Got a Dog Journal Jar? Creative Journaling!

Do you journal? How about do you have a diary? I admit, I’ve never been able to commit to writing in a journal on a daily or even regular basis. However, I have found a simple way that still recognizes great moments throughout the year. It’s sort of a year in a jar. Intrigued, aren’t you? Plus, you can even do it focused on your dog, your family, or life in general. This is a fun activity that allows you to quickly jot down a moment and then reflect upon it at the end of the year. Today let’s dig in as I share what a dog journal jar is and why it’s an easy journaling idea.

*Update: March 13, 2024

A cute golden retriever puppy sits and makes a perfect moment for a dog journal.
disclaimer note

Budget tip:

I know your dog can be costly at times. A dog journal jar is actually FREE or nearly free (if you don’t have the jar or paper). It gives you a chance to remember funny, milestones, or ordinary events throughout the year without adding to your costs. That’s a super win-win for your dog experience and your mental health. (Yes, it will uplift you).

Are there any benefits to journaling?

According to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, among the various benefits of journaling is it helps to improve mental health and cognitive abilities with memory, among other valued benefits. Not a bad reason to give a dog journal a whirl.

What’s the reason for using a creative journaling idea, like a year in a jar? 

Honestly, I’m not going to tell you that journalling is essential. However, what I will say is that if you’re like me and get bogged down in everyday life, then a pick-me-up can help. 

I confess that I’ve pulled my jar out at various times of the year when I’ve needed a boost. But, I always look it over at the end of the year as well. 

It really does help shift your perspective in a world that can often be very overloaded with sadness and scariness. 

And the fact that it’s easy and free, makes it all the better. 

Do you know you can extend a dog’s lifespan for free? In this article, I share my personal vet’s secret for achieving more years with your pup. 

What do I need to implement this creative dog journal idea using a jar?

The great thing about this creative journaling idea is that it’s free or nearly free depending on what you have on hand. 

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Jar with a lid (I use an old mason jar or pasta sauce jar)
  • Small pieces of paper (or you can use different colored Post-it notes, which is what I use)
  • Pen 

How do I create a dog journal in a jar?

Another great aspect of this type of creative journaling is that any age can do it and there’s really no pressure. Thus, kids will love it as much as adults. 

Here’s what I do:

When my dog, Henry does something good, bad, milestone, funny, whatever, I will write it down on a Post-it note with the date on the back, fold it, and place it in my jar. The note may only be one or two sentences. 

Basically, I’m just trying to document a moment or capture memories quickly.

Personally, I think the date is important because it puts the year in order, just in case I can’t remember that moment later. 

Henry with my dog journal jar.
Henry contemplates the contents of my dog journal jar.

Moreover, I may even add the emotion it created next to the date. 

NOTE: I remember years ago learning a trick that when you want to remember something and be able to quickly recall it, you have to activate all senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste). 

Thus, I try to capture the main sense by including the emotion. However, you could note each of the five senses you experienced at that moment. For example, Henry running, dogs barking, wet sagebrush, cold, taste of coffee still lingering.

But for me, I find it easier to jot down the main emotion I felt such as “joy”. 

Next, I place the piece of paper into the jar, close the lid, and place the jar in a spot where I see it daily. 

For me, that’s my dresser. 

The reason to place the jar where you can see it, is that it reminds you to add to your journal jar. 

NOTE: Since I use different colored pieces of paper and a clear jar, I can see my jar grow in color throughout the year. That’s an added bonus. 

How often should I add to my journaling jar?

This will be up to you and how you want to approach your pet journal or dog journal. 

For example, I try to add to mine once a week. Sometimes I add to it more often depending on what life brings to Henry and me. However, if I skip a week or so because I’m sick or something else happens, I’m fine with it. Honestly, I think it all balances out in the end. 

A great activity I always like to mark down is hiking in a new area. In this article, I share how to hike easily with your dog even if you have a bad back. 

What are some things to journal about in my jar?

This will be totally up to you. Try to notice all sorts of things and capture those memories. It could be a milestone, a funny event, or an ordinary event. 

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • Learning a new trick such as fetch
  • Completing a new training class
  • A productive dog training session
  • Solving a behavioral issue or current issue with training
  • Laughing at your dog’s zoomies
  • Fun new walks
  • Making special treats and your dog’s reaction
  • Taking photos or a video of your dog
  • New toys and how your dog reacts to it
  • A fun play date with one of your dog’s best animal friends 
  • Overcoming a disease, illness, or improving your dog’s overall canine health
  • Going to the vet and getting a clean bill of health

Thus, here’s one that made me howl. 

Henry was outside, heard the dogs barking, and people making noise. He listened for a moment. Then turned his back and pooped in each direction. 

  • Nov. 27, 2023 – joyful laughter

Overwhelmed with how to train your dog on a tight schedule or budget? In this article, I reveal how you can train your dog on your schedule for free. 

When do I get to read my dog journaling jar contents?

As I mentioned, the jar is really a boost of positivity. 

Thus, when you are feeling down throughout the year, pull out the jar and read a few messages. It will certainly boost your spirits! 

However, at the end of the year, usually on New Year’s Eve, I will read ALL the messages. It’s generally at this time that I’m really glad I marked the dates on the back. 

Another great activity to record is an overnight visit to family or friends. In this article, I share how to do it and get an invitation back. 

What do I do with all my journaling jar contents at the end of the year?

This too will be up to you. To date, I’ve only stashed them in a box. But I could enter them in a table and sort them by day. That would allow me to recall any year’s experiences easily at any time. However, I haven’t gotten to that point of the process yet. I may never either, which is fine with me. 

Additionally, you could use the jar to more easily recall events if you scrapbook and like creating a year-in-review album. 

Related articles:

Summary do you have a dog journal jar?

If you’re like me, I may start the year by saying I’m going to journal daily or weekly. But the pressure seems too much and I will drop it from my “to-do” list. However, an easy solution for me has been a journal jar. Honestly, sometimes I just add life experiences.  Either way, the experience is always a positive one and helps to conquer the blues throughout the year. Plus, when I review my journal jar I always smile and laugh. That’s definitely a good, low-investment activity.

A beautiful husky looks up and makes for a great dog journal moment to capture.

Do you have a dog journal jar? Will you create one now?


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About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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