30 Loving Prayers for a Very Ill or Dying Pet

Updated

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:

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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.

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. Use this prayer on Catholic cards or eCards.

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 a Dying Pet Dog

Sometimes, the most comforting prayer for a dying pet will be one which mentions the specific type of pet that’s dying. Even if the prayer doesn’t mention the type of pet directly, it may still seem more appropriate for one animal than for others. 

For instance, you might be looking for a prayer for a dying pet dog. If so, consider the following options:

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16. “A Prayer to Be a Good Steward” from Christianity

Christians believe that God appointed humans with the responsibility of being good stewards over His creations. Thus, there are many versions of a “A Prayer to Be a Good Steward” in Christianity.

This specific version is a prayer to be a worthy caretaker for a sick dog. You can easily find it by Googling “Prayer to Be a Good Steward Dog.”

17. “Passing of a Beloved Pet” from Judaism

Again, Judaism doesn’t have any traditional prayers or rituals for the loss of a pet. However, Rabbis and Jewish scholars have stated that it’s acceptable and appropriate to find comfort in modern prayers and rituals that derive from traditional Jewish practices.

For example, liturgist Alden Solovy wrote “Passing of a Beloved Pet” to help practitioners of Judaism mourn dying pets. While it doesn’t mention dogs specifically, Solovy designed the prayer so that anyone can modify it to reference any animal they wish.

18. “Muslim Prayer for Peace” from Islam

Although Islam doesn’t offer many traditional prayers for dying pets, this prayer may be ideal for someone whose dog is ill or dying. It asks that Allah welcome all into a world of peace, something you may want for your dog as it passes away.

19. “Prayer of Good Over Evil, Light Over Dark” from Hinduism

A Hindu might choose to recite this prayer for a dying dog because it describes how those who act out of love can inspire others to do the same. While it doesn’t reference dogs directly, many feel that dogs play this inspirational role in their lives.

20. “Great Spirit Prayer” from Lakota Sioux Native Americans

The language in this Native American prayer can easily remind one of a dog. For example, a line such as “Make [...] my ears sharp to hear your voice” almost seems to describe a dog’s sharp sense of hearing, while metaphorically representing a dog’s loyalty.

The prayer also asks for strength in the face of all adversity. Naturally, you would hope your dying pet dog would feel this strength themselves.

21. “Golden Chain Prayer” from Buddhism

Like many traditional poems from virtually any religion, this one doesn’t reference a specific animal. However, it’s description of one who is “kind and gentle to every living thing and protects all who are weaker than ourselves” may evoke love for a dog that has been the embodiment of kindness throughout its life.

22. “Anima Christi” from Ignatian

This Ignatian prayer asks for God to call us back to Him when death is near. For some, this could be a perfect prayer for a dying pet dog, as loyal dogs are known to come running fast when their owners call for them.

Prayers for a Dying Pet Cat

Various world religions also offer prayers that could be helpful when a pet cat is dying. They may not be traditional prayers, or they may not mention cats specifically, but they might nevertheless offer peace during a difficult time. Examples include the following:

23. “Prayer for Sick Cat” from Christianity

This isn’t a traditional Christian prayer, but it reflects Christian beliefs, referring to Jesus as a “Great Physician.” Although the prayer does ask that Jesus heal a sick cat, it also expresses the faith that if a cat doesn’t overcome its illness, that is part of God’s plan.

24. “Perfect Resignation” from Ignatian

“Perfect Resignation” is a prayer that explains how God has a plan for all beings. Because of this, even if one is facing painful experiences, they can at least know that God meant for them to have such experiences. You might find peace in this notion if your pet cat is dying.

25. “Nature’s Course” from Taoism

Watching a beloved pet cat pass away can be a challenging experience for many reasons. One is the simple fact that we can’t know why an animal who brought us so much love must leave us, perhaps experiencing pain before doing so.

This prayer explains that all-natural occurrences are part of a grander design. It may bring comfort to a Taoist as their pet cat nears death.

26. “A Prayer Before Falling Asleep” from Protestantism

Technically, this prayer is about literally falling asleep. That said, because many equate death with sleep, and many pet cats seem to nap peacefully, it could bring some sense of closure to one watching a cat die.

27. “Guardian Angel Prayer” from Catholicism

Some like to imagine that when their pets die, they become guardian angels, ensuring they remain with them forever. Thus, this prayer might be ideal for a Catholic whose pet cat is near death.

28. “Psalm to Gaia” from Wicca/Paganism

“Psalm to Gaia” features language very similar to “Psalm 23,” which many Christians read or recite during funerals. The modified language reflects Wiccan beliefs, making it a perfect alternative for a Wiccan or Pagan whose pet cat is dying.

29. “February” by Margaret Atwood

This is a very unique entry on this list. It earns a spot because it fills a gap for those who don’t practice any particular religion.

Reports from many atheists, humanists, and agnostics indicate that they still sometimes find value in prayer. However, because they don’t necessarily believe in any god, they sometimes use poems or other such works instead of prayers. If you don’t practice a religion, but still want to pray for a dying cat, consider this Margaret Atwood poem.

30. “As We Live” from Judaism

The last prayer on this list is also the shortest. It consists of this single line: “As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us; as we remember them.” It may be simple, but it’s a beautiful prayer for a dying pet cat or any dying pet.

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.

If you're looking for other ways to care for your pet, read our articles on how to send a pet sympathy eCard and how to find affordable pet insurance.


Sources

  1. Offel, Janet. “When a Beloved Pet Dies.” Kalsman Institute on Judaism & Health, kalsman.huc.edu.
  2. “Prayer Index.” jesuitresource.org, Xavier University, xavier.edu.

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