Losing an animal is a unique kind of grief because your pet may have been your best friend. Unfortunately, other people may not understand the depth of your loss. When you lose a loved one, everyone quickly sends condolences.
But when a pet dies, many people fumble for the right response. You may hear inconsiderate responses such as, “It was only a dog,” which can make you feel isolated in your grief.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Quotes for the Loss of a Dog
- Quotes for the Loss of a Cat
- Quotes About the Loss of a Bird
- Quotes About the Loss of Another Animal
- Inspirational Pet Loss Quotes
Don’t minimize your feelings when you’re trying to cope with the loss of an animal. Your pet was a huge part of your life! Here are a few quotes that can help you through this difficult time in your life.
Quotes for the Loss of a Dog
1. “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made his greatest gift the commonest.” — Martin Luther, monk and priest
Dogs are the most loyal protectors and friends and might even outlast many people in your life.
2. "You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." — Robert Louis Stevenson, author
Dogs have a pure, gentle soul. If you believe in heaven, you can bet your dog will be there, too.
3. “Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes.” — Gene Hill, author
You’re often the center of your dog’s universe and vice versa.
4. “The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?” — Sir Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian
One of the best things about owning a dog is how long-lived your pup can be. That doesn’t make your loss any easier, though.
5.“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” — Mark Twain, author
Mark Twain had three collie dogs. Their names were “You Know,” “I Know,” and “Don’t Know.”
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Quotes for the Loss of a Cat
6. “I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” — Neil Gaiman, author
If you own many cats, you may know what Gaiman is talking about.
7. “A home without a cat — and a well-fed, well petted and properly-revered cat — may be a home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?” — Mark Twain, author
Sometimes it’s hard to feel at home when your pet dies. Coming home to a purring cat is one of the best feelings.
8. “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” — Albert Schweitzer, polymath
Our pets provide a refuge of uncomplicated love in a difficult world. Coming home to an adoring pet is one of the best feelings ever.
9. “No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” — Leo Dworken, author
No matter how many cats you have, you can never forget the pets you loved. Treasuring these memories can often help with the loss you’re experiencing.
10. “Time spent with a cat is never wasted.” — Sigmund Freud, psychologist
Bonding with a pet can turn into such special memories.
Quotes About the Loss of a Bird
Many people love birds for their beauty. Their chirps and songs made your home a great place to be.
11. “A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered.” — Lacie Petitto, physician
You can remember your pet in many unique ways. Why not create a memorial with photos and trinkets?
12. "If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain pets I know will go to heaven and very, very few people." — James Thurber, cartoonist
Our pets are often better than some of the human beings in our lives. If you are a long-time pet owner, you might agree with Thurber!
13. “Pets’ lives are too short. Their only fault.” — Agnes Sligh Turnbull, author
The world would be a beautiful place if our pets could live forever. They could go with us to old age, as loyal companions.
14. “Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” — John Grogan, author
It’s comforting to know how much your pet loved you. Reuniting with a pet can often be the highlight of your day.
15. “I feel about my pets now, and all the pets I had before this, the way I feel about children — they are that important to me. When I have lost a pet I have gone into a mourning period that lasted for months.” — Mary Tyler Moore, actress
Grieving for months is understandable!
Quotes About the Loss of Another Animal
Non-traditional pets take up just as much room in your heart. Whether you owned a horse or a lizard, you still have great memories with them.
16. “Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human, because, in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.” — Amy Sedaris, author
Pets wrap themselves around your heartstrings like nothing else. You might even love them better than most human beings!
17. “If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.” — Pam Brown, author
If you believe in heaven, will your pets be there? This is a great quote to include in a card for a religious friend.
18. “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” — John Grogan, author
Pets have a certain magic. They foster love in any home they live in.
19.“Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.” — Unknown
Sorrow is a complicated emotion to deal with. On the one hand, it’s awful to experience. On the other, it shows how much you loved your pet.
20. “People who appreciated animals always asked their names.” — Unknown
It’s comforting to know that others loved your pet as much as you did.
Inspirational Pet Loss Quotes
It’s impossible to be positive about losing a pet. Focus on the love you shared with your best friend.
21. "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." — Anatole France, poet and journalist
Love and loss are an important part of growth as a human being.
22. "Unlike some people who have experienced the loss of an animal, I did not believe, even for a moment, that I would never get another. I did know full well that there were just too many animals out there in need of homes for me to take what I have always regarded as the self-indulgent road of saying the heartbreak of the loss of an animal was too much ever to want to go through with it again. To me, such an admission brought up the far more powerful admission that all the wonderful times you had with your animal were not worth the unhappiness at the end." — Cleveland Amory, author and reporter
When your loss is fresh, it’s hard to consider ever getting another pet. Amory’s words serve as a great reminder of the love you shared.
23. “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” — James Herriot, author
Herriot was an author, but he was also a veterinarian. He worked with animals in the U.K. for decades.
24. “The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.” — Ben Hur Lampman, editor, essayist, and poet
Your dog’s memory will always stay in your heart. You can memorialize your dog, though, with pictures and favorite toys on display.
25. “You were as devoted to your dog as he was to you. That’s remarkable.” — Unknown
Mutual devotion is precious. This would be a great quote to put in a sympathy card.
Tend to Your Grief When You Lose a Pet
To get through the loss of a pet, don’t ignore your grief. Ignoring your grief will prevent emotional healing later on. Prioritize the emotions from your loss like you would with any other death. Consider getting another pet when the time is right. Filling the quiet space in your home with another animal can be therapeutic.
If you want to read more about losing a pet and grief, head over to our picks for the best books on pet loss.