Losing a pet is always difficult. Those of us who have friends who reach out in our times of need are fortunate. And it’s nice to let those who’ve been there for you know that you appreciate their support.
But depending on how they reached out and how well you know them, there are some nuanced differences in how you might thank someone for their condolences.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Thank a Love One for Sympathy After a Pet Loss in a Card, Letter, or Note
- How to Say Thank You for Your Sympathy After a Pet Loss in a Text or DM
- How to Say Thank You for Your Sympathy In-Person or on the Phone
We cover these differences in the blog post below. For each level of formality, we’ve prepared some notes on how you might respond to each one. Cards and notes offer etiquette vehicles, while smartphones and verbal conversations let you be as expressive or pragmatic as you choose.
How to Thank a Loved One for Sympathy After a Pet Loss in a Card, Letter, or Note
Cards, letters, and notes give you the space to respond directly to kind words, bits of advice, or gifts.
1. Dear Price Family,
We just wanted to say thank you for your kind note. It’s been tough on all of us, but especially for the other pups. We’re just going to take it one day at a time, as you suggested. They were the words we needed to hear.
Thank you again,
Sarah Puralewski and Family
Some people try to help by offering insight or knowledge from experience. Here’s an easy way to let them know you appreciated their words.
2. Dear Sam,
Thank you for sending a card; it arrived yesterday. The Amy Sedaris quote was spot on, too, btw. Loving Whiskers was a lot easier than pretending to love my sister-in-law.
Many people will hunt through quotes to find the best one to send your way. Keep that in mind when replying to them.
3. Dear Gene,
Charles and I wanted to express our gratitude not just for the card but the old photo you found of Dixie when she was just a pup. That was a beautiful day. I remember she followed you around all day, then just plopped on your feet and fell asleep.
Thanks for the memory,
It’s not uncommon to get photographs from other people when your pet dies. They’re trying to help you remember those good days—and smile.
Thank you for the picture frame and the kind words. I don’t know how I’ll ever recover from this, but at least I’ll have a beautiful picture frame for Trigger’s best silhouette.
Thank you note etiquette doesn’t require you to send a long letter to those who’ve been supportive. Simple messages of gratitude are sufficient. But if you feel like adding anything additional, go ahead.
Thank you for the flowers. I got them last week, but I couldn’t respond. I’ve cried every night thinking about how much I miss my friend. Today’s not much better, but the flowers have helped. So, thank you.
When your girlfriend sends you flowers, it’s okay to take time to respond to her. She knows you and knows you’ll find a notecard when you can.
6. Dr. Gray and Team,
We just want to say thank you for the excellent care you gave to Sheppie. We’re so grateful for all of the health support he received throughout the journey of his whole life. You made a difference not just for him but our entire family. It’s something we’ll never forget. We gave him a wonderful last day, but it was a hard day none of us ever wanted.
We continue to have the warmest regard for the whole team,
The Sandberg Family
Notes of gratitude for the veterinary staff and their continued care and support would warm their hearts significantly, especially if they grew close to your pet, too.
Just a quick note to say thanks for coming out so quickly the other night. Losing our Spirit has been tough on Claire and the kids, but I just wanted to thank you for doing all you could.
Letters can be matter-of-fact but also filled with gratitude. There isn’t a single way to say thank you.
8. If you’d prefer to leave it up to the professionals, buy some pre-printed thank you cards and just sign your name.
This option works well when you’re writing to a person who isn’t close to you. Pre-printed funeral thank you cards help maintain some distance, but they also maintain etiquette.
How to Say Thank You for Your Sympathy After a Pet Loss in a Text or DM
Text and DM messages are generally short, so don’t worry about using many words or their name.
9. Just received a flower delivery. Thank you. Bleue would have loved to eat the leaves off of them.
Here’s a quick way to let your friend know that their gift prompted a happy memory.
10. I saw you stopped by today. I’m sorry I was out but thank you so much for the gift. It’s lovely.
If a friend stopped by to check on you but left a sympathy gift on the porch in your absence, let them know you got home to receive it.
11. I really don’t feel up to hanging out tonight, but I appreciate your concern. Raincheck?
If you don’t feel like being social with the group when you’re coping with pet loss, it’s okay to let them know you’re grateful for the concern but need to pass on the event.
12. I’m so grateful for friends like you, especially after losing Claude.
When sending text messages, it’s not uncommon to express a thought out-of-the-blue. It’s also an easy way to drop an anchor if you need someone to talk to.
13. Snap a picture of the gift they sent. Then, type ‘thank you.’
It’s not always possible to be a wordsmith when you’re grieving. But technology lets you send pictures, which, as we know, say 1,000 words.
14. If you have one, send a video of your pet with your friend. Then add, ‘Thanks for being part of our lives, especially now.’
Our phones are bursting with photos of our pets. If you have one that includes your friend, forward the picture and send a short message of gratitude.
15. As always, you were there when I needed you most. Thanks for the ride home from the Vet. And wine. And letting me cry. And for being my rock.
Good friends will drop anything to support you in your time of need.
16. Thank you for your kindness and support after the loss of our Charlie. I can always count on you.
The above is an example of how expressions of gratitude can pair well with compliments.
How to Say Thank You for Your Sympathy In-Person or on the Phone
As with a text or DM, it’s not necessary to open with someone’s name, but you do have an opportunity for greater expression here.
17. It means so much to me that you would drop everything and come over on such short notice. Thank you so much for your support.
If your best friend is genuinely dropping everything to support you, make sure to acknowledge their effort alongside the expressions of gratitude.
18. I wanted to leave a message to let you know how wonderful you are. I know you didn’t know her as long as I have, but you’ve been my rock, and I’m so grateful for all of your support.
Sometimes new relationships must learn how to function with tragedy sooner than later. If so, a voicemail message makes a fantastic imprint for them to return to time and again.
19. Even if we’re not family, I’ve always thought of you as more of a sister than a friend. I always appreciate you, especially now.
Profound and impactful words are best-shared face-to-face instead of typed in a text message or sent in a notecard.
20. Thank you for sending that card to Emily. She’s been broken up over losing Blue for days. I appreciate you checking in on her, too.
It’s appropriate for siblings and siblings-in-law to acknowledge kindness. Unfortunately, busy lives negate some etiquette but matter when you let little brothers know when you received his card.
21. I feel blessed to know you. You’ve always been so supportive to me, and right now, with losing Ben, I’ve needed you more than ever. I don’t take you for granted. And I just needed to say thank you.
When relationships are platonic but resonant, it’s okay to offer a more genuine take on the support you’re receiving. After all, that’s the nature of your friendship.
22. We received the flowers that the business sent over yesterday. Thank you for understanding that I needed some time off to be with my wife and Teddy.
This is a quick way to thank the boss, who understands the need for people to take mental health days to grieve with their family members over their furry/feathery family members.
23. Listen, I know this isn’t easy. And I want you to know that I see you’re being incredibly brave by making sure the whole family is okay. We’re all grateful for that, but I need you to be okay, too.
It’s a lifelong lesson to let a strong little child know that you appreciate them, but it’s okay to be vulnerable.
Coping With Pet Loss
If you’re at a loss on how to cope with pet loss, reach out to friends, family, or professionals that can help. Losing a family member is always tricky, so finding the best support structure when a loss happens is crucial to managing the grief.