How to Write a Pet Sympathy Card for Dogs, Cats and More


Friends, companions, and soul mates come in all shapes and sizes. Dogs often become exercise adventurers or couch potato partners. Birds, which may live decades, echo daily songs throughout homes. Rabbits relieve stress and foster childhood nostalgia. Even saltwater fish delight with their bold colors and magical midnight swims. Pets may also become travel buddies, adding to a sense of independence and security. Sometimes, pets of all kinds can help fill the space left by children or partners gone-too-soon. 

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Whatever your connection, pets help us feel a little less lonely. And when our animal friends pass, it can be just as hard as losing a sibling. Below is a list of messages you might use to help someone along who recently suffered the loss of a beloved pet. But before that, here are some things to think about when writing a pet sympathy card.

How to Write a Pet Sympathy Card Message 

Condolences are a lot less complicated than you may think. You don’t need to love rabbits or frogs to show love to someone who is grieving. Friends, companions, and soul mates are as varied as we are. Yet, you may want to keep in mind a few considerations as you write your sympathy message.

First, consider the type of animal lost. Then, take a moment to imagine how that pet was part of daily life. What was their day-to-day impact? What kind of relationship did the owner and pet have? Did they take trips to the beach with their hamster? Buy or make Halloween costumes for their iguana? Imagine the impact now that their beloved pet is gone.

  • A cat may have a favorite spot on the sofa or seat at the table. 
  • A dog might have been a first or favorite service animal.
  • A tortoise might have an elaborate aquarium with a beautiful but expensive ecosystem. 
  • A pot-bellied pig may have been a time-consuming rescue animal.  

Before you decide on what else to say to someone who lost their pet, you’ll want to consider your relationship with the pet owner, too. Are they an acquaintance at work or a really good friend?

  • Has your brother lost the dog who came home with him from military deployment? 
  • Did your coworker take a day off from work to grieve the loss of their old tortoise? 
  • Perhaps you and your partner are experiencing loss for the first time together.  
  • Was your elderly neighbor caring for a cat ever since her husband passed away? 

A simple card might be suitable for the person who is more of an acquaintance or neighbor. But an email would be inappropriate if they're a dear friend or family member. If you have a photo, they’d likely appreciate the sentiment. Consider these details when you begin to draft your sympathy card, then have a look at some of our suggestions below.

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» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

Pet Sympathy Card Message Ideas

Whether your friend or loved one cherished a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a bird, a reptile, or any other animal, their grief is real. Love for animals speaks for a person’s moral character, patience, and devotion.

For a dog

Dogs have been part of our lives for 7,000 years. It’s no wonder they know us better than we know ourselves. For some, dogs fill the void of children. For others, dogs help complete tasks and secure their independence.

     1. If we had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. [Partner], no matter how sad we are today, I am so glad we got to spend all those years with [name] together.

     2. [Sibling], I am going to miss [pet’s name] so much. I know how much s/he meant to you and just how much you loved [name]. I did, too. 

     3. [Coworker], I wanted to express my deepest sympathy for your loss of sweet [name]. I saw how much you loved him/her. It’s obvious that s/he was your constant companion. 

     4. Dear [neighbor], we wanted to let you know how sorry we are that we won’t get to see our favorite four-legged friend again. If there’s anything we can do, please let us know.

     5. “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” — Josh Billings

For a cat

A cat’s life is like a series of long conversations held between sunlit baths and holiday memories. Cats choose to share all of those moments with a particular and special human.

     6. “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” Jean Cocteau

     7. For a partner: Loving [name] with you is worth being sad for hundreds of years. I know you feel the same.

     8. [Parent], I’m so sorry [name] is gone. Home won’t be the same without her/him — Sending you my love.

     9. Dear [neighbor], We are so sorry to hear about [name]. We know how important s/he became these last few years. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know. 

     10. For a friend: [name] was such an awesome little cat. You were lucky to have each other.

» MORE: It's time to focus on what really matters. Use these tools to help.

For a bird

A bird possesses an honest song, an unapologetic flair, and an unbridled charm. For being so small, they carry an immense capability for affection and devotion. 

     11. I remember that you said that there was nothing you loved more than birdsong in the morning. I am so sorry you lost your [species + name], and I hope her/his song lives on in your heart.

     12. [Friend], I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved [species and name]. Wings of many kinds call us to live significantly. No doubt, [name] held significance to you.

     13. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” Maya Angelou

     14. I am sorry to hear about the departure of your daily reminder to live in complete and resonant joy. [Name] had the most perfect little warble.

     15. Birds make us dream of being able to fly. If I can wish anything for you in your time of sadness, it is to be able to hold on to that magic.

For a rabbit

Rabbits represent everything beautiful about childhood. If your friend or loved one has recently lost their rabbit, they are probably connecting that loss with something intrinsic to their youth.

     16. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your special friend, [name]. I hope that you find comfort in knowing what an amazing life you made for her/him.

     17. I know you would rather cry for months than never to have met [name]. But that’s who you are—a loving and caring human with a heart bigger than the world.

     18. Do you remember how happy and excited you were when you first adopted [name]? I hope that same joy lifts you up and carries you through your sadness.

     19. Fate brought you together. You were meant to know [name]. Nothing will ever take those memories away from you. Not even this.

     20. Do you remember when you said that your goal in life was to make a difference somewhere to someone? You did that for [name].

For a reptile

Reptiles, like the tortoise, represent stages in the evolution of Earth. Caretakers of these beautiful creatures understand their valuable, salient history. 

     21. “The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” Charles Darwin

     22. We are deeply saddened by your loss of [name]. We hope your fondest memories of [name’s] life will help you through your sorrow.

     23. I hope you find solace in knowing you cared for an animal that deserves as much love and praise as is given to furry friends in life.

     24. Saying goodbye is heartbreaking. But saying I’ll see you again is cosmic. I am sorry you’re hurting, but I know you’ll see each other again.

     25. When I think about all the times you would race home to see [name], it made me happy for your friendship and love. I hope that love stays with you forever.

» MORE: Your family has 500 hours of work to do after you die. Learn how you can make it easier for them

For other types of animals

Whether the animal has scales, feathers, skin, or fur, they are marvelous and deserving of love. Cecil Frances Alexander's poem said it best: "All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all…"

     26. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi

     27. I hope wherever [name] is, that there are belly rubs and special treats all day long.

     28. I remember the first day you brought [name] home with you. S/he was so fragile and scared. Then, with a little love, [name] blossomed. Every moment with her/him was worth it. 

     29. [Name] couldn’t have been a more perfect [species] for you. Sometimes I used to wonder how they got such a big heart into that tiny little body.

     30. I see you. And I see your pain. [Name] was a glorious [species.] I’m here for you.

Offer Meaningful Pet Condolences

Loss of any loved one carves deep crevices in the heart. Filling that void with kindness is the best gift you can give to someone in mourning. 


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