are nice as they allow you to keep all the commemorative items in one spot.
11. Memorial cufflinks
While it may be unusual, you can also purchase memorial cufflinks that include the shape of your pet’s paw. These specialty items are available from the same companies that create pendants, keychains, and other types of jewelry. You can purchase a paw print pocket knife as well.
12. Paw print token
Some people carry trinkets or tokens in their pockets every day. If you don’t want to forget your beloved pet, consider having a small coin-sized token made with your pet’s paw print to carry with you at all times.
13. Paw print flowers
Combine your love of flowers with the love of your pet. Use stamped paw prints to create an image of a bouquet of flowers. This would be especially appropriate if your pet had a “flower” name, like Rose, Lilly, or Iris.
14. Paw print wine glass
Consult websites such as Etsy to find an artist to replicate your pet’s paw print on a wine glass. Ask the artist to add your pet’s name.
15. Paw print garden markers
These commemorative gifts act similarly to a memorial stone. Instead of looking like a headstone or rock, they are metal stakes that can be personalized to show a beloved pet’s burial place. These garden markers can be personalized with a paw print.
You could also use garden markers to show where you planted particular plants in a memorial garden for your pet. Many people design memorial gardens for their beloved pets, even if they bury the remains in another location.
16. Paw print cremation glass
Some artisans make a living by creating beautiful blown glass pieces made with the cremains of people or animals. Consider commissioning a piece in the shape of your loved one’s paw print.
17. Paw print shaped garden
It’s common for people to rely on the beauty of nature to commemorate the death of a loved one or pet. Why not create an actual garden in the shape of a paw print? Small plots can surround one larger circular space for planting. You may want to outline the shape in stones to make the design more prominent.
How Do You Get Your Pets Paw Prints Before or After Death?
There are four ways to get the image of your pet’s prints. You can do a print that is similar to a thumbprint or make an imprint of your pet’s paw.
Here are some safe methods to get your pet’s prints.
Search your favorite arts and crafts store for non-toxic finger paint or body paint. After making sure your pet is comfortable, dip the paw into the paint. Gently press the painted paw on a canvas or sturdy piece of paper.
Since you may need to repeat this action several times to get a clear print, make sure you have treats nearby.
Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your pet’s paws after you finish the project, or you may find yourself with painted paw prints all over your floor.
If you would like a cast of your pet’s paw print, try this method. Mix a cup of flour with a cup of salt. Add enough water until you make a ball of dough. Cover the ball of dough with waxed paper and press your pet’s foot into the ball. Bake the piece at low heat (200 degrees) for two or three hours.
Some online artists are happy to work with the picture of a paw print. This is an extremely easy method that can be done most damp mornings. Simple wait for your pet to walk across the dewy grass. Follow the pet across cement and take a photo of the resulting prints.
Ask a vet
Different people have varying comfort levels with handling deceased animals. If touching your departed pet is too emotionally difficult, consider asking your vet to make either a dough print or ink print of your pet’s paw. You may also consider asking for a clipping of your pet’s fur.
Other Ideas to Commemorate Your Pet
There are endless ways to commemorate a pet’s life, especially since you can easily connect with artisans on many online marketplaces. Consider finding an artist to create a piece of artwork depicting either your pet’s image or pawprint. Look at his or her portfolio, so you understand the artist’s style and technique.
If you have an audio recording of your pet, consider reaching out to a company that will make a record using your pet’s cremains. Even though they specialize in recording the voices of humans, they certainly would also make a recording of your beloved cat or dog “talking” to you.
If you have several keepsakes, you may consider creating a memory box for your pet. This box could hold photographs, collars, paperwork, tags, and other pieces of memorabilia. Consider decorating the outside of the box with your pet’s paw prints. It will be a great way for you to look back on the memories you made with your companion and the paw print they left in your life.