Whenever a loved one dies, you can expect to evoke compassion and support from your friends and family. However, that same sympathy and recognition for the loss of a pet may not be as obvious in comparison to how devastated a person who's lost a pet feels. Many times, the lack of support after a pet’s death can significantly compound the feelings of grief and loss.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet Over Text
- How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet If You Can See Them Face-to-Face
- How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet Over the Phone
- Other Ways to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet
Loads of people consider their pets a part of their family. Suffering the death of a pet can be a traumatic and harrowing experience. A person's relationship with their pet is often a symbiotic one where both humans and pets benefit mutually from the relationship. Having to say goodbye to a pet can be a challenging experience for its owner.
Grieving a pet's death is an essential part of many pet owners' lives, sadly. If you have a loved one who is dealing with the death of a beloved pet, here are a few ways to comfort them.
How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet Over Text
When you’re struggling with how to comfort someone who’s lost a pet, remember that the death of a pet can create just as much pain and sorrow as losing any loved one. A pet’s death can bring about a profound sense of loss for its owner.
People who’ve lost a pet sometimes feel excluded and that their pain and suffering isn’t valid. Often, society doesn’t recognize the death of a pet as a significant loss. Simply sending a text to share a few words of condolences can be a show of support for someone struggling with this type of loss.
1. Send a special GIF
It’s natural to have developed a strong attachment to a pet, and when they die, it may seem that there’s no end to the pain and sorrow that attaches.
A simple yet sweet way of acknowledging that you recognize their pain is by sending a special condolence GIF via text. These types of messages can convey in an image what you may not know how to say directly.
A carefully selected image can bring comfort throughout the day when the receiver goes back to look at it each time they need a pick-me-up.
2. Deliver an eCard
Pet sympathy eCards are an easy way to send a message of peace, love, and comfort to someone grieving their pet's loss. You can let them know you're thinking of them and care about the pain they’re going through. These cards can be found free online and personalized with your name and very own message using one of many different templates you'll find.
You can send one instantly without having to make a trip to the post office. Letting someone know that you care can be as simple as texting a link to an eCard that can be opened by the recipient any time they need a reminder that you’re thinking of them.
3. Text them often
Let someone you know and love feel special and remembered during their time of grief by sending well-timed and meaningful text messages throughout the day. Sending little messages of compassion and encouragement throughout the day will help someone who’s grieving the loss of their pet know that you are thinking of them and acknowledge their pain and suffering.
Consider sending messages of comfort and support at times when your loved one would otherwise be busy tending to their pet. Consider sending them at feeding time or when they’d typically go out for a walk with their pet.
How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet If You Can See Them Face-to-Face
A pet owner may not understand why they’re grieving the loss of their pet as much or more as they would the death of a human loved one. These profound feelings of loss may confuse them and they may not know how to process what they’re going through.
It helps to show up in person when you can to lend your support face-to-face. Human interaction, especially for someone whose pet was their sole source of companionship, is important to help them through their grief.
4. Drop off some food
Whenever someone grieves a significant loss, days may go by without them having a full nutritious meal. Grieving over the loss of a pet may be as anguishing as losing a loved one. The heartbreak that’s experienced can leave them with an emptiness inside that makes it difficult to go about their normal daily routines.
Taking care of themselves is usually not a priority, and they’ll find themselves reaching for anything just to take away the hunger pangs. Organize a week’s worth of prepared meals and drop it off on your next visit. They’ll appreciate it when they reach in the fridge for something to eat.
5. Help them maintain routines
A well-placed visit can be one that helps your loved one maintain the same routines they had before losing their pet. Drop by and ask them to go for a walk during the times they’d ordinarily take their pet out.
Encourage and allow them to talk about their pet, their loss, and what they’re going through. Sometimes it helps to maintain some of the routines to lessen the pain of the void left behind by their pet’s death.
6. Support them through their loss
Knowing how to support others when they're in the middle of their pet loss can seem daunting. It may be even more challenging soothing a friend who’s grieving a pet after they’ve put them down.
Your friend or loved one may need an extra set of helping hands around the house. Offer help with the household chores, or paying the bills. Any amount of support that you can give to someone who is grieving will be appreciated when they start to feel better.
How to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet Over the Phone
Recognize that most people will say the wrong thing after a pet loss. They may make conversation by mentioning the very pets they’ve loved and lost. They may also mention not being able to imagine what it’d feel like if their pet died. Although well-meaning, these statements have the effect of shifting the attention away from the pet loss suffered.
Here are a few examples of what’s appropriate to say after a pet loss:
7. “I’m here when you need me.”
Let your loved one know that you’re available to them whenever they need you. When a person’s grieving, they may waver between phases of wanting to be comforted with those of wanting to be left alone.
When you give them permission to reach out to you whenever they're ready, it makes them feel loved and respected during their time of grief.
8. “I can’t imagine the pain of losing your special companion.”
Acknowledging their pain without making it about your past experiences tells someone that you honor their grief journey.
Everyone experiences grief differently. Even if you’ve also suffered the loss of a beloved pet, you won’t know exactly how others feel about their loss. Allow others to express their feelings and emotions in a way that honors their personal grief experiences.
9. “Your pain and heartbreak makes sense.”
When you tell someone that it makes sense why they feel the way they do, you’re recognizing the special bond that they shared with their pet.
It also tells your loved one that you understand how the loss of a pet can cause so much pain and suffering. This may make them feel more comfortable opening up to you about what they’re going through.
Other Ways to Comfort Someone Who Lost a Pet
No one ever tells you that when a beloved pet dies, it can feel the same as when a human dies. A person suffering through this type of loss may find comfort in talking about the death of their pet and what they meant to them.
Allowing them to share their grief and tell stories about their pet may lessen their pain and suffering. Other ways to give comfort are to send special bereavement gifts to help someone cope with their loss.
10. Give a book on pet loss
An alternate way of expressing your sympathy is to send a book about pet loss to your friend or loved one. Having a book to read that discusses why humans grieve the death of a pet may help them better understand why they’re experiencing such profound grief and loss.
A book on pet loss can help someone makes sense of their experience. Reading about how others coped with the pain of losing a beloved pet may also help them work through their grief.
11. Send them flowers
Trying to comfort someone who’s lost a pet can seem challenging, especially when you’re having trouble relating to the magnitude of their loss.
Flowers are a traditional sympathy gift that send the receiver a message that you care about them and sympathize with them over the loss of their pet. Just like with any other type of death, flowers are a traditional gift to give someone who’s bereaved.
Comforting Someone After Pet Loss
In many ways, our pets are much like us. They spend much of their lives allowing us to care for them as they care for us in return. Knowing exactly how to help your friends or loved ones undergoing the emotional and physical effects of grief related to pet loss can be challenging.
There’s no timeline on grief. Comforting someone after a pet loss is an ongoing opportunity to make someone feel remembered and loved for weeks and months following the death of their pet.