Top Tips for Creating a pet memory book

by Bryony Van Niekerk

In this digital age all our memories, moments and achievements are all tied up on our phone, social media pages or in a cloud somewhere. We no longer have anything tangible or physical to show anyone. Say what you want, but there is something so nostalgic about paging through a photo album and reminiscing about the times captured in a particular photograph.

If you are anything like me, your phones camera roll is probably full of images of your pets- sleeping, eating, playing, looking cute. But do you actually have any pictures of them (or you for that matter) beautifully framed on your walls? Or printed out in a photobook on your coffee table? I am going to hazard a guess and say probably not.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I have an entire wall in the living room dedicated to Timmy and Linc (thanks Emma O’Brien!) and in the study I have 2 very large canvas prints of them as well. It may sound like I have it together, but amongst the filled frames, there are 3 empty ones. I left these open to print out pictures of my (then) 3 cats. That was more than 5 years ago. I have since gained 3 more cats, 2 more dogs and Timmy and Linc have crossed the rainbow bridge. For once I am thankful that my pets can’t speak because I am pretty sure I would be accused of having favourites.

Our pets so easily worm their way into our hearts and become such integral parts of the family that they deserve to be celebrated and one way do this is to create a pet memory book (Ceeeeeeelebrate good times, come on! If you didn’t just sing that, we can’t be friends). Here are some tips on how you can honour your pet’s role in your life by doing just that. Some extra treats won’t go a miss either.


  • Create memories

You can’t make a memory book without the memories! This is your sign to plan your next adventure, be it a simple walk in your local park, a play date with doggy friends or even just a cuddle on the couch. While I am a firm believer in being present in the moment, don’t forget to snap a few pictures along the way.

Time goes by so quickly so take your dog to the beach, get them that puppuchino, buy them that toy. Life is short- theirs even shorter. Enjoy every moment and cherish every memory.

  • Choose a theme and layout

A theme and layout will set the tone for your memory book. If you prefer a more cohesive look then rather opt for a certain theme. This can be a based on an era, style or even colour. You can also choose to go in a completely different direction and make every page unique.

Similarly, decide on a layout before you start. Do you want to go in chronological order or will each page just be a moment on its own?

  • Gather photographs

I don’t know about you, but I can get really bogged down looking through my literal thousands of pictures on my phone trying to choose which ones to print out and use. To help narrow down your choices, create a list of different moments you would like to display such as holidays (Easter and Christmas), birthday parties, or beach days. One thing I do have to hand to digital photo albums is the search function. Want holiday snaps? Just type in Christmas 2023 and avoid scrolling for days!

Another way to save time and get instant gratification is by investing in a polaroid camera. The modern versions are small and compact making them easy to take with you anywhere. These cameras print out your pictures in seconds, taking the hassle out of choosing images and having to print them.

  • Save keepsakes

Traditional memory books usually have little keepsakes in them like baby hospital bracelets, locks of hair and the like. To make your pets memory book more personal save items such as their veterinary books, make impressions of their pawprints, or even pick up a leaf from a hike you did or press some flowers.

  • Written words

Don’t be scared to add text to your memory book. In fact, it is strongly encouraged. Include captions with dates, times, locations and everyone who was present. There is nothing worse than looking at a picture and trying to remember when it was taken and who the random people standing next to you are.

Don’t limit yourself to just a few words though. Include funny stories, get friends and family to write what they love about your pet, their favourite memory or add some quirky quotes about animals throughout the book.

  • Milestones

Dedicate special sections for milestones and achievements such as losing their first tooth, graduating from puppy school or learning their first trick.

  • Have Fun

When it comes to creating a memory book, there are no rules. Let your imagination and creativity run wild. If your pages don’t end up looking like the professional scrapbookers on Instagram, who cares? Have fun, enjoy the process and create something that is imperfectly perfect. Chances are it will be a more accurate representation of you and your pets than something that looks like it came from the pages of a Martha Stewart book.

Share this post