When a pet passes away, you want to do everything you can to honor their memory. For many people, that means placing a headstone on their pet’s grave. But what should you write on a pet’s grave?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s an Epitaph for a Pet?
- Dog Epitaph Examples
- Cat Epitaph Examples
- Funny Pet Epitaph Examples
- Epitaph Examples for Other Pets
Of course, a pet’s headstone includes the animal’s name, birth date, and date of death. Some pet headstones even include a photo of the pet. But you might also want to include additional words on your pet’s headstone, gravestone, or memorial stone to show how special they really were. These words are called an epitaph. You can also write an epitaph on a pet’s urn if they’re cremated after death.
So what should you write in a pet’s epitaph? It can be hard to come up with a short, simple phrase that sums up all the time you spent with your pet and how much they mean to you. But we’ll provide some examples of pet epitaphs, including epitaph ideas for dogs, cats, and other pets, below.
What’s an Epitaph for a Pet?
An epitaph for a pet is just like an epitaph for any other member of your family. In short, an epitaph is a short phrase, written in memory of someone who’s died, and it’s engraved on that person’s headstone.
On behalf of your pet
Many people choose to write their own epitaphs before they die, so they know exactly how the world will remember them. You can even use our tombstone generator to help you come up with the perfect, personalized epitaph.
Unfortunately, we can’t ask our pets what they want us to write on their gravestone, so we have to come up with their epitaphs on our own.
Pet memorial plaques
The most popular type of final disposition for pets isn’t burial; it’s cremation. And that means most pets don’t have actual headstones or gravestones.
But they can still have epitaphs, engraved on a personalized urn or even on a memorial plaque. The wording on a memorial plaque for your pet can match what you would put on a traditional headstone or gravestone epitaph.
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Dog Epitaph Examples
The death of a dog is a heart-wrenching experience and one that every dog-owner dreads. When the time comes to say goodbye, it can be difficult to find the words.
Below are some examples of dog epitaphs that might help you find inspiration.
1. Rest in peace, Banjo: the best friend I could ever ask for.
If you want to keep it short and simple, you can use “rest in peace” as part of your pet’s epitaph. Alternatively, you could use one of these synonyms for “rest in peace.”
2. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
Dogs have the purest hearts, and they share their hearts freely when their owners are kind. You can say “thank you” to your dog for sharing his or her heart with you and your family.
3. A very good boy.
All dog owners know the joy a simple, “Good boy!” or, “Good girl!” can bring to a dog’s eyes. What better way to say goodbye to your beloved pet than by giving him one last, “Good boy!”
4. Dearly loved in life, deeply mourned in death.
This is a more serious epitaph that reflects the deep impact your pet left on your life. This type of epitaph could be used for any human of noble stature, so it’s fitting for a dog who was truly loved.
5. In memory of my best friend, my deepest joy, my inspiration.
This epitaph starts out simply with “in memory of,” and goes on to list the roles your pet played in your life. For many, a dog is a best friend, as well as a source of happiness and inspiration to live with loyalty, honesty, and gratitude.
Cat Epitaph Examples
As pets, cats tend to be more independent and less reliant on us emotionally. But that doesn’t mean they don’t leave lasting impacts on our lives.
When you’re writing an epitaph for your pet cat, consider the examples below.
6. You strayed into my heart, and you stayed forever.
Often, cats adopt us, rather than the other way around. If you took in a stray cat who chose you as his or her owner, this epitaph might suit your pet.
7. You left your pawprint on my heart.
Cats tend to leave tiny footprints everywhere--on the carpet, on the furniture, and on our hearts.
8. In gratitude for everything you gave us.
Although they can act like royalty, cats can also be generous of heart and spirit. This epitaph says “thank you” to a cat who gave his or her love wholeheartedly in life.
9. Born a cat, lived like a lion.
Your cat might have been born as just a kitten, but they might have grown into a strong, mighty, and brave “lion.”
10. Together forever and never apart; memories hold us heart-to-heart.
This popular rhyme is perfect for a cat who loved to snuggle up with you, heart-to-heart. Your pet may be gone physically, but the memories you shared will keep you close.
Funny Pet Epitaph Examples
Pets rarely take themselves too seriously, and you might want your best friend’s epitaph to reflect their sense of humor.
Here are some funny and lighthearted epitaph examples for pets.
11. Tiny princess in a fur coat.
If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know how easily they can act like royalty. If your cat was just like a little prince or princess in a fur coat, you could use an epitaph reflecting that.
12. You came, you slobbered, you conquered.
You can replace the middle word in this epitaph with your pet’s favorite activity. For example, “You came, you wagged, you conquered,” or, “You came, you climbed, you conquered.”
13. Left no squirrel unchased.
This epitaph is for a dog or cat who never let a squirrel (or bird, or neighbor’s cat) go without a fight.
Sometimes, all it takes is a single word (or sound) to express exactly how you feel. If you’re saying goodbye to a beloved pet dog, they’ll know what this epitaph means.
15. In memory of my pawsitively purrfect friend.
This epitaph is perfect for a cat who loved wordplay.
Epitaph Examples for Other Pets
Cats and dogs are far from the only pets out there. Whether you’re writing an epitaph for your turtle, rat, rabbit, snake, iguana, or any other pet, you want the wording to be just right.
Here are some epitaph examples for other types of pets.
16. What greater love than the love of a [pet].
Whatever animal your beloved friend happened to be, you loved them, and they loved you dearly.
17. May you find all the yogurt snacks you can eat.
There’s nothing a pet rat loves more than yogurt treats (except maybe chewing up everything in sight). May your pet rat rest in peace with unlimited yogurt melts and chewing materials to last an eternity.
18. You might have taken a while to get anywhere, but you raced into my heart and stayed.
This epitaph is for a turtle or tortoise who never rushed to get from point A to point B, except when it came to wiggling his way into your heart.
19. I hope I ssssee you ssssoon, my beloved friend.
If you and your pet snake communicated in your own special language, why stop now? This is an epitaph that tells your special pet snake that you hope to see them again someday.
20. I’m so grateful for the day you hopped into my life.
Pet rabbits have a way of hopping right into your life and making themselves comfortable. You can show gratitude to your late pet rabbit with this epitaph message.
Writing a Pet’s Epitaph
We’ve given you some ideas for pet epitaphs, above. But ultimately, your pet’s epitaph should be personal and from-the-heart.
When it’s time to compose your pet’s epitaph, you might find it helpful to start by brainstorming. Write down all of your epitaph ideas, and then come back to refine your ideas down to the ones you like best. Finally, edit your favorite epitaph until you’re happy with it.
Just like writing an epitaph for a human, creating a pet’s epitaph can be emotionally-taxing and cathartic. You might find yourself reflecting on memories you’d long forgotten, and missing your pet even more. But in the end, you’ll have an epitaph that represents the life you shared with your pet and how special they truly were.