BlogPost 56258753325 What To Say When A Pet Dies

What To Say When A Pet Dies


For so many of us, pets are a lot more than just animal companions. They are loving members of our family. 

Your pet can be the sweet soul you turn to when you need comfort after a hard day. They can lift your spirit with a game of tug or fetch or make us laugh with their aloof and independent attitude. 

Pets are a constant through the ups and downs. They fill a unique space in our lives. 


Pet loss can be extremely difficult. 

When a pet passes, it might be hard to find the right words to say or know exactly what to do. 

Here are some meaningful ideas for words you can say and a few things you can do when someone you care about loses a pet.

“I’m Thinking About You”

This sentiment works in many circumstances including pet loss. It is simple yet effective. “I’m thinking about you” is an acknowledgment that you know what happened and you care. With these words, you offer your support with good thoughts and prayers for the situation without having to bring up specific memories. This phrase, while still a little vague, is more personal than the frequently used, “I’m sorry for your loss.” 

“I Can’t Imagine What You Are Experiencing Right Now.”

We all grieve in different ways. Even if you are an empathetic person and have experienced the loss of a pet, saying “I know what you’re going through” can miss the mark. In truth, we all have very different relationships with our pets. Saying “I can’t imagine what you are experiencing right now” is an acknowledgment that the grieving person is having an individual experience. It also reassures them that their relationship with their pet was unique and special and individual to them. 

While losing someone you love is a universal experience, no two people are ever going to have exactly the same experience. Offering the space for someone to have their own experience can be a huge gift to them as they process the loss.  

“Your Pet Was Really Amazing”

Save these words for the pet that you knew really well (either directly or through stories). Knowing that you are going to miss their pet too and share in their grief can be a big comfort. It reminds them that their furry friend was truly loved and memories of them will live on. If you have any sweet stories, then you might even want to tell them. Remembering the good times can be bittersweet, but it can also serve as a place of connection and shared grief. Many people who are experiencing a loss can feel quite alone. Sharing stories and sharing the loss can be a great reminder that they are not alone. 

“I’m Always Here for You”

A simple sentiment such as “I’m always here for you” can mean so much. When you’re coping with pet loss, it’s easy to get sad and to start to feel lonely. Adjusting to the pet not being around each day or showing up in their usual spots can feel like salt on a wound. As we’ve mentioned, those coping with pet loss need support and letting them know that you’re there for them no matter what is perfect. You don’t have to say flowery words or be a great orator to let someone know that you care about them. Just being there and giving someone a shoulder to lean on or cry on can be significant. 

Here are a few other ideas for meaningful things to say to someone who is grieving:

  • "I know you are going to miss your pet."
  • "I know it's not easy losing a best friend."
  • "I've heard that when you see a butterfly, it's actually a loved one that's passed. The next time you go for a walk, don't be surprised if a butterfly flutters alongside you."
  • "You made him very happy for the years he was with you."
  • "Can I bring you a meal or some coffee?"
  • "I'm sorry - I know how much you loved him.
  • “How are you feeling about this?”
    • “Nothing I say can make you feel better, but I’m here for you.”
  • “I know you loved them dearly.”
  • “They were part of your family.”
  • “What can I do to help you?”
  • “They were lucky to have you.”
  • “No matter what, I’ll be by your side.”

There are times when words don’t feel like enough and you want to do something. These ideas are simple but can be extremely meaningful. 

Send Flowers


Perhaps you don’t know what to say. Maybe you feel like words fall short and you would rather do something to show you care. 

You can express your condolences by sending flowers. This is a very nice gesture that shows you understand how significant the loss of a pet is. Flowers are known to lift the spirits of the recipients and add a little beauty. The messages mentioned above would work nicely in a card attached to a beautiful bouquet. Better yet, say whatever else you’re feeling in your heart.

Deliver a meal

It’s normal for someone to feel a bit depressed or even disoriented after the loss of a pet. Suddenly, the simplest tasks (such as making dinner) can feel overwhelming. 

Having the foresight to pick up dinner or fix a meal and drop it off can be a relief to your friend. You can bring the food over and stay as long as a hug. Or, bring the meal and stay to chat a while. Let them acknowledge the loss of the pet if they want to, but be ready to talk about other things if they would just like to take their mind off of the loss.

Understand that individuals may grieve the loss of a pet differently.

As your friend or family member mourns the loss of their pet, they may choose to grieve differently than you would have. 

Everybody has their own process. 

The bottom line is being there, offering support, and giving each person the space they need as they cope with the loss is the best way to show up for those you love. 




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