It’s a mistake to assume that someone who loses a pet does not suffer the same as someone who loses a human loved one. Many people who lose pets go through the same grieving process as if they had lost a dear friend or family member.
Overview: Our Top Picks
Dog sympathy gift ideas
- Pet Collar Keepsake Frame ($18.99)
- Printable Temporary Tattoo Paper ($13.99)
- Pet Portrait on Hand-Stretched Canvas ($22.99)
- Douglas Alps Bernese Moutain Dog Stuffed Animal ($17.99)
Cat sympathy gift ideas
- Pet Cremation Urn Necklace ($16.99)
- You Left Paw Prints On My Heart Personalized Mug ($21.50)
- Cat With Wings Garden Statue ($20)
- Pet Loss Care Package ($32.95)
- I Wrote a Book About You — A fun, fill-in-the-blank book ($13.46)
Other pet sympathy gift ideas
- Hummingbird & Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix ($19.99)
- Midwest Products Pet Photo Stepping Stone Kit ($19.99)
- Pet Memorial Ornament ($14.98)
- Remembrance Memorial Keychain with a Photo Frame ($7.59)
- Variety Box of 12 Cookies from The Cravory ($35.99)
- Love-KANKEI Wooden Shadow Box and Display Case ($15.99)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Dog Sympathy Gift Ideas
- Cat Sympathy Gift Ideas
- Other Pet Sympathy Gift Ideas
- Comforting Gifts for the Loss of a Pet
- Cremation Gifts for the Loss of a Pet
- Sympathy Gifts for a Child Who Lost a Pet
- Sympathy Gift Basket Ideas for the Loss of a Pet
There are ways to offer condolences for someone who has lost a pet. Just as you may keep a stash of sympathy cards on hand for those who have lost human companions, you can keep sympathy cards for those who have lost pets as well.
Part of your well-wishes may include a sympathy gift. Here are some unique ideas to give to a person who has lost a dog, cat, or another animal companion. Although we divided the list into three sections, many of the gifts would be appropriate for any animal. If you need more inspiration, you can check out our full list of sympathy gift ideas for anyone experiencing loss.
Think of the things you would give to someone who lost a member of their family. Most of these items would also be appropriate gifts for someone who has lost a dog. Here are some ideas.
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Keepsake holder for the dog’s collar
If you have lost a pet, you know that it would be impossible for you to part with the deceased animal’s collar and tags. Some of the ideas involve DIY projects. Perhaps you could create a circular photo frame out of the collar. You may want to purchase a shadow box where the collar, like this Pet Collar Keepsake Frame (pictured above). and tag can be artfully displayed along with a photo.
You can also buy specially-made frames that allow you to insert the dog’s collar and tag below an image of the animal.
These gifts are sure to be treasured keepsakes for years.
Granted, this may not be an appropriate choice of a sympathy gift for all of your friends. But perhaps some of your friends would love to tattoo an image of their dog somewhere on their bodies. Or maybe they would love to simply commemorate the passing by tattooing the name of the animal with the birth and death dates.
If you aren’t sure how your friend would react to such a gift, ask before you purchase a gift card to a local tattoo studio. Also, make sure the artist specializes in animal images before committing to a particular tattooist.
Aren't ready for a commitment? Try designing your tattoo at home, then print it out on this printable temporary tattoo paper.
Search online for individuals who specialize in pet portraits. Check out the artist’s portfolio and ask for an approximate delivery date. Most artists are happy to work from photographs, so the person does not have to be from your local area. Be sure to budget for the framing costs before committing to the portrait.
Or, you're looking for something extra-memorable and affordable, try this pet portrait on hand-stretched canvas that's pictured above.
Most dog owners would love receiving this one-of-a-kind gift.
You may be able to find a perfect replica of your friend’s dog at a local toy store. Many companies have full lines of stuffed animals that are made to look like each breed. If your friend’s dog had a unique look, you could also search online for a company that creates one-of-a-kind stuffed animals based on the images you provide, like this Douglas Alps Bernese Moutain Dog Stuffed Animal from Amazon.
Your friend may choose to display the collar of their lost companion on the stuffed animal you purchase.
You can search Amazon or your local bookstore for books that celebrate pets and animals. There are also many children’s books about losing pets with beautiful illustrations that may comfort your adult friend.
There are also books designed to assist people in going through the grieving process after the loss of an animal.
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Don’t forget to send love to those who have lost their cats. Here are some unique ideas for those who are missing their kitties.
Even though these gifts are mostly exclusive to pet owners, you could also send a bouquet to your friend just as you would send flowers to a funeral.
Jewelry is the perfect gift for someone in mourning. It’s a personal gift that will remind the wearer of their faithful companions.
Although any piece of jewelry depicting a heart would be appropriate, you can also easily find pet-specific jewelry, like this Pet Cremation Urn Necklace from Amazon. You may also search for bracelets made out of the colors of the rainbow to remind the wearer of the rainbow bridge.
Some pet jewelry pieces allow the wearers to enclose clippings of the pet’s hair or cremation ashes within the charm or locket. That way, your friend will be able to keep a piece of her loved one close to her heart.
Some people opt to put the ashes in urn jewelry or create a memorial diamond out of their pet's ashes. For example, companies like Eterneva allow you to send in a dog's cremated remains and choose the color and cut of the diamond. From there, your friend can set the diamond on an existing necklace or new piece of jewelry.
If your friend often posted pet photos on social media, use those images to create a photo book or other photo gifts. You may consider using the pictures to create mugs (like this You Left Paw Prints On My Heart Personalized Mug from Amazon), t-shirts, calendars, blankets, mousepads, or canvas prints.
Almost every company that prints photos offers these other options too.
Why not purchase a memorial statue for your friend who lost a pet? The figure, like this Cat with Wings Garden Statue, can be specific to the breed or can display a comforting verse about our favorite four-legged companions.
Consider having the statue personalized with the name of your friend’s pet as well as the birth and death dates. Your gift might be used as a headstone if your friend chose to bury the remains of the animal in the backyard.
Pet sympathy baskets
Several online companies sell sympathy baskets designed explicitly for cat or dog lovers. The baskets, like this Pet Loss Care Package from Amazon, may include a variety of things such as photo frames, candles, or signs with pet-related quotes.
You could also consider making your own basket. Search your local fabric store for cat-related fabric to line the interior of the basket.
Fill in the blank books
These fill-in-the-blank books, like this I Wrote a Book About You — A fun, fill-in-the-blank book from Amazon, leave ample room for people to write about the “gotcha” day. Pet owners can also write about their pet’s favorite activities, places, or people.
This gift will not only act as a keepsake for your friend, but it will also enable him or her to progress through the grieving process.
Even though most pet owners have dogs or cats, some of your friends may have more exotic pets. It may be challenging to find specific gifts for more exotic pets, but you should still express condolences to your friend in some way.
Whether you send flowers with a sympathy note or a simple card, your friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Flower seeds with a personalized garden stake
This simple gift can leave a lasting impact. Purchase a package of flower seeds, like this Hummingbird & Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix, with the instructions to plant them someplace special. You may also include a garden stake to place in the ground that displays the name of the animal your friend recently lost.
Your friend will be reminded of a beloved pet every time he or she sees the flowers blooming.
If your friend lost a dog or cat, you would not have any problem finding a garden stepping stone commemorating those animals. If your friend lost a more exotic pet, you might consider creating a stepping stone from a kit you can purchase at your local craft store, or check out this Midwest Products Pet Photo Stepping Stone Kit from Amazon.
Again, you may consider personalizing the stone with the name of the pet.
If you want something smaller and more tangible, Parting Stone creates beautiful, handheld cremation stones to keep your furry baby close to you.
Some people purchase a personalized ornament, like this Pet Memorial Ornament from Amazon, every time they lose someone special to them. Consider doing this for your friend who recently lost a pet.
You may have a difficult time finding an ornament shaped in the image of an exotic animal. Instead, consider purchasing a heart-shaped ornament and personalizing it with the name of the pet.
Your phone, wallet, and keys. Every time you leave your house, you always bring these three items.
Why not give a personalized keychain, like this Remembrance Memorial Keychain with a Photo Frame, to your friend who recently lost a pet? Your friend will be constantly reminded of a beloved animal, as well as your thoughtfulness.
It is entirely appropriate to bring dinner or cookies to the home of someone who lost a family member. Why not do the same for someone who lost a dear pet?
This simple gift will tell your friend that you are thinking of him. Make the gift extra special and bake the item yourself. If you're not a baker, try sending this Variety Box of 12 Cookies from The Cravory.
Perhaps your friend has several pieces of memorabilia associated with the pet they recently lost.
Purchase a decorative box, like this Love-KANKEI Wooden Shadow Box and Display Case and personalize it with the name of the animal. Your friend will be able to store photos, collars, ashes, or other items in the box.
Comforting Gifts for the Loss of a Pet
Some sympathy gifts are suitable for preserving memories, while others may offer comfort. Here are some comforting gifts for someone who has gone through the loss of a beloved pet.
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Gourmet soup delivery
Spoonful of Comfort offers gourmet soup delivery and so much more. You can also buy gift baskets, jewelry, and other care packages designed to spread comfort to someone suffering a loss.
Your friend may have difficulty sleeping after the loss of a pet – especially if they shared a bed. Consider purchasing a weighted blanket for your friend. One purpose of a weighted blanket is that they are designed to reduce anxiety.
You may also consider this weighted hug pillow.
For someone who is missing the weight of their cat, a weighted shoulder wrap might be the perfect comforting gift. This one offers herbal aromatherapy as well.
If your friend is the type of person who turns to tea when life becomes difficult, consider gifting a box of their favorite blends. If you aren't sure, purchase a variety packet – perhaps of herbal blends.
Your friend may miss their pet the most when watching TV. Consider this heated throw, which allows you to choose from five different settings.
Microwavable stuffed animal
These microwavable stuffed animals will not only heat your friend's lap, but they also emits a calming aroma. You can choose from a dog, cat, pig, monkey, seal, and other adorable creatures.
Does your friend or family member enjoy collectibles? You might be able to find one that has an animal theme. For example, Willow Tree offers a series of comfort angels shown holding animal friends.
Peruse your favorite book retailer for the latest or highest-rated book about pet loss. You may also look for quote books about pets or animals.
Yes, apparently, you can send ice cream in the mail. We especially like this assortment offered by Henry and David. Not only does the recipient receive four flavors, but they also come in cute tubs with reassuring phrases, such as "tub of hugs" and "scoop of support."
Toy for pets who are left behind
In addition to buying a gift for the owner, you might want to purchase a comfort item for the pets left behind. They may be lost, confused, and scared that their companion is missing.
Cremation Gifts for the Loss of a Pet
Did your friend or family member choose cremation for their pet? Pet cremation is typically handled in one of two ways.
The family can choose to have their pet cremated individually. That way, they can be assured that the cremated remains (or ashes) they receive result from the cremation of their specific animal.
However, in most cases, animal cremations are done with several animals simultaneously. Still, some families ask for a portion of the cremated remains, knowing that they may be mixed in with the remains of other animals.
We tell you this information because some of our suggested gifts are made with cremated remains. However, they may be more meaningful if the family is assured that the ashes came from only their animal.
Additionally, some of the gifts we recommend require a small portion of the pet's cremated remains. Therefore, you might need to tell your friend what you intend to do in order to obtain the ashes.
Look online for a local glass artisan or an online company that creates paperweights or decorative glass orbs using a small portion of cremated remains. They make beautiful gifts and can be an item of comfort for a friend who recently lost a pet.
Memorial cremation jewelry
Like the paperweights mentioned previously, you can also hire an artisan to use a tiny portion of cremation remains to create a glass pendant for a necklace or keychain. This method can be used to create cremation jewelry for human loved ones as well, although some designers have special pieces designed in memory of pets.
Instead of using cremation ash to create a design, you can also purchase a tiny urn pendant (similar to a locket) that holds a small portion of cremated remains. Urn jewelry comes in rings, keychains, and bracelets as well.
You might ask your friend or family member what their plans are for the pet's cremated remains. Some families choose to keep the remains at home. If so, consider purchasing a personalized urn to hold the remains.
Some families choose to scatter cremated remains. If this is your friend's plan, you might purchase a scattering urn, which simplifies the process.
Space in a scattering garden
Some families prefer to purchase the right to scatter their pet's remains in a scattering garden. This enables them to visit the place periodically, just as one would visit a cemetery. Such places typically have memorial walls or stones, so your pet's name can live on into eternity.
Sympathy Gifts for a Child Who Lost a Pet
Consider the feelings of a child in a family who recently lost a pet. This may be their first encounter with loss. Here are some gift ideas for a child.
Photo in a frame
Search your friend's social media to find a photo of the pet with the child. Make a print of the picture and insert it into a memorial frame. You may be able to personalize the frame with the pet's name and birth/death dates.
You may also consider purchasing a stuffed animal that looks like the pet they lost. Or better yet, you can buy a Build-a-Bear gift certificate, and the child can pick a stuffed animal of their choice.
There are quite a few books that cover the loss of a pet. Choose the right one based on the child's age and the family's beliefs.
Rainbow Bridge print
The concept of the rainbow bridge has been around for decades. Consider purchasing a framed print of this beloved poem to share with a child who lost a pet.
Buy a personalized ornament for the child to hand in their room or on the family's holiday tree each year.
We like this simple washer bracelet offered on Etsy for children (or adults!) who lost a pet. It can be personalized with the pet's name and gives the child a token that can be worn all day in memory of the pet.
Custom pet pillow
Search online for a company that does custom pet pillows based on images of the pet that you provide. Some pet pillows are in a traditional square or rectangle shape, but other pillows can be shaped like the animal.
Encourage the child to create drawings and paintings of their pet by purchasing new art supplies. You may also want to include drawing books that offer step-by-step instructions on drawing an animal.
If you are looking for a small token, consider purchasing a memory stone. These stones are typically small, smooth rocks that a person can carry and touch when they think of the person (or pet!) they are missing. Sometimes the stone has a comforting saying on it.
Sometimes gift giving is less about the gift and more about the gesture. For example, give the child a sweet treat to tell them that you are sorry for their loss and care that they are hurting.
Sympathy Gift Basket Ideas for the Loss of a Pet
Perhaps you feel that a single sympathy gift isn't enough. Instead, you might wish to create a sympathy gift basket for the entire family. Here are some ideas of individual items you can purchase or gift basket companies you can use.
Gift basket for a family with children
Here are some ideas for creating a gift basket for an entire family. Include a photo book that features pictures of the pet, some sort of sweet treat for the family members to share, and animal treats for the surviving pets. You may also want to purchase wind chimes or other memorial items to display that the entire family can enjoy.
Gift basket for garden lovers
Some families bury their pets in the backyard or scatter the remains in their private gardens. Create a gift basket that features a stepping stone or personalized memorial stone, windchimes, and forget-me-not seeds.
Gift basket full of comfort items
You might send a gift basket that is full of comfort items. Such a basket could be used for anyone who has faced a tragedy. Include a soft throw, a candle, and some chocolates.
Self-care sympathy basket
Does your friend always put other people (and their animals) first? Give a gift certificate for a massage or spa day, a candle, bath salts, and a sleep mask to encourage them to take care of themselves.
Peace, Prayers, and Blessings gift basket
We also like this Peace, Prayers, and Blessings sympathy gift basket. It includes coffee and sweet treats that are sure to be enjoyed by the entire family.
Pet sympathy basket
We also like this pet-specific sympathy basket offered by this Etsy store. It's perfect for a dog lover who also likes plants. Finally, another offering from Etsy includes a copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem, a plaque, a keyring, and other items.
Laurelbox allows you to build your own gift basket or purchase one already created. They have two offerings for those mourning a pet. One includes a candle and personalized necklace featuring the pet's name. The candle can be customized in the shape of a dog, cat, horse, or bird.
Laurelbox also offers a pet memorial garden set. This gift basket includes a butterfly garden seed set and a pet memorial garden stone.
Healing Baskets also offers a wide variety of pet memorial gift baskets as well as individual gifts.
Acknowledging the Loss of a Pet
Since some of these gifts will take time to personalize, you may want to send a card or flowers immediately after the death. If you wait, your friend may feel alone in their grief for some time. Explain to your friend that a personalized gift is coming later.
Do not ignore the death of a pet. You can still be supportive and say the right thing after their pet’s death. Your friend is grieving, and if you value your friendship, you should try to bring solace to this important person in your life. Check on your friend more often than usual. They’re likely going through a tough time.