How To Prepare to Say Goodbye To Your Pet

Aug 5, 2021

How to prepare to say goodbye to your pet? We’ve heard ways to honor your dog’s memory when they pass, but have you thought about having everything you need to remember them BEFORE they pass while you are still enjoying life together?

When the final days come, it is so incredibly difficult to think straight. You certainly aren’t in the mindset to prepare for anything you haven’t already. So, here are a few ideas (and resources listed below) to help you:
– Get their pawprint
– Maybe write a letter thanking him or her for all they’ve done for you
– Gather all your favorite photos of him or her
– Make a list of their favorite things they own
– Get connected to some resources

Prepare to say goodbye to your pet

Use an inkless paw print kit and make a mess-free pawprint NOW before you have to create one after the fact with the plaster pawprint impression the vet gives you later.

By the way, here is how to create a paw print from the impression mold your vet gives you after your pet passes.

You can then use the pawprint to make:
– Pet memorial art like our Keepsake Pet Portrait Etching
– Paw print art from Flutterbye Prints
– A special piece of pet memorial jewelry

Say Goodbye Pet Sam Memorial Art

Here is cute Anatolian Shepherd, Sam, (who looks like a white fluffy lab) pictured above in her Keepsake Pet Portrait Etching. The art includes Sam’s fur, paw print and ashes in one very special remembrance art for her mama, Dr. Mary from Lap of Love, to remember her girl, Sam, forever. By the way, I highly recommend Dr. Mary’s company she co-founded, Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and Euthanasia. This is a nationwide service of veterinarians in the U.S. who come to your home where your pet is most comfortable. Dr. Mary gently helped my boy Jack cross the rainbow bridge back in 2015.

So, Sam’s favorite things were:
– Having her face rubbed, particularly her closed eyes
– Sniffing the turtle holes in a field near home
– Visiting the neighbor’s dogs to sniff butts
– Walking around the neighborhood in the slowest possible manner
– Sleeping in mom’s office while she worked
– Smelling ground meat cooking (yum!)

What are YOUR pet’s favorite things they love to do?

Some people even write a letter to their pet telling them how much they have helped and how much they are appreciated. Special memories are sometimes included and some of their favorite things to do like Sam’s listed above. The letter is, of course, for yourself to work through your thoughts and feelings and remember forever the things you never want to forget – as you prepare to say goodbye to your pet.

say goodbye to your pet through a letter

We take a zillion photos with our smartphones, don’t we! Pictured below is Sam’s photo from mom’s smartphone that we used for Sam’s etched portrait. It’s a good idea to get your favorite photos off your device and saved to Google Photos or a flash drive or Dropbox. You can do a search in your photos for “dog” so ONLY the dog photos on your phone show up.

Even a post to Facebook with all your favorite photos of your pet is a great idea. By the way, here is a great resource for you to take better photos of your pets to ensure you’ve got plenty of good ones:Take Better Photos of Your Dog

You may choose to get a pet photo session from a professional photographer and include YOU in the portraits with your pet too. Here is a list of professional pet photographers around the globe that would love to help you with this. Get a large portrait for the wall to enjoy for years or maybe an album to enjoy all the cute photos together. You will be SO glad you did!


You can make list of your pet’s favorite toys and things she wears in case you’d like to do something special with those.

For example, our doggie Willow LOVES her “Wubba” toy that we always have to replace every few months (thank you, Kahoots!).
She also loves her dog bed and blanket and puts herself to bed at 9pm every night. I can use pieces of her blanket and maybe even some of the bandanas she wears to either include in a shadow box or have my aunt create a quilt from.

Pictured here is an example of a small custom dog portrait etching that had been placed in a shadow box along with the doggie’s collar and tag.

Say-Goodbye-Pet-Shadow-Box with collar

I hope you’re still enjoying years ahead with your very loved companion, but if you happen to be nearing the end of your pet’s life, and may need to prepare to say goodbye to your pet companion, I hope some of these ideas will help you.

Lastly, get connected to some helpful resources to support you at this time, such as determining quality of life, pet memorial gifts, grief support and so much more. These are my two favorite resources for when you prepare to say goodbye to your pet:

Thanks for reading and know I’m here for you! For ALL the resources I found for my senior dog’s care and for dealing with pet loss, you can find that here – Senior Pet Care and Pet Loss Guide.


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