During the current COVID-19 crisis, MN Pets will continue to take significant precautions during home visits to reduce the potential risk of transmission and exposure. These precautions are crucial in keeping the doctor and her family, you and your family, and our other clients safe. Our doctors help several families throughout the week, and many of our clients are elderly or in a high-risk group.
One of the fundamental ways that we can help flatten the curve is to reduce the opportunities to expose ourselves and others to the virus. We have carefully identified how we can change our practices to eliminate those exposures as much as possible.
The main safety focuses are on maintaining social distance and eliminating things that could be objects for transmission. This includes authorization forms, pens, booklets, and payments.
We realize that the clay paw prints are one of the most cherished memorial objects, and we are currently able to offer them after a temporary pause. These paw prints are optional, and you may wish to decline the paw print due to the inherent risk of handling an object touched by someone else.
It is important to memorialize your pet in a way that feels right to you, and to support you in doing that, we want to provide ideas and options for creating your own memorial items before or after your visit that are safe, personalized, and meaningful for you:
- Create your own clay paw print – MN Pets uses Crayola Model Magic, which can be found at most retailers and online. It can come in white, like we use, or multiple colors. It is easy to manipulate, air dries, and is safe for children to use, too.
- Create homemade clay-dough – mix a cup of flour with a cup of salt and add water until you can knead the dough into a ball. Using wax paper, press the flattened dough onto your pet’s paw. Then bake at about 200 degrees for 2-3 hours, checking regularly. You can read more here. Because of the high salt content of homemade clay-dough, it can be toxic to pets who eat it, so be sure to keep it away from your other pets.
- Create an ink print – you can use a regular ink pad for stamps, or you can purchase a special ink pad kit made for paw prints. Both types of ink pads are available at most craft stores and on Amazon.
- Create a paw print painting – you can paint the pad of your pet’s paw with non-toxic paint and press it onto paper. You can use a blend of different colors, and the result looks like a painting.
- Keep a fur clipping – you can take a small cutting of your pet’s fur and place this in a shadow box, inside a locket or jewelry, or in a scrapbook.
- Put their favorite items in a shadow box – save your pet’s favorite toy, food dish, a corner of their favorite blanket, their collar and leash – anything that is unique to them and preserve it in a shadow box. Many families include their favorite photos, a quote, or a handwritten note.
- Take photos of your pet – most of us have many photos of our pets on our phones or on social media. Consider printing your favorite photos and creating a photo album, scrapbook, customized photo book, or frame them or have them printed on canvas.
- Don’t forget the close-ups – Most of our photos are action and candid shots of our pet, but try to take close-up photos of your pet, too. You can capture the golden glints in their eyes, their rough paw-pads, the speckles on their belly. These are characteristics that make our pets who they are, and it can be helpful to capture that to help keep those memories alive long into the future.
The possibilities for creating sacred memorial items in honor of your pet are endless. Searching online or on Pinterest brings thousands of results and we encourage you to do what speaks to your bond in the most meaningful way. It is also important to remember that material items are just one important part of honoring your pet’s memory. Writing down your favorite stories, holding your own memorial service, posting a tribute online, donating in honor of your pet – these are all meaningful ways to honor your pet’s memory and acknowledge your profound loss.
On our website, we have several articles about memorializing a pet. You can read about incorporating cremated remains in your garden, 9 ways to memorialize your pet, taking a memorial walk, among other ideas.