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What to Say When Someone Loses a Pet

Losing a pet is never easy. They become a part of our family and their loss can leave us feeling broken-hearted. If you know someone who is going through the grieving process, it's important to be there for them. Showing support and offering words of comfort can go a long way in helping them heal.

What to say when a pet dies

Knowing what to say when someone loses a pet can be incredibly difficult, especially if you haven't experienced pet loss or aren't sure what their relationship with their pet was like. Sometimes not knowing what to say can be alleviated by relying on quotes, poems, or sayings you might use to convey your support and sorrow at a friend's loss. If you're trying to think of things to say when a pet dies, here are some comforting words for the loss of a beloved pet.

What to say when a pet dies: Quotes

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to leverage the words of others to show your support for someone who is dealing with a loss. Whether your friend is dealing with the loss of a dog, a cat, a small animal, or any other pet, these pet sympathy quotes can help you in getting your point across when chatting with them directly or thinking of what to say in a card when a pet dies.

Here are some famous quotes about pet's lives and their impact on their owners:

  • “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” - Josh Billings
  • “The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.” - George Graham
  • “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” - Roger Caras
    “Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kabil Gibran
    “Having a pet is a risk – you always have the grief ahead. But that’s the flip side of love.” – Tania
    “We should never underestimate the powerful draw of a bond with a being that loves us unconditionally, asking very little in return. Losing this comfort and source of joy can be incomprehensible.” – Linda Lipshutz
    “If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.” – Pam Brown
    “Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.” – Jon Katz
    “When we think of those companions who traveled by our side down life’s road, let us not say with sadness that they left us behind, but rather say with gentle gratitude that they once were with us.” – Unknown
    “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear.” – Anonymous

What to say when a pet dies: Poems

If you're looking for more ideas on what to say when someone loses a dog (or any other pet), these poems are another way to let your friend know you're thinking of them and their loss.

Tribute to a Best Friend

Sunlight streams through the window pane
unto a spot on the floor….
then I remember,
it’s where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound….
then I remember,
It’s where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can’t be yours….
your golden voice is still.
But I’ll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I’ll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.
Author Unknown

You’re Coming Here To Me

When you’re walking down the street,
With me on your mind.
I’m walking in your footsteps,
Only half a step behind.
And when it’s time for you to go,
From that body to be free.
Remember, you’re not going-
You’re coming here, to me.
Author Unknown

A Prayer for Animals

Hear our humble prayer,
O God,
for our friends, the animals,
especially for those who are suffering;
for any that are lost or deserted
or frightened or hungry.
We entreat for them all
Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them,
we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves,
to be true friends to animals
and so to share
the blessings
of the merciful.
Albert Schweitzer

Waiting at the Ferry

On the banks of that lonely river
Where the Stygian waters roll,
All patiently through the weary years
Waiteth a little dog soul.
O, long are the years and weary
Since the little dog stepped ashore,
But halted, humbly there to wait
By the stream he will cross no more
To the water’s edge he hurries
When Charon’s barque draws near,
For “when HE comes,” the little dog thinks,
“He must find me watching here.”
With faith undimmed, heart unafraid,
He waits on that lonely strand
For the smile of an unforgotten face,
For the touch of his master’s hand.
While the far-away master never dreams
That where Stygian waters brim,
Unheeding the pearly gates flung wide,
His little dog waits for him.
- David Lee Wharton

For those who aren't sure what to write when someone loses a pet, including a small message of your own and referencing one of these poems can be a great way to express your sympathy without having to articulate something you feel is better expressed in the form of poetry.

Other ways to express sympathy after a friend loses a pet

If you'd rather speak with your friend or loved one face to face instead of writing them a message or sending them a poem, here are some words to get you started:

  • I'm so sorry for your loss.
  • I know [Name] was such a special part of your life and will be missed dearly.
  • I know how much you loved [Name] and how difficult this must be for you.
  • I'll be here for you if you need to talk or just want some company.
  • I’d like to stop by and spend some time with you. Let me know when I should come by.

These are just some examples of things you can say when someone loses a pet, but ultimately, the most important thing is to be there for your friend or loved one. They will appreciate your support during this difficult time.

How to comfort a friend who lost a pet

While words and expressing sympathy can help, you may feel more comfortable expressing your support in other ways. Here are some ways to show your support and comfort a friend who has lost a pet:

  • Set up a memorial website in honor of their pet.
  • Bring them a meal or some of their favorite food.
  • Help them make arrangements for their pet, if they need assistance.
  • Send them a sympathy card or gift.
  • Offer to help them take care of any other chores or household tasks they may be neglecting while grieving.
  • Give them space if they need it and respect their decision to grieve in their own way and on their own time, but let them know you're available for them as much as they need.

No matter what you do, just having a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to can make a world of difference for someone dealing with pet loss.

Looking for ways to help someone who lost a pet? Consider creating a pet memorial on Ever Loved. It's a beautiful and lasting way to honor a pet's life and the joy they brought to their family. Plus, it's free to create!

Get started

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Last updated August 1, 2022
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