What to Say When a Pet Dies

Photo: Erin F.

Yesterday, a friend lost her beloved, Daisy. I was having a difficult time finding the right words to comfort her.

Another friend lost one of her beloved cats, and unfortunately, the situation was made worse by what some people had to say. One person – in an effort to comfort her – asked, “How many are you down to now?”

Even if you have been through it yourself, it can be difficult to find the right words to console a friend who experiences the death of a pet. Pet advice expert, Steven May, offers a few tips on what to say at this emotional time. He suggests you:

  • Tell them how lucky their pet was to have them in their life
  • Share special memories and shift the focus to happier times
  • Ask if you can do anything
  • Reassure them that they did everything they could

Although you know that it is a sad time, you may not fully understand the emotions your friend is experiencing. Since most pet parents feel that their pet is a part of the family, the loss creates a void similar to that of a close relative. It is important to think before you speak.

It is also appropriate to send a sympathy note. Taking the time to acknowledge the loss and offer your sympathy lets your friend know that you care. If you are having trouble coming up with the right words, click here for examples of pet sympathy notes.

Bottom line is that your friend is hurting from his loss. Be aware, sensitive, and kind.

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