Having an emotional attachment to another being is one of the most beautiful experiences that humans can have. In loss, these feelings are a kind of life-affirming mantra even as much as you might be feeling every stage of grief almost all at once.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Dogs
- Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Cats
- Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Other Animals
Wherever you are today in your journey, and if you are planning to hold a memorial or funeral—or just need some music to guide you through your grief, then take a look at the lists we have created for you below.
Whether you have lost a dog, cat, bird, hamster, goat, or horse, the pain is real. If the songs aren’t entirely sufficient, there are also a number of books about losing a pet out there that work to provide essential steps to take so that the grieving process is healthy and well-supported. Still, we hope you find some solace in the selections below.
COVID-19 tip: If you're hosting a Zoom memorial service using a service like GatheringUs, ask your online guests to request songs them remind you of your deceased pet, then play them during the virtual ceremony. Make a digital playlist of the requested songs and send the playlist's link out with your memorial service thank you cards.
Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Dogs
Most people love their dogs more than anything in the world—and rightly so. If you fall into that category, here are a few songs that spoke to me, and maybe they’ll speak to you, too.
1. “Stay" by Rihanna and Micky Ekko
Rescue pups enter our lives sometimes at the most unexpected moments. Rihanna and Micky Ekko’s song captures that need and then heartbreak inside a song driven by piano, bass, and R&B vocals.
2. "Love of My Life" by Queen (Live Acoustic Version)
If you are looking for a song that will break your heart every time you hear it, then “Love of My Life” will do that for you. This song makes it impossible not to have very vivid flashbacks of your beloved pup at every lyrical turn.
3. "I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie
Here’s a song that says, after everything is said and done, once you get to where you’ve got to go, that you promise to follow them no matter what.
4. "Wake Me Up" by Boyce Avenue and Jennel Garcia
Avicii’s upbeat song becomes softer and sweeter in the Avenue and Jennel Garcia version. With that, this piano version adds a secondary and much sadder dimension where you might be surprised by its poignant relevance to your rescue pup.
5. "Your Song" by Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding’s version updates Elton John’s without taking too much away from the original. In it, you’ll discover lyrics that echo having wanted everything both wonderful and wide for your lost pup.
6. "I Don’t Hurt as Much as I Used To" by The Jerry Schmitt Band
We all deal with loss just a little differently, so Jerry Schmitt’s song will sit well if you’ve got a drinkin’ side. It has traditional country styling with steel guitar and drums that churn with raw emotion.
7. "So Will I (100 Billion X)" by Hillsong UNITED
Hillsong UNITED speaks to those who need to feel closer to their faith in times of tragedy. “So Will I” is electrifying and ethereal, making you feel like you’re floating inside both the lyrics and instruments.
8. "I’ll Be Seeing You" by Jimmy Durante
If you’ve got a soft spot for the Lower East Side New York when Sinatra was king and when movies had intermissions, then you may find this to be your best friend’s perfect funeral song.
9. "Ocean Eyes" by Billie Eilish
Here’s a song for that pup who mastered that doey-eyed look to perfection. You’ll be reminded of how they knew those ways to get that extra serving or stay at the beach just a little bit longer.
10. "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton
Clapton’s song is adaptable to anyone who’s lost their best friend, running partner, couch buddy, or travel companion. Choose the acoustic version as it’s just that much sweeter.
Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Cats
Don’t the little purr machines nestle their way into your heart so easily? And because they can live such long, beautiful lives, isn’t their loss amplified across every ounce of your home life? If you agree, check out the songs below and you might find something that resonates with you.
11. "Baby Blue" by Dave Matthews Band
In truth, the orchestra and guitar strumming would be enough on their own. But Dave Matthews’s scratchy voice really mimics exactly what you’re feeling when you lose one of the most intimate relationships you may ever have had.
12. “Sweet Angel" by Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix’s “Sweet Angel” was posthumously released on The Cry of Love album. The song is bluesy with chord-driven guitar playing and has an echo-like resonance making it a good fit for your little kitty’s pet memorial or gathering.
13. "All of Me" by John Legend
If you had the kind of cat that you could dance with, who came when you called their name and woke you in the middle of the night to serenade you, then Legend’s song will speak to you.
14. "I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You" by Imaginary Future and Kina Grannis
Here’s a whispery soft song to play on repeat in memory of your little fur baby. The final lyrics, “I will spend my whole life loving you,” will echo meditatively long after the song has finished and long into the days ahead.
15. "Beautiful Thing" by Grace VanderWaal
The song, “Beautiful Thing” is perfect for that wonderful cat who stuck with you move after move, job after job, and relationship after relationship. It was your relationship that was the one constant and also the most beautiful thing.
16. "Through These Tears" by LANY
The first words of the song say it all very poignantly. After that, the Indie and Synth-Pop style kick in and you’ll find a story of loss, living, and hope.
17. "Saturn" by Sleeping at Last
Strings and echo-y piano fill the first three minutes of this song, which then builds with angelic voices midway through. When lead singer Ryan O’Neal’s voice finally enters, he wraps you in a naked honesty that you need, but don’t want to hear.
18. "First Week" by Vera Blue
Joni Mitchell’s warbling and vocal styles are evident in Vera Blue’s song. Then, insert some electronica with an alternating and single strumming guitar, and you’ll have discovered a very diverse, but beautiful addition to your cat’s memorial.
19. "Pictures of You" by The Cure
Nearly two minutes into this seven and a half minute song, Robert Smith starts singing. If you’re used to their edgy early work, you may find this one is far more deliberate and mellow.
20. "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" by Kate Bush
Kate Bush’s music was born out of the ’70s in the UK. Her song will speak to you if you, too, spent your formative years inside the underground of music, only to emerge as someone who still prefers college radio to this day.
Pet Loss Memorial Songs for Other Animals
They are more than other animals—they are your pets and loved ones. Of course, the lists go on for how many kinds of critters speak to any one of us. So, whether you rescued some pot-bellied pigs or chickens, or took weekend trail rides with your horse for a few decades, the songs below are chosen for you.
21. "You Are My Sunshine (Version 1)" by Elizabeth Mitchell
Mitchell’s take on the classic is sweeter and shorter than the original. The lyrics she includes have only to do with missing a loved one and wishing the dream of them being around were still the reality. And isn’t that everything we wish about them?
22. "Winter Song" by Sarah Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson
Looking across an empty pasture after years with your riding partner is heartbreaking. “Winter Song” encapsulates that absence inside a sweet duet.
23. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
As a memorial song for your bird, you’ll be able to envision them effortlessly floating above in the thermals. Look at this as a beautiful memorial song, particularly if your memorial event is out in the sunshine.
24. "Blackbird” by The Beatles
There may not be a more perfect funeral song for any and all birds than “Blackbird,” including its original meaning. While the song doesn’t offer lots of extras by way of instruments or lyrics, what it does is leave room for the emptiness your heart may be feeling.
25. "Keep Me in Your Heart” by Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon sings with hope and determination against time and the passing of daily life. As you continue to listen, his mature voice becomes more and more endearing, leaving you with the perspective of what your pet may hope from you.
26. "Belong” by Roosevelt
If you are having a memorial gathering at an animal sanctuary, but want something more upbeat to soften the sad music, Roosevelt’s got the mellow attitude dialed in. Here, in “Belong,” you might envision the goats playing in the pasture or joy held on the volunteers’ faces.
27. "Memories” by Maroon 5
Maroon 5’s song has a kind of California Reggae style and pop influence that would also work well if you were gathering up the staff at the sanctuary to say goodbye to some beloved forever rescues. If you’re alone and listening, then you can just chill and relive the good memories with some good friends over a beach campfire.
28. "Lady Bird” by Jon Brion
“Lady Bird” a lyric-less song with methodical instruments that may even out the sadness with some memory inspiration. As you think about your pets nestled in their cages or running amok in the backyard, the song can guide you past the hurt.
Pet Loss Can Be World-Shattering
Anatole France, who wrote one of the most inspirational pet loss quotes, said, "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
With that bit of truth, I hope you’ve discovered a song from above that was almost as beautiful as your pet and helps you grieve the soul that they awakened inside of you.