I got my dog's photo turned into a necklace—was it a good idea?

File under: ‘the things we buy because we love our pets’

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We at Reviewed are just as curious about those flashy products we see in our Instagram feeds as you are. For our 'As Seen On IG' series, our writers buy them and put them through their paces to find out if they're actually as good as they look online—or too good to be true. Spot one that we've missed? Email us at AsSeenOn@reviewed.com.

My dog, Gus (short for Argus), has an Instagram account—because of course he does—and, well, he’s a more prolific a poster than I am on my personal account. His account also gets a lot of ads for (no surprise) dog and dog-related stuff. One ad that proliferated for a while was from a small company with the Instagram handle petphotogifts, that promised to make a “customized pet necklace” from a photo. It showed a cute golden retriever pup with an equally cute, photo-realistic rendering of said dog embossed on a necklace pendant.

What it’s like to order a custom pet necklace

Gus has been my sidekick for a few years now and I like the idea of always having him close to my heart, no matter where I am. When I saw the ad on his feed, I clicked through, landing me on a site called “petsmerch.com.” If the rave reviews from happy customers weren’t enough, the gallery of adorable photo-to-necklace renderings reeled me in. When I saw the sterling silver version was on sale for $33.50 from $54.95, it seemed like an innocuous enough amount to pay for a sweet little keepsake.

petsmerch.com screen grab
Credit: petsmerch.com

The website to which the ad directed me, though it had a different name than I expected, seemed legitimate enough.

On the order page, you select the material for the necklace (the options are sterling silver or stainless steel for $10 less) and chain length, from 14 inches to 22 inches (no change in price; I went with 18 inches or “adult” length). You may type in an optional inscription for the back (there’s no text limit in the box but you can only fit so much on a pendant, so I went with “Gus”). Then you upload a photo. Elsewhere on the site, you can find instructions on what makes a good photo. Gus’s dogsitter had taken one a while back that I loved and fit the criteria. I uploaded it to the site.

I placed the order on June 26, a Wednesday. The confirmation stated that processing would take three to seven business days before shipping (which was free) and would take an additional three to five days. It arrived July 8, eight business days later (accounting for the Fourth of July).

Is the Pet Photo Necklace worth it?

photo and pet necklace side by side
Credit: Riley's Rovers NYC & Amy Roberts

The photo (left) from which the pendant (right) was made. He's pretty adorable, and I'm not at all biased.

The necklace arrived in a little zipper-topped plastic bag, tucked inside a square cardboard jewelry box. There is no mistaking the pendant was made from the photo of Gus. On the first day I wore it, a friend remarked right away that I was wearing Gus around my neck. However, the photos I saw of other pendants made it look like the images were carved in, and a more textured and relief than the actually-very-flat rendering on a thin sheet of metal. It’s not terrible, but not as rich looking as I’d hoped it would look.

custom pet photo necklace details
Credit: Reviewed / Amy Roberts

The pendant is less richly detailed and thinner than I thought it would be based on the merchant's photos.

It measures one inch tall, from the tip of Gus’s always-perky left ear to his turned-out toes, and a half-inch at the widest point—a good size for what it is. His name is etched lengthwise into the back, which is fine, though I wish it were horizontal, and there’s room for that, given it’s just three letters.
engraving on pet photo necklace
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The inscription is oriented vertically, rather than horizontally as I'd have preferred, despite there being enough space for it to fit.

The pendant’s hanging loop is stamped with 925 (the jewelry code that indicates the material is sterling silver) but the pendant itself is not, so I have to take the company’s word for it. The chain I received is on the flimsy side and just shy of 18 inches long, though there are two inches of extension links that give it a bit of play, in terms of where it falls on the chest. After wearing it, I think I’d have been happier with a shorter chain, so I have no complaints there.

Should you buy a Pet Photo Necklace, too?

pet photo necklace closeup
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Should you also have your pet's photo turned into a necklace? You decide.

This product is a relatively inexpensive way to commemorate a valued member of my family, and I like having a one-of-a-kind item that carries special meaning. I can picture this being a delightful gift for anyone who adores their pet and wants to wear them proudly.

But, maybe, a better question is: Would I buy it again? My honest answer: Nope. While it is more or less what was advertised, like so many things you think you want, it’s better in concept than in reality. The company seems to run “sales” and play with the pricing, and at the time of this publishing, the cost had gone up to $44.95 (technically, still on sale from the listed retail price of $54.95, though I suspect the company never actually charges the full price). Even for the $12 less that I paid, I’m still not sure I got my money’s worth.

But will I still wear it? Probably. After all, I do love to show off my adorable dog, even when he’s not around.

Get the Pet Photo Necklace in sterling silver for $44.95

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Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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