Grieving an animal can be such solitary sadness. You might weep with memories of love and personal surrender to your two or four-legged confidante. You miss your conversations, intrigues, hunts, and midnight dances—and more than that, it’s the absence felt during morning cuddles or nighttime slumber.
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For those reasons and more, having something to hold or hug may help ease the ache of a quiet morning or the solitude of a lonely night. Look below for some pet memorial and pet keepsake ideas to help you or a loved one feel a little less lost without your best friend to share life.
What’s a Stuffed Animal Pet Memorial?
A stuffed animal pet memorial is a custom or handcrafted reminder of your little buddy or fur baby.
Most will be huggable, squishable plush toys (or pillows) that you can cuddle up with or hold. Included are a few posh options created to represent your loved one in a very lifelike depiction.
Different Types of Stuffed Animal Pet Memorials
Stuffed animal pet memorial tributes come in various materials from wool to acrylic and may include customizable or personalization options. Your choice of artistry and customizations will run between $8 and $1,800. For those that are life-like or a replica, you’ll need to allow extra turnaround time for a finished product.
There are many artistic nuances from which to choose when seeking a pet memorial, so I recommend that you copy and paste headlines from the list below when beginning your online search.
1. Memory bear, fox or, rabbit
Memory bears (fox or rabbits) use a loved one’s clothing. While most people choose their dad or grandpa’s old flannel for this customizable option, opt to use whatever dog clothing you have. After all, you picked out some amazing outfits for your little one throughout the years, so why not use them now?
Pro-tip: Before you decide on the Halloween bee costume or fuzzy winter sweaters, contact the artist you have commissioned to verify the types of fabrics that work well with this craft.
2. Guardian angel bear
Your pup or kitty understood your emotions and needs. They knew whether to play and run amok or hang out and be a cuddle bug. Remember your observant little angel with a personalized guardian angel bear.
Your bear begins with plain white and off-white fur and wings. But you'll add a choice of embroidery colors and font to customize the belly.
Pro-tip: Make sure to get a picture of the artist's design before you finalize the order.
3. Amigurumi あみぐるみ memorial animal
Amigurumi is a type of needlework originating in Japan. Most amigurumi are micro or small and made for display only, but you can customize your piece however you like.
Because amigurumi uses simple knitting or crocheting patterns and techniques, this memorial option may be charming, but it will not be very life-like.
Pro-tip: If this is a gift, you should note that most amigurumi is not child-friendly and may contain glass or moving parts.
4. Moveable faux fur cat memorial
The outside of these plush stuffed animals is made from faux fur. On the inside, you’ll find polymer clay and copper wire to adjust the position of the real-sized kitty.
Keep the little meowser in their bed or sunning on a windowsill and position them in a sitting, sleeping, or play posture.
As with all custom orders, you can expect wait times to be up to a few months.
5. Artist commissioned replica animal memorial
The most expensive option for a stuffed pet memorial will be a replica. They're made to order, so you'll need to send a photo to the artist from a few angles to get the markings right. Replicas also take a lot longer to make, so you may be waiting up to two months for one.
Pro-tip: To find these masterful artists, alter the “sort-by” option on your search engine for “high to low” based on price.
6. Natural wool figurine or sculpture pet memorial
Are you looking for a realistic version of your pet but without the sticker shock of the replica? You’ll find many that are at least half the price of those on the top end. Plus, they’re almost as realistic, but you won’t be afraid to hold or break it.
Pro-tip: Read the reviews that other customers leave so you know what to expect from the artist. Sometimes they are late but communicate well.
7. Needle felted miniature plush pet memorial
These made-to-order plush toys come in a few sizes. With some, you’ll even be able to choose the posture as well. The artist will require some quality photographs to determine the proportions, legs, tail, and markings.
Make sure to have a conversation with the artist ahead of time to know you’re both on the same page.
8. Stuffed plush pet memorial with airbrushing
Some skilled artisans use airbrushing techniques to get your pet's markings just right, and you will see that reflected in the pricing. Whether you have a calico cat or a brindle pup, you’ll want to send plenty of photos highlighting your pet's unique markings for this custom option.
Most artists will be happy to work with you regarding size, color, and resting position. Because they’re wool, they’re not playtime friendly.
9. Personalized bone
Are you someone who uses worry stones or Chinese medicine Baoding balls?
Then you might prefer a stuffed personalized bone to a life-like or life-sized plush toy. It's portable, inconspicuous, and you can hold on to while sitting out in your pet memorial garden.
10. Personalized memorial with keepsake compartment
Here’s a thoughtful present to give to any loved one who has lost a pet. Your friend or loved one will receive a custom, one-of-a-kind plush toy to remind them of their sweet friend. Plus, there’s a compartment on the belly for a small vial of ashes. That way, they can always keep the spirit of their little buddy nearby.
The artist may ask for several photos to ensure the markings are accurate and at least four weeks of turnaround time.
Pro-tip: Check with the artist for any waitlist times that may extend your order.
11. Square pillow with image
Machine washable pillows are another option for you. And, you’ll have lots of options from which to choose:
- Number of pets
- Full body or headshot
- Names of pets
- Color of pillow
- Size of pillow
If you’re only buying the pillowcase, you could easily purchase two or three of these for the sofa and the bed. That way, you can snuggle up to your little one no matter what room you’re in.
12. Silhouette portrait pillows
Print your pet's high-quality portrait on either fully recycled eco-canvas, Minky, a polyester fabric, or velvet. Then, your loved one's shape will determine the shape of the pillow, essentially creating a silhouette from their portrait.
So, if your pup had tall pointed ears, then the pillow will, too. Just determine the pillow's size that suits your needs, and after a few weeks of waiting time, you can snuggle up next to it.
13. Miniature felted plush ornaments
Do you miss your purebred Dachshund, Boxer or Schnauzer? Many artists create small ornament-sized plushies for holiday trees in almost any breed you can think of.
Because they’re so small (and generic), you could easily purchase a few or half dozen of them. Then, no matter what angle you look at the tree, you’ll always see a reminder of your little one.
14. Stuffed animal in holiday pattern
Instead of using your pup's old outfits, opt for some holiday patterns. If the artist is accommodating, you could easily have the fabric embroidered with the little one's name and nickname.
You can set out multiple versions of their memorial from winter to fall using any holiday in between.
15. Keychain-sized pet memorial
What’s one thing you never leave home without? Your keys. These customizable key fobs make a great gift idea for that special someone who lost their little one.
With a plushie of their little one attached, they’ll probably never misplace their keys again.
Handcrafted Reminders of the Little Ones
We probably spend more time with our pets than anyone else. So, it’s no wonder they know us like the back of their paws.
They know when we’re getting ready to go for a walk, when we’re about to watch a movie, and when they can use their eyes to ask for an extra treat. While it’s no replacement, having something to snuggle matters when you lose them.