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When a beloved pet dies: gift ideas by age, from toddlers to adults



This week I learned that my neighbour’s dog had died. Her dog was 17 years old and had seen her through many significant life events. I know that she must be hurting, and so I am putting together a little gift to send over. After mulling over our website for a while, I decided that it might be helpful to do a “round up” of sorts in case you are in the same position, wondering what to give someone who has lost a pet.


These items suggested below can be combined in many different ways to create a gift for the person you are thinking of. We have intentionally not suggested combinations in this post, as we believe that any and every gift is significant to a person who is grieving. A heartfelt gift can be as simple as a loving note or a $5 pocket stone. The gift itself is up to you, but feel confident knowing that any gift you send to convey your care and validation is just right.

When a preschooler or young school-age child's pet dies, it may be a child's very first experience with death. Our first experiences of grief and loss can shape the ways in which we cope with subsequent losses, and so it is important to acknowledge a child’s loss with truthful information and with care. These are the gifts we would recommend for this age group:

  1. The Love & Learn Gift Box to help explain the concepts of life and death in simple terms. It comes with seed paper for planting a memorial garden, a pot for painting, and pocket stones to help with feeling of separation anxiety that may come up due to the loss.

  2. A Little Fox Stuffy and felted heart for comfort, especially if they are missing their cuddly pet.

  3. Love grows Seed Paper for planting a garden in remembrance of the pet, at the burial site, or in a pet’s favourite sunny spot.

  4. The Memory Box Collage kit is a lovely gift to create a special place to keep memories and mementos, such as photos, a collar, or favourite pet toy. Notes can be written to the pet and kept inside.

  5. The Holiday Ornament craft, to help to grieve a pet who is missed during a special holiday. Making a photo-transfer and decorating an ornament can help a child talk about and process their loss.

  6. Something Very Sad Happened by Bonnie Zucker, to explain grief and loss, especially if a parent is grieving the loss of the pet, as this book addresses other people’s feelings of grief.

  7. A cuddle-sized Handmade Blanket, for warmth and comfort, especially if a cuddly pet is missed.


Older school-aged children may have some experience with death, either personally or through stories, movies, or by hearing of a friend’s experience. They are still learning what death means, and how grief is expressed, and benefit from adults talking to them about their losses, their feelings, and answering their questions. Here are some gift ideas for this age group:

  1. The Calm & Collage Box is a complete gift, with a book about grief and loss that specifically addresses pet loss, and a scrapbook for collaging favourite memories and things about the pet. A felted heart can be kept in their pocket and carried with themwhen missing their special pet.

  2. Two of the turquoise howlite, rose quartz or jasper pocket stones. One for placing at the burial site, garden, or a pet's favourite sunny spot, and one for the child to keep with them to feel connected to the memory of the pet that has died.

  3. The Memory Box Collage kit is a lovely gift to create a special place to keep memories and mementos, such as photos, a collar, or favourite pet toy. Notes can be written to the pet and kept inside.

  4. The Holiday Ornament craft, to help to grieve a pet who is missed during a special holiday. Making a photo-transfer and decorating an ornament can help a child talk about and process their loss.

  5. Love Grows Seed Paper for planting a garden in remembrance of the pet, at the burial site, or in a pet’s favourite sunny spot.

  6. Death is Stupid, by Anastasia Higgenbotham is a really great and relatable book for older school-age kids and specifically addresses pet loss.

  7. Wind chimes are a beautiful and ethereal addition to a garden or deck in memory of a sweet pet.

  8. A handmade blanket to wrap themselves up in for comfort, especially if a cuddly pet is missed.


Teenagers and adults in the family may have had a much longer relationship with a pet and pets may be seen as another member of the family. Grief and loss can feel significant and should be recognized and validated. Here are some gift ideas for teens to adults:

  1. Seed paper for planting a garden in remembrance of the pet, at the burial site, or in a pet’s favourite sunny spot.

  2. A Handmade Blanket for comfort, especially if a cuddly lap animal is missed.

  3. Solace Essential Oil Roller is a custom formulated aromatherapy blend to support individuals with grief.

  4. Wind chimes are a beautiful and ethereal addition to a garden or deck in memory of a sweet pet.

  5. Loved mug and Drinking Chocolate, to send care and comfort, and to let them know they are loved through this difficult time.


You might be wondering about what I chose to gift to my neighbour and her family. Well, I actually took a very long time to decide, surprisingly. I thought it would be an easy decision, but it turns out that sympathy gifts are hard to choose, and the fear of choosing the "wrong" thing is very real. Since my neighbour has two children who are 9 and 11, I decided on The Memory Box Craft Kit, the book Death is Stupid, and the Love Grows Seed Paper (she loves to garden). I hope these gifts will help to comfort the family as they grieve their loss. What would you choose?

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