Losing a pet is a tragic part of life that affects all pet lovers are some point or another.
Figuring out what to say to someone who has lost a pet can be difficult as you don’t want to say the wrong thing and want to make sure you know how to comfort someone who is crying or help someone who is upset.
Really, anything you say with good-intentions to someone who has lost a pet is better than othing, but check out this guide on things that you can say that will help comfort them and lift their spirits.
For some people, losing a pet has the same emotion to it as losing a human in their life.
This may have been a pet that they have grown up with or is part of the family.
We accept that pets don’t live as long as humans, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love them all the same and feel deep grief when they pass.
Get a personalized print of their pet with a heartwarming message to show them you care.
Try this pet sympathy box which includes self-care items and some lovely messages.
Send these plantable dog bones which bloom with forget me nots so they can always be reminded of their special friend.
1. Tell Them You’re Sorry and You’re Thinking of Them
If you don’t know the person or pet well and just want to express your sympathy, that’s perfectly fine.
A basic well wishes of telling them that you were sorry to hear about the loss of their pet and that they are in your thoughts will do just fine.
Check out these quotes about letting someone know you care.
Sometimes, we just need to feel like our loss is acknowledged and don’t expect people we don’t know well to jump in with all kinds of support.
This could work if you’re signing a card for someone who has lost a pet or if it’s someone you just want to reach out to via text with a simple greeting.
2. Say Something Nice about Their Pet
It’s always appreciated to say something nice about their pet, whether that’s something like “Fido was the happiest puppy I have ever met” or “Treacle was such a gorgeous cat, always appearing sophisticated and regal!”.
Even if you haven’t met the pet in person, you can talk about them if they’ve ever posted pictures or talked about them and say something like “Dino seemed like such a lovely dog with a lot of personality.”
Pets, like humans, do have personalities and quirks and their own physical characteristics, so mention these in praise of the pet.
This lets the owner know that you are really thinking about their pet specifically and may make them smile a bit thinking about how awesome their pet was.
3. Talk About a Memory You Have with Their Pet
If you’ve met the pet or spent time with it, one of the best things to say to someone who has lost a pet is to mention those times or your favorite memories.
You can talk about how you always loved taking their dog for a walk in the park and how he’d have to sniff every flower he passed, or you can reference the time that you remember the time the cat got lost and then you all found him later eating from his food bowl like nothing was wrong.
Talking about your memories with the pet will go a long way towards helping the pet owner know that their pet was loved and will live on in memories.
4. Tell Them What You Will Do to Help in the Coming Days
Particularly if someone really treated their pets like part of the family and are experiencing an intense amount of grief, it’s always nice to do something nice for them in the days immediately following the loss.
For instance, tell them that you’ll have dinner on their doorstep tomorrow night so that they don’t have to worry about what to cook.
Anything you can do to take off any sort of practical load in the wake of a loss is always helpful.
5. Remind Them That They Gave the Pet a Great Life and Good Home
Praise the pet owner and remind them that they gave the pet a great life.
This can be especially powerful if the pet was a rescue.
Say something like, “I am so sorry for your loss.
You gave TomTom such a great and loving home for so many years with space to run and play, and I know that he was so lucky to be adopted by you.”
The pet might not be around anymore, but the pet owner might find themselves wishing they had done even more for the pet, and mentioning how happy you know their pet was is a bittersweet, but overall positive, message.
6. Assure Them That They Did the Right Thing and It’s Not Their Fault
Sometimes, losing a pet has a tragic end or the owner has to decide to put the pet down.
This is incredibly hard to deal with as a pet owner, as you just go back in your mind and try to figure out what you could have done to stop the tragic accident, or you are wracked with guilt over having to make the decision to put them down.
In these instances, a gentle reminder and supportive message that they did the right thing for the comfort of their pet or that the accident is not their fault as they would never intentionally hurt their pet is much appreciated.
It might not help in the moment for them to really believe it, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say it.
They will have to go through the grieving process, but you can still try and remind them that their pet knew that they would only ever do things out of love for their pet and that they don’t have to feel the guilt forever.
7. If Religious, Give Them Hope They Will Be Reunited with Their Pet
Some religious people would welcome a message that they will be reunited with their pet someday.
There are some fantastic poems about pets crossing over the “bridge,” as it were, to play with their other pet friends and then one day being reunited with the owner.
I find these good to share if you know the person is religious or has a faith that this will happen, as these messages can seem out of place if the person doesn’t believe in those things.