How to Keep Your Dog’s Memory Alive During the Holiday Season

The holiday season should be a time of fun and good cheer. But, if you’ve recently lost a pup, the idea of not having your best pal around for the holidays can really put a damper on your spirit.

Personally, I believe the best way to make it through the holidays is to keep your pet’s memory alive and well in your home. Truly, I think this is what your dog would want–to be remembered and cherished as a loyal member of your household.

How do you keep your pup’s memory alive? Here are a few suggestions…

#1: Give Back to Dogs In Need This Season

For years, your dog enjoyed a happy life in the comfort of your home. However, there are so many dogs who are not as fortunate.

If dogs could talk, I would bet that your pup would suggest that you help out another dog this holiday season who could use a little extra love.

Instead of sitting at home and mourning your pup, get out there and do some good in your pup’s name! Go on a shopping spree at your local pet store and donate the items to a rescue in your town. Or, volunteer your time at a local shelter where you can help walk dogs, clean cages, etc.

It doesn’t matter whether you contribute your time, money, or both! Any little bit of help can go a long way for dogs in need this season! And it will really help you to connect with the spirit of your dog and feel better…

#2: Continue to Include Your Pup’s Memory in Holiday Traditions

Your dog might not physically be around anymore, but I promise you his/her spirit is very much alive!

For this reason, I encourage you to continue to carry out your favorite holiday traditions while commemorating your pup.

For example…

  • Be sure to hang your dog Christmas ornament while trimming your tree
  • Don’t forget to put up your pup’s handmade stocking on the mantle
  • Go ahead and bake your pup’s favorite holiday dog cookie–then distribute them to other pups in your neighborhood!

Doing these things is sure to bring back many happy holiday memories of the times you and your pup spent together!

#3: Plant an Evergreen Tree

Many people place memorials in their gardens or backyards in honor of pets that they’ve lost.

If you own your property and are able, I suggest planting an evergreen tree.

Why? A few reasons…

  1. Evergreen trees signify everlasting life and are a great reminder that while your dog might not be on earth anymore, his spirit lives on!
  2. Planting a tree is an environmentally friendly way to remember your pup.
  3. Every year during the holidays you can decorate your evergreen tree outside in your dog's memory.

#4: Share Your Favorite Dog Stories

Talking about the pet you lost might be difficult, but it’s a great way to remember all the wonderful times you shared together.

While you’re hanging out with your friends or family bring up stories about the time your dog accidentally knocked over the Christmas tree or the time he was naughty and stole a bite of the pumpkin pie!

These stories are sure to bring a smile (and maybe even a few laughs) to you during a difficult time.

#5: Consider Adding a New Furbaby to Your Family

After the loss of a pet, you might think that you could never adopt another dog. How could you possibly go through the heartbreak of losing a dog again?

Or, you might feel guilty about the idea of “replacing” your dog who has passed with a new pup.

Adding a new dog into your family is a big decision. But, if you have the time and finances to do it, here’s what I want you to know…

Your dog would be proud of you for opening your home and your heart to another pup in need.

There are so many dogs who need loving homes, and I can guarantee that your pup in heaven would be happy to share his home with a dog who needs a family.

If you feel the time is right, visit your local shelter and gift a dog the gift of a new home for the holidays in honor of your beloved pup.

#6: Change the feelings that you have when you think of your dog

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the dogs I’ve lost in my life, such as my beloved Peanut.

But here’s the thing…

Every time I fall deeply into my feelings about Peanut I only feel LOVE, JOY, GRATITUDE, and THANKS for such an amazing dog that graced my world for 13 years.

Peanut’s memory is nothing but good to me. Sure it still hurts when I think of her and I often shed a tear, (probably most weeks I will have tears roll down my cheeks as I remember her) but they are happy tears! I let the raw emotion of my love for her pass through me and then I feel good. I breathe deeply and I remember what unconditional love she had for me.

Peanut is alive and well in my life, and in my memories, and you can read Peanut’s beautiful tribute here!

But remembering her during the holidays and all year round and honoring her spirit makes it easier to find comfort while she is no longer here with us.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. And don’t forget to keep your pup’s memory alive!

Oh and follow this link if you’d like to listen to the song I wrote for Peanut after she passed away.



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~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

8 Responses

  1. Doggy Dan,after all this time U posted PEANUT’S song, the whole song finally came thru. Just so great. your story about Peanut was the first time I heard of U, My friend BLUESUN to me looked a lot like P. And he had just passed away one morning only 3yrs old. He helped me so much with my elderly mom, prayed every morn and nite with meat nite if I forgot to put a Christian C>D> on He had it for me. Animals are awesome they know (thru sensing,???) so much and for me and obviously your family great teachers, it’s obvious that Peanut gave and taught U so much, JACK too! July I ordered your audio book (it would be nice if it was a regular book) and the calming code –audio and video and video and whistle. I was so happy to get that, I actually thought it was a silient whistle, but not on your video U had sound. it doesn’t/t work…I am not complaining, I am going to petco to get a whistle. U have such get information even for parenting. The problem I run into people are satisfied with bad behavior, know it all’s (pulling, jumping barking…) they don’t want to take the time to HELP their dog. Just one change, produces a lot of changes with it. Thanks so much Doggy Dan U teach, share really great information, I will continue to listen.

    1. Hi Shaun, please get in contact with our Team to discuss the issues you’re having with the whistle we sent you. It should absolutely be emitting a noise and isn’t a silent whistle. Your dog Bluesun sounded like a wonderful companion and thanks for sharing his story. Our dogs are great teachers and the lessons they give stick with us long after they are gone. I wish you all the best in the future..Doggy Dan

  2. When I lost my dog Jess at the end of May 2018 I wasn’t having anymore dogs [Jess was 11th] but it was so quiet in the house after 3 weeks I started looking for another dog, my present Dog Maya moved in at the end of July, have to say I did feel a bit guilty getting another dog and Maya [7.5 yrs]was a handful with her aggression problems and nearly went back to rescue several times.
    17 months later I have a lovely dog who was quite easy to retrain [Husky/Collie] and wouldn’t part with her if you paid me.
    I’m probably weird but I still talk to Jess and think about her almost daily [Jess was a rescue dog as were all my others] as she was one of those dogs that are extra special and only come along now and then.
    Now I have memories of Jess and new memories of Maya.

    1. I don’t think it’s weird at all Dave that you think about Jess frequently, or that you even talk to her. I’m sure that many dog owners in a similar position do exactly the same thing, me included! It’s always a hard decision to take on another dog after losing one and everyone’s time frame for doing that is very different, there is no right or wrong way to approach that. Maya is very lucky to have found a loving family to call her own! All the best, Dan

  3. This is a beautiful post Dan. As a member of your Online trainer programme I already admire your work but this added a new layer for me today. I have my young pup live and well. He is my first dog so I dont know the pain of losing a dog but love my boy with all my heart so can imagine how it must feel. This was a great article facing up to what many people probably can’t talk about or deal with. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments Irene. What a great gift you have given your dog, learning to understand what’s really important to him and what it means for him to live a stress-free life! Keep up the great work, Dan

    1. Thanks Adriana, our dogs have such a big impact on our lives and their loss can be incredibly difficult. Honouring their memory is a great way to stay connected and remember the good times shared. Best, Doggy Dan

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