What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Pet

What to Say to Someone Who has Lost a Pet

One of the first things that are crucial to understanding, is you are never going to understand what another person is going through when it comes to saying goodbye to a pet. A relationship that a loved one has with their pet is extremely personal, and in most cases, we only

know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the depth of their relationship. Whether the loss of the pet was expected or it came abruptly, the feeling of remorse and sadness may overwhelm this person, more than you could expect. Nevertheless, you want to be a good friend, employee, or family member but you are at a loss on what words and phrases you should say.

P.S. If you want to see more help about pet loss, stories of pets, or share your pet's story check out our free Facebook group.

Probably one of the biggest fears people have when consoling those who have lost a pet is they fear they may say the wrong thing. Rather than focusing on what you shouldn't say, be focused on comforting, consoling, and listening to this person. Sometimes, that is all they need; to know that there is someone that they can depend on, and who is willing to listen and try to help them through this process.

Table of Contents

What to Say to Someone Who has Lost a Pet

How to be a Better Listener

What to Say and What Not to Say

Other Ways to Offer Condolences

How to be a Better Listener

Coming up with the right thing to say, especially when you haven't experienced the loss of a pet first hand, can be extremely difficult. Here at Petventures our biggest piece of advice would be to "listen to understand" rather than "listen to respond." The biggest difference between these two is when you "listen to understand" you are seeking to comfort and learn where they are coming from. It can be difficult at first, but when you have this intention at heart, whomever you are consoling will feel the love that you have for them.

What to Say and What Not to Say

Even after listening intently, and full of compassion, you may still feel stuck on how to frame your answer to certain statements that your loved one who has lost a pet makes. Take a deep breath and realize that the fact that you are willing to listen, means the world to whoever you are seeking to console.

Furthermore, to get you started in the right direction, and to give you a few ideas on what to say to someone who lost a pet, here are few examples that you can try to use the next time you are in this situation.

DON’T SAY: It’s not like you lost a child.–>INSTEAD SAY: I know you cared very much for [pet’s name]. This must be a difficult time for you.

DON’T SAY: It can’t be that big of a deal, it was only a pet.

–>INSTEAD SAY: He/she was part of the family. Is there anything I can do?

DON’T SAY: So, when are you getting another animal?

–>INSTEAD SAY: [Pet’s name] had such a distinct personality. What was your favorite memory with him/her?

DON’T SAY: At least he/she is in a better place now. It is for the best.

–>INSTEAD SAY: You were an incredible owner, and [pet’s name] knows this, and is so grateful for you.

DON’T SAY: I know exactly how you feel.

–>INSTEAD SAY: Tell me more about your relationship with [pet’s name].

DON’T SAY: Don’t cry, it’s not like it was your child.

–>INSTEAD SAY: Why don’t you tell me the hardest part of what you are feeling?

Remember, when your loved one who has lost a pet begins to console in you, they are seeking comfort rather than answers. Be seeking to understand and take a second to be in their shoes for a time. They may have lost their pet that has been in their life for a number of years, and who they loved unconditionally. Listen, do your best to respond with an understanding message, and be constantly seeking to help in any way you can.

Other Ways to Offer Condolences

When it comes to losing a pet, the sadness is always going to be there, no matter what you do or say. In some cases, you can be at a loss of words and may need to think of a new way to console a loved one who has lost a pet. Here are a few other ideas that may make a longer-lasting impression, when words just don’t do the trick.

  • Send flowers - It is a genuine yet simple gesture that tells the loved one you are thinking of them.
  • Have a tree or shrub planted in your loved one’s yard in honor of their pet. - This action alone allows the grieving party to see life rise from the memory of their beloved pet.
  • Share the website, “Rainbow bridge” with your loved one. - This is a wonderful community of people that have experienced similar losses of animals that your loved one can find support and strength in.
  • Purchase a product from “Petventures.” - Whether it is a mug, book, shirt, or pillow. All of these wonderful products are personalized, and your loved one who has lost a pet can have something with them at all times to remind them of the good memories that they had with their furry four-legged friend.

 When it comes to thinking of comforting words for the loss of a pet, always remember that “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It isn’t the number of words or gestures that matter to a loved one, it is the emotion and support that is the most important and has the strongest impact.

Recommended Products

Personalized Pet Storybook

Create a custom storybook, starring your loved one's pet. Design the look of their beloved dog or cat, write a dedication, and add your loved one's name and hometown to create a uniquely personal adventure!

Pet Pop Art Mug

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