Pets can be among life's most wonderful companions. Unfortunately, while we might wish we could keep our pets with us forever, they do eventually pass away. There may also be times when they’re very sick, and even though they could potentially recover, we understandably find it difficult to cope with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they will. We also simply wish they didn’t have to go through such pain.
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These are never easy experiences. However, if you’re a religious person, reciting a prayer for a dying pet can give you some comfort, the same way funeral prayers help mourners cope with the passing of loved ones.
Consider these examples from various world religions. Whether you’re trying to find the right prayer for a dying pet or simply a prayer of healing for a sick pet, one of these may help you find peace.
Prayers for a Very Sick Pet
No matter your religion, finding a prayer for a sick pet can be relatively easy, as most religions have several prayers for healing. The following are just a few examples to keep in mind:
1. “A Jewish Prayer for Peace” from Judaism
The author of this Jewish prayer may be unknown, but the author undeniably managed to craft an inspirational prayer that uses metaphors like rising “up to the mountain of the Lord” to capture a triumphant feeling of overcoming difficulty and finding peace. This makes it a perfect prayer for a pet you hope will overcome an illness.
2. “A Hindu Peace Prayer” from Hinduism
Watching a pet struggle with an illness can be a very painful experience. No one wants to see a beloved companion in pain.
If your pet is currently ill, you may want to recite this Hindu prayer. Its line, “I desire only the deliverance from grief of all those afflicted by misery” perfectly sums up the way many feel when their pets are sick.
(Note: This specific prayer comes from the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. Keep that in mind when searching for it, as you might otherwise find a range of Hindu peace prayers.)
3. “Save Your Servant” from Taoism
This isn’t a traditional Taoist prayer. It’s a contemporary prayer with roots in Taoist principles and beliefs. However, because it asks the “Sustainer of Life” to save one from “too early a death,” it’s easy to understand why many Taoists may turn to it when a pet is sick.
Understanding “the wisdom of the Tao” is useful during times when a pet is ill because it could help you accept this painful situation with a sense of peace, instead of wishing you could control it.
4. “Prayer for Life” from Tewa Native Americans
This is a short but joyful prayer that involves asking the “old women gods” to grant a long life. Its uplifting tone could make it an ideal choice if you’re looking for a prayer for a sick pet that can help you focus on optimism and positivity during what could otherwise be a challenging time.
5. “Prayer for Healing” from Islam
A prayer for a dying or sick pet doesn’t need to be long to be meaningful. Consider this example from Islam, which asks Allah to offer healing in a mere two sentences and still conveys its intended message.
6. “Traditional Prayer” from Buddhism
Although Buddhism doesn’t have any common prayers that specifically focus on wishing for a sick pet’s health, the well-known traditional Buddhist prayer, which includes such lines as “May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness; may all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow” is a perfect option to recite when a pet is ill. It’s a short prayer that involves asking for all living beings to enjoy peace and comfort.
7. “Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi for Sick Animals” from Catholicism
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals in Catholicism. It makes sense that Catholics often pray to him when their beloved pets are very ill.
In this short prayer, which most Catholics typically refer to either by the title listed here or a very similar title, involves briefly asking St. Francis to restore a sick animal to health if it’s his will to do so.
Prayers for a Dying Pet
Prayers for a dying pet or prayers for the loss of a pet can’t bring a pet back. However, as these examples make clear, they can at least help you cope with your emotions in a positive way.
8. “Prayer for Serenity” from Protestantism
This common prayer can serve many purposes. That said, it may be particularly meaningful as a prayer for a dying pet for two key reasons.
One, it asks God to grant a feeling of acceptance and serenity, which you may naturally struggle to feel when you’re watching a pet die. Two, it asks that God allow you to be “reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy” in the next. In this context, such lines could help you affirm the belief that you might one day reunite with your pet in heaven.
9. “Prayer of St. Dominic” from Catholicism
This is a simple prayer that’s very comforting if, for instance, you’re coping with an unexpected pet loss.
It involves asking the angel of peace to watch over you in life, and to one day bring you (and, potentially, your beloved pets) to heaven.
10. “Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni” from Buddhism
When a pet is dying, most of us wish for its suffering to end. Some might also find some comfort in the idea that after a pet passes, the pet will find happiness in the next life.
With such lines as “May all suffering quickly cease and all happiness and joy be fulfilled,” this prayer expresses such feelings beautifully. Like many Buddhist prayers, it also involves asking for peace and wisdom, something you may need as you mourn a pet.
11. “God’s Garden” from Islam
This “prayer” is technically a work by the Muslim poet Rumi. However, many now use it as a prayer. It describes the paradise of God’s garden, evoking the image of a happy and peaceful land to which your dying pet travels.
12. “Disciples of Life” from Taoism
“Disciples of Life” is a popular meditation on death in Taoism. Its wisdom can help you accept the cycle of life as you watch a pet’s life end.
13. “A Prayer of Love” from Hinduism
As with many of the entries on this list, this Hindu selection is a comforting prayer for a dying pet because, rather than focusing on feelings of loss and grief, it highlights faith in the idea that there is a happy afterlife beyond our current existence, the kind of afterlife where maybe even your pet can experience eternal joy.
14. “Only for a Short While” from Aztec Native Americans
This Aztec prayer may help bring you some peace if a pet is dying or has recently died. It focuses on understanding that all living things eventually die and that accepting this truth can help us better appreciate the time we do have.
15. “Ritual for the Loss of a Pet” from Judaism
There are no specific prayers for dying pets in traditional Judaism due to the belief that God gave humans a unique soul that animals don’t share. However, some Jewish scholars and leaders have assembled rituals for mourning pets, which often include general prayers.
For example, the “Ritual for the Loss of a Pet,” which Jewish veterinarian Ruth E. Chodrow first introduced, begins with Psalm 36 6:7. You could simply recite the psalm after a pet dies, or perform the entire ritual, which also involves reading several passages from the Torah.
Prayers for Dying or Ill Pets: Finding Peace in Tough Times
Once more, although losing a pet is never easy, there are steps you can take to work through your emotions and find peace of mind.
They may include sharing your feelings with friends who’ve been through this experience before, reading books about losing a pet, and, as these examples illustrate, praying.
- Offel, Janet. “When a Beloved Pet Dies.” Kalsman Institute on Judaism & Health, kalsman.huc.edu/articles/Offel_WhenABelovedPetDies.pdf
- “Prayer Index.” jesuitresource.org, Xavier University, www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/index