If you have ever had to say goodbye to a pet then you know how hard it can be. Pets are a part of the family and it can feel the same as losing a loved one. Our Marcello Veterinary Hospital vets offer advice on what to say when someone you know loses a pet and a few other ways you can support them.
How to Comfort a Friend Who Lost a Pet
When someone you know loses a pet it can be tough to find the words to console them. Is there any right answer for what to say when someone loses a pet?
It is important to keep in mind that everyone experiences loss differently and even if you have experience with pet loss, you may have grieved differently than others would. While you may feel tempted to compare the loss of your own pet to the pet loss of someone else you should resist. This may leave your friend feeling as though you don't view their emotions as their own and that you are minimizing their experience.
When it comes to pet loss you should let the person grieving lead the conversation and while it's okay to keep the conversation light, you shouldn't make any jokes.
What Should You Write in a Card For Pet Loss?
Cards and notes offering condolences are usually welcome during these times. It's a simple way to let those dealing with pet loss know that they have support. It's not necessary to write a long letter or story, just a quick note to express your thoughts. Here are some ideas for what to write on your card:
- Thinking about you and your pet [Pet's name]. If there is anything you need just let me know.
- Life with our companions is never long enough! You are in our thoughts and prayers.
- Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.
- I am so sorry for your loss. [Pet’s name] will be greatly missed.
- Losing a loyal and faithful friend isn't easy. Please know that I'm thinking of you, and if you need to talk or share memories of him/her, please call me. I'm so sorry for your loss.
- [Pet’s name] was such a great pet. You were lucky to have each other.
- Losing such an important part of the family is never easy. I’m thinking about you.
- I know you miss [pet’s name] terribly. I’m thinking about you and sending thoughts and prayers.
- Smile at the memory of your beautiful pet, for they lit up this world with their joyous spirit.
- [Pet's name] could not have had a better life or a more loving owner than you. They were incredibly blessed.
Are There Other Ways to Show Support?
While a card is a nice thing to send during difficult times, you may want to do a little extra. Here are some other things that you can do during this time:
- Send a memorial gift such as personalized indoor or outdoor memorial decor.
- If you have photos of your friend's pet you can consider sending them along with the card.
- Send flowers or a houseplant with the card.
- Donate in the pet’s name to an animal organization or shelter.
No matter what you choose to do to show support it is important to watch how the person is coping with the loss of their pet. If you are concerned about their mental health during this time then it may be a good idea to help them look into resources for managing grief.
You can also provide similar support if you have a friend who has not lost their pet but is going through end-of-life care for their furry companion. This is already a difficult time as they are still caring for their pet while beginning to accept and cope with the fact that their companion will be passing in the near future.
Our vets at Marcello Veterinary Hospital offer end-of-life services for cats and dogs. During this time we do everything we can to make sure the final days or weeks of a pet's life are comfortable, calm, and pain-free.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.