There are many people who truly understand the grief of losing a pet. In fact, nine out of 10 people consider their dog full-fledged members of their family, with 56 percent saying they mourn their deceased pet more than an extended family member.
It’s obvious we love our pets. The pet industry makes a fortune. Last year, Americans spent a record $56 billion on their pets. It’s estimated Britons will spend more than $7 billion on their pets in 2015 and Canada’s spending is somewhere around $6.6 billion. That spent money doesn’t just go to food and supplies, either. Within those numbers, Americans spend $350 million on just pet Halloween costumes.
We don’t need statistics, however, to tell us how much we love our pets. Just ask someone about their pet and out comes the phone to show you the latest video of their cat. So when our pets pass, it can be just as difficult as losing a beloved family member. (Human one, that is.)
In South Korea, people are willing to pay $100,00 to clone their dogs. That’s how far some are willing to go for their pet. But many of us don’t have $100,000 laying around, or are just plain creeped out by the idea of cloning. You want to honor them and remember them in a way that’s unique and represents the relationship you had. So. What do you do?
Turn them into a stuffed animal
For those who don’t quite have the money for cloning services, Cuddle Clones might be a good second option. The company uses multiple pictures of your pet that you send them and creates an eerie stuffed replica. Although it’s not $100,000 expensive, due to being a custom item, the replica is a bit pricey. Dogs, cats, horses and other large pets are priced at $249, and small pets cost $179.
Have them freeze dried
This might be a little morbid for some, but for others, it may bring a sense of comfort. This process is different from taxidermy, as taxidermy skins the deceased animal and stretches the skin over a generic body mold. The result can be very different from what your pet looked like while they were alive. Freeze drying leaves your pet in their original body. The whole process could end up taking six months to a year and costs upwards of $1,000.
Get a tattoo… with their ashes
That’s what Swindon-based bodybuilder Duncan did when his dog, Thor, passed away in 2012. Duncan now has Thor’s portrait on his body and his ashes in his body when the tattoo artist mixed the ashes with ink. Using ashes as part of tattoo ink has gained in popularity over the years — for both humans and pet ashes.
Get a memorial tattoo, hold the ashes
You don’t have to go as far as getting your pet’s ashes embedded into your body, but you can still find a way to have them with you permanently. It’s not uncommon, and even a few celebrities have ink that honors their pets. When her beloved dog passed away, Jennifer Aniston honored him by having his name inked on her foot. Similarly, Miley Cyrus has her dog, Floyd, tattooed on her side.
Plant something in their honor
Turn your loss into something beautiful. If you choose to bury your pet on your property, plant a tree or flowers in their resting place. You’ll be able to bring new life in the world and have something that reminds you of them every time you look at it. Put a memorial stone next to their resting place so others will know what it stands for.
Create a fund in their name
If your pet was well-loved by many, consider creating a fund where people can donate to a good cause in their honor.
Turn them into a diamond
Diamonds are forever. There are plenty of places that can take ashes and turn them into diamonds. They may be expensive, but it’s a great way you can carry your pet with you all the time.
Wear their ashes around your neck
If a diamond is a little out of your price range, you can have their ashes put into a cylinder, pendant or pretty bead to be worn as a necklace.
cTurn them into fireworks
If your pet was lively and full of spark, give them a send-off that fits their personality! There are a couple services out there that can create a custom firework for your pet. Honor your pet by gathering friends and family to sit and watch the spectacle.