Table of Contents
- What to Say When Someone Loses a Pet
- How Do People Grieve?
- Other Ways to Support a Person Experiencing a Pet Loss
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What To Say When Someone Loses a Pet: Summary
If someone is experiencing a pet loss, it's hard and tricky to know the right words to say. In this blog, we'll give you tips on what to say when someone loses a pet.
Others reach out to loved ones, while some would rather keep it to themselves. A pet's death is more than painful. When a pet dies, it leaves a big void in families.
In these trying times, it's important to know how to show support and sympathy to them.
With the right understanding of what type of griever they are, you can learn how to communicate and care for them best.
If you know someone who just lost a pet, here are a few comforting words that you can say to support the ones who need it.
What to Say When Someone Loses a Pet
If a family member or a friend loses a pet, you can support them based on how they grieve. But the most important thing you can do is to be there for them.
If you're truly unsure of how you can help them, you can start by offering your help with “What can I do to help?” or “I am sorry for your loss. I am always here if you need me.”
Remember to be a good listener by letting them share their feelings about the loss and what their pet means to them.
You can share positive and fun moments with their departed pet if you feel welcome.
But it's okay if you didn't get to know the pet. Because you being there for them shows how much you care for them.
A useful tip I can give you is to use the pet's name. Never call their pet just “dogs” or “cats.”
What You Can Say In Person
The best way to show love to someone who has lost a pet is to comfort them in person.
It would be best if you always were genuine in what you say. Be patient because grieving will take time.
It can take a few weeks, months, or years to get over their loss completely. Never invalidate their feelings and emotions.
- “I'm deeply sorry for your loss. [Pet's name] will be missed.”
- “I'm always here for you.”
- “[Pet's name] will surely be missed by everyone who knew them.”
- “They were lucky to have spent their life with you.”
- “You and [pet's name] had an unbreakable bond. They truly loved you.”
- “Remember that I'll be by your side no matter what happens.”
- “If there's anything you need, please let me know.”
What To Text or Message
If you can't be there in person, you can still show sympathy through calls, texts, messages, or cards. Sending comforting messages can help them more than you think.
A few touching messages you can send them are:
- “Call me if you need me. I'm always here.”
- “How are you holding up? I'm praying for you.”
- “I'm so sorry for your loss. [Pet's name] will be missed.”
- “Saying goodbye is never easy. My deepest condolences to you and your family.”
- “I heard about [pet's name]. I'm so sorry for your loss. [Pet's name] was an angel.”
- “Don't ever hesitate to call me.”
- “[Pet's name] was lucky to have you as their best friend.”
What NOT to Say or Do
When a friend or family member is grieving the loss of their pet, it's crucial not to say the wrong thing. It is, however, difficult to find words that will provide comfort and love.
Sometimes, even the best intentions can hurt more than they can help.
Below are a few examples of what not to say or do when someone is grieving a pet loss.
- “Don't cry.” – Keep in mind that crying is normally part of the grieving process for a lot of people. Remind them that it's okay to cry and show emotion.
- “It's just a pet/dog/cat/etc.” – This statement is insensitive and mean. You don't know how much the pet means to the family or person.
- “Get another pet.” – This comment can be offensive since it downplays the loss of the pet. A new pet will not be able to replace the one who died. The person will decide when to get another pet if and when they are ready.
- “You'll get over it soon / It will be okay.” – During these times, the person is mourning the loss of their pet. Understand that the grieving period will take time.
- “They're in a better place now.” – Reminding the owner of their pet's suffering will not help them feel good.
How Do People Grieve?
Sometimes, just letting someone know you're there for them is helpful, and occasionally that is enough.
But it's also helpful to know how people grieve. If we understand how they mourn, we can help them appropriately.
First, let's discuss the intuitive griever. An intuitive griever is an outward griever that naturally relies on their friends and family for love and sympathy.
They show strong emotions when they grieve.
If you're trying to comfort an intuitive griever, one of the best ways is to ask them stories about their pet.
They can relive memories about their departed dog by telling these stories, making them feel a little better.
If you know their pet, you can also share your best memories with their best friend. Also, in this scenario, you should allow them to talk about their feelings and emotions.
This can help them begin to process the loss of their pet.
You can also offer gifts that help commemorate their pets. It can be plants, personalized photo pillows, pet paw necklaces, or remembrance candles.
Next, we have the instrumental griever or the inward griever. These people need time to deal with their feelings instead of discussing their emotions.
But even though they don't want physical or verbal comfort after they lose their pet, there are still ways for you to show your empathy.
You can try to send them ideas on how to commemorate their pet. For instance, you can send concepts for a good dog memorial stone.
Giving them ideas on memorializing their pet can help ease their emotions.
Some instrumental grievers prefer to distract themselves. Suggest various activities to help them be joyful and slowly get back on their feet if they try to reach out.
Other Ways to Support a Person Experiencing a Pet Loss
There are still plenty of ways to comfort them. You can send them flowers or donate to a pet-oriented charity.
If you have the time and money, you can ask to host a memorial service for the pet. And one of my favorite options is to have a tree or plant in honor of the departed pet.
Prepare their Comfort or Favorite Food
When some close to you or a loved one is lost, your brain is a disaster. You tend to forget normal daily routines, including failing to eat.
When a family member or friend is mourning a pet loss, we can contribute by bringing or preparing their comfort food.
Help them Memorialize their Pet
Finding ways to commemorate their pets can also help people grieve. In this day and age, there are now plenty of ways to memorialize a pet.
For example, you can help them plan a funeral service for the pet. You can also create a scrapbook or a photo album.
Here are other touching and unique ways to memorialize pets:
- Memory box
- Pet memorial jewelry (necklace or bracelet)
- Customized mug
- Animal plushies or replica
- Painting or drawing
- Memorializing their ashes
Sharing favorite memories and photos that you might have can comfort them in these difficult times.
You can also let them talk about their fondest memories together and what made their time together so wonderful.
If the owner posts on social media about their loss, make sure to leave a heartfelt and respectful comment.
Ask if They Need Anything and Take Action
Actions speak louder than words. If you have the time, it would be a great help for them to know you are there for them when they need you.
It's nice to assist with anything they need. For instance, you can bring them groceries or run errands. Also, if they ask, you can accompany them to support groups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is losing a pet so painful?
Pets are a big part of our lives. These cats, dogs, birds, and other animals have become part of our family.
They support our emotional well-being by reducing sadness and depression, and they can also help with anxiety.
That's why when our pet dies, we don't just feel emotional pain, but we also feel lost.
Our pets have been part of our day-to-day routine, and losing them will take a big toll on our lives.
How do you say goodbye to a pet?
There are many ways to say goodbye to our beloved pets. During these times, we can give them all the favorite things they enjoy the most.
For example, give them their favorite toys, food, and blanket.
Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy. They have been part of our lives for so long. Let's treasure every moment we have with them.
Is losing a pet harder than a person?
Humans truly have a special bond with their pets. This depends on the connection we have with our pets. Some grieve harder over the loss of a pet than a person.
That's because our pets can sometimes be our dependable source of comfort.
We feel happy when they are around, and they relieve our stress with their cute and funny antics.
What To Say When Someone Loses a Pet: Summary
When someone loses a pet, we must know the good and heartfelt things to say.
Sometimes what we think is good can come off as offensive and insensitive, especially in times of loss.
A pet's death is more than painful. These animals have been part of our daily lives for so many years. They stayed by our side when we were at our toughest times.
Knowing what to say when someone loses a pet can go a long way. It can provide comfort in the times they need it the most.
You can't just tell them that “it's just a dog” or “it's just a cat,” that would've been cruel!
Instead, you can offer comforting words. You can share first-hand joyful experiences that you had with the pet.
Remember to be sensitive and understanding as there are still stages of grief for pet loss.