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  • Writer's pictureAlissa Anderson


What is a bucket list? Basically it is a list of things a person hopes to do during their lifetime. Mine includes visiting South Africa to see great white sharks. What would your pet's list include? Pet bucket lists are a growing trend for making cherished memories with a senior (or any age!) pet, especially if the pet has a terminal diagnosis and end of life decisions are starting to be discussed. So how do you go about writing a bucket list for your unique dog or cat? There is no set formula but here are some things to think about.

Start by thinking about what activities or things your pet really loves (keep in mind any health issues that might limit their abilities).

· Does your pet love to eat and do they still enjoy special foods or treats? You can plan a special party or meal or even a picnic where your pet gets to enjoy (in limited amounts) something they usually would not, such as ice cream or steak. If you have a nearby Starbucks you can take them for a ride to get a free Puppacino.

· Get some beautiful images of your pet. You can set up a professional photo shoot or have a friend get some candid shots of you and your pet. You can find artists on Etsy who can do portraits or other artwork based off of a photo, or make jewelry with fur. Walmart can make large canvases based off of some photos.

· Does your pet have a favorite place? If your pup has a favorite park, beach, etc they love, take them for a visit or even take them camping. If they are not mobile, you can try using a wheeled wagon to help them get there. If they enjoy visits to their groomer, take them in for some special pampering or find a mobile groomer to make it even easier for your pet. If they enjoy visiting the pet store and picking out toys and treats, find time to take them for a special outing. Pets that like car rides can go for a special ride, even if it's just around the block! If they really like hanging their head out the window, maybe even think about renting a convertible!

· Plan a party just for your pet. Invite all of their favorite people (and pets). Make some special treats for the pets and get some great photos with everyone. This is a great way to collect memories others have of your special boy or girl.

· Take naps together. Chances are if you have a senior pet they spend much of their time sleeping. If you have time, spend some extra time cuddling with your pet together in bed where they can be extra comfortable.

· Give your pet a massage. Just like people, pets can benefit from massage therapy. Senior pets may especially love massages that help with joint aches and pains. This video talks about pet massage:

This simple list is just a starting point to help you think about what your dog or cat might have on their bucket list. You know your pet better than anyone else in the world and they will love what you come up with! Thank you for reading this blog.

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