No matter if they’re furry, feathered, or scaly, pets play a special role in our lives, and when they pass away, they can leave a big hole in our hearts. If you’ve ever lost a pet of your own, then you understand how devastating it can feel to no longer have your pup greet you when you get home or your cat to cuddle with you on the couch. It’s about more than just losing an animal, it’s about losing your best friend, sidekick, confidant, and adventure buddy. 

When a loved one experiences this kind of loss, it can be an especially sad and lonely time. Reaching out and offering your condolences to someone who just lost their pet is a great way to make them feel loved and held in the difficult time. One great way to show your support is by sending a pet sympathy gift, also known as a pet condolences gift, a small present that may offer comfort during this difficult time.

Read more: 9 healthy ways to grieve the loss of a pet

Giving pet sympathy gifts: ideas and guidance

There are many different kinds of sympathy gifts for the loss of a pet. You can find gifts with touching messages about pet loss, but you can also customize mementos to make them personalized. For example, you can engrave a gift with the name of your best friend’s dog or design a collage with images of your brother’s bird. But the truth is, anything can be a condolence gift as long as you choose it with the intention of helping your loved one heal.

So, what can you give someone who has just lost a pet? To help you decide on something special, we’ve rounded up eight sympathy gifts for the loss of a pet. 

  1. Framed photograph

If you’re looking to cheer up a friend up with a pet condolences gift, you can’t go wrong with a framed photograph, or, if you have more than one photo on hand, a collage or photo album. Simply seeing an image of their dog’s goofy smile or cat’s fluffy mane may help your friend feel at peace. They can look at these images, conjure up memories, and remember all the good times. 

  1. Cremation artwork

Did your husband just lose his childhood dog? Or is your daughter mourning the loss of her first pet? If that’s the case, you may want to look into cremation artwork, which incorporates the ashes of one’s pet. There are many kinds of cremation art available, from paintings and pottery to keychains and jewelry. This unique pet loss gift lets your loved one feel like their pet is always near and dear. Check out Etsy for some great, unique offerings. 

  1. Wind chime 

There’s something so calming and soothing about the sound of wind chime. If your mom or coworker is suffering from the loss of a pet, you may want to look into wind chime options. When they hear the soft tinkling of their wind chime from their porch, they’ll think fondly of their pet. There are various designs to choose from — even some that include pet sympathy messaging. 

  1. Garden memorial 

A garden memorial is the ideal pet condolences gift, especially for those who had outdoor pets. Maybe your friend’s dog had a spot in the garden where he liked to sunbathe. Or perhaps your sister’s cat loved climbing the apple tree in her backyard. Search for an animal-shaped statue or engraved stone with a special sympathy message they can place in their yard near their pet’s favorite spot. 

  1. Keepsake box 

If you’re looking for the best sympathy gift for the loss of a dog, cat, bird, or bunny, consider purchasing a keepsake box. Gift this to someone mourning the loss of their furry or feathered companion so they can fill it with special mementos to treasure, such as their dog’s collar and favorite toy, along with photographs and maybe even a tuft of fur. Even just gathering the items to place inside the box can be cathartic for them. 

  1. Jewelry 

Consider giving your friend or family member a customized piece of jewelry. Many jewelers design personalized jewelry with charms and special engravings, while others specialize in memorial jewelry. Maybe you’ll find a necklace with a heart charm with a special quote about pet loss, or perhaps you’ll engrave a bracelet with the name of the pet that passed away. Your loved one can wear the gift as a reminder of their pet. 

  1. Candles

Candles make great sympathy gifts for the loss of a pet. Whether you find one with a special memorial quote on it or simply go with your loved one’s favorite scent, a candle can bring peace and comfort to those who are grieving. Whenever they’re feeling sad, encourage them to light the candle and reflect on the beautiful life of their beloved pet. 

  1. Memorial bench

If your uncle always played fetch in the yard with his hunting dog or if your sister loved gardening with her pet bunny by her side, then a memorial bench is perhaps the best pet sympathy gift of all. A memorial bench provides your loved one with a special place to reflect and honor their pet in a peaceful and meaningful setting. 

Sending a gift to someone mourning their pet is a thoughtful gesture and a way to express your sympathy. While it may not take the pain away, it can provide them with some sense of solace during this trying time. And remember, when offering them a gift, be sure to let your loved one know that you are always there for them during their time of need.