The types and formats of traditional prayers vary across many cultures. However, they have a few things in common: blessings, intercessions, petitions, and gratitude for life. Below, you’ll discover ways to pray for a pet that is seriously ill or perhaps has recently been euthanized.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Christian Prayers for a Dying Pet
- Islamic Prayers for a Dying Pet
- Jewish Prayers for a Dying Pet
- Native American Prayers for a Dying Pet
- Buddhist Prayers for a Dying Pet
Many of us have come to understand the devotion and love of living with a small, beautiful creature. All the years and moments they kept you warm, gave you company, and made you laugh deserve the same attention and dedication, now, in their time of need.
Christian Prayers for a Dying Pet
Facing an illness with a pet such as a dog, cat, bird, or reptile can take a lot of courage and love. These once agile and comforting beings become vulnerable—and seemingly helpless. Read on for some ways to pray for them during their time of need.
1. “St. Francis Pray for Our Pets” from Catholicism
Many Catholics invoke the help of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals when seeking assistance from God in their recovery. He was born in the Late 12th Century and was venerated two years after his death.
2. Catholic prayer for a sick pet
“Heavenly Father, please help us in our time of need, You have made us stewards of [pet’s name] If it is Your will, please restore them to health and strength. I pray too for other animals in need…”
3. “Ecclesiastes 3:19-21” from Christianity
Here’s a familiar passage from Ecclesiastes reflecting on returning to dust, becoming one with the Earth. For those not familiar with Christianity, you may have heard the words “from dust to dust,” in a movie or TV show.
4. “A pet blessing” from Catholicism
On October 4, people celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. It can be a good time or reminder to ask for blessings for St. Francis for your cat or kitten no matter where they are.
5. “Prayer for the animals” from Lutheranism
Albert Schweitzer’s poem begins:
“We entreat for them all
your mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them
we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words…”
6. “Prayer in memory of a pet” from Catholicism
As fewer people have children, pet memorial ceremonies are becoming more and more common. There’s even a rise in pet death doulas or pet grief specialists in some capacity or other. You might request one of them to recite “Prayer in Memory of a Pet” at your beloved cat or kitten’s service.
7. Catholic “prayer for a pet in transition or about to die”
You might choose this prayer when you’re praying over a pet who is gravely ill but has not died. Often, a prayer that occurs during this time is seeking the mercy and love of God in hopes that the journey will be safe and loved once they arrive on the other side.
Islamic Prayers for a Dying Pet
Waiting to hear the results of a much-needed surgery keeps you on pins and needles until the veterinarian calls. While waiting, here are a few prayers to consider when meditating for the return of their health.
8. “Qur’an 42:29”
The archangel Gabriel recited words to Muhammad for all Muslims to hear, this creating the Qur’an. In it, you may find that 42:29 works well to bring comfort when you’re caring for a cat recovering from surgery.
“Among His proofs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creatures He spreads in them. He is able to summon them, when He wills.”
9. “Qur’an 22:18”
“Do you not realize that God prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people?”
10. Words from the Prophet Muhammad
The Prophet Muhammad was renowned for being a cat lover. Reportedly, his most beloved cat was named Muezza, which is why these words matter to all Muslim cat-lovers: “Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.”
11. “Qur’an 45:3-4”
In the Quran you can also find words such as, “The heavens and the earth are full of proofs for the believers. Also, in your creation, and the creation of all the animals, there are proofs for people who are certain.”
Jewish Prayers for a Pet Who Died
Saying goodbye is never easy. But by celebrating your beloved pet, whether through praying for them or finding other ways to commemorate their life such as building a pet memorial can help alleviate the pain you’re experiencing.
12. “Mourner’s Kaddish” from Judaism
The “Mourner’s Kaddish” is a series of hymns and prayers recited during the bereavement time. The original text is written in Aramaic, an ancient language developed by the common people who lived in the Middle East during the 11th century.
13. “Passing of a Beloved Pet” from Judaism
The poet and author Alden Solovy’s poem begins with loving words for a beloved pet.
“…You were more than a pet to me/us,
Becoming a member of my/our family,
Providing consolation in times of loss,
Giving me/us laughter and delight
And a sense of well-being,
Rich with memories,
Rich in love…”
14. “El Malei Rachamim” from Judaism
The “El Malei Rachamim'' is a prayer often recited at the graveside at a human’s funeral. Though typically reserved for human funerals, you can consider it an option when praying over the loss of a pet.
15. “Mi Shebeirach” from Judaism
The “Mi Shebeirach” is a Jewish prayer of healing. One that calls upon God for compassion, to restore health and strength, and to give vitality to their spirit.
16. “Hosea 2:19-21” from Judaism
In the Old Testament, you’ll find the verses in Hosea that speak to the mercy of those who devote and entrust their faith in God. God replies to His people that when the day arrives, His will not forsake His people. You can share this prayer and devotion for your cat as well.
Native American Prayers for a Dying Pet
When faced with the difficult decision of having a pet euthanized due to a long illness or pain, the words for the pain you feel may not be present. Here are some Native American prayers that can help soothe your pain as you say goodbye to your pet.
17. “A Chinook Prayer” from Native American Chinook
Chinook is a group of Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest, including the Clatsop and Kathlamet tribes from Oregon and Washington. Here is a reminder that humanity and the earth are intertwined.
“May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me,
God beyond me,
maker of the trees.”
18. Words spoken by Chief Dan George from Native American Coastal Salish, Tsleil-Waututh Tribe
“May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.”
19. “Prayer for Life” from Native American Tewa
“Our old women gods, we ask you!
Our old women gods, we ask you!
Then give us long life together,
May we live until our frosted hair is white;
May we live till then.
This life that now we know!”
20. “Only for a Short While” from Native American Aztec
“Oh, only for so short a while you
have loaned us to each other,
because we take form in your act of drawing us,
and we take life in your painting us,
and we breathe in your singing us…”
21. “Earth, Teach Me: from Native American Ute
“…Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.”
Buddhist Prayers for a Dying Pet
Sharing a deep respect for all beings is core to many religions, including Buddhism. If you’re looking for words from the Buddhist religion to share with a friend or loved one mourning the death of a pet, here are two prayers or mantras that can help.
22. Buddhist Mantra for a Bardo Ceremony
When pets die, according to the Buddhist faith, they may also go through the experience of Bardo. It is described as a state of mind halfway between life and death. To encourage them to move forward into their next life, or rebirth, you can repeat this mantra:
“Oh Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and the three times,
Please protect and guide (your animal’s name) on her journey.
May she be free from fear and clinging to this life.
May she have a favourite rebirth.”
23. “Amatsu Norito” from Shinto Buddhism
“…With all the respect from the depth of our hearts
We ask that they hear us, such as the spirit that hears our
intent, with sharpened ears, together with
Spirits of the Sky and the Land,
Take the badness, disasters and sins and purify all…”
Saying Goodbye to a Pet
Grieving the loss of a pet is as difficult as any other human loss, as you mourn the loss of a relationship and source of comfort that went both ways for you and your furry family member.
No matter your age, you may want to start thinking about who will care for your beloved pet after your death or in the event that you will not be around when they die. Consider making an emergency pet care fund or incorporating them into your own end-of-life planning. After all, a creature that is loved as much as they are deserves some peace of mind, too.
- Baseel, Casey. “Part of the family – Tokyo Shinto shrine's blessings for children now available for pets too.” SoraNews24, 3 September 2015, www.soranews24.com/2015/09/03/part-of-the-family-tokyo-shinto-shrines-blessings-for-children-now-available-for-pets-too/
- Parker, Emily. “Common Prayers for Dogs and Cats Who Are Lost, Sick, Injured, or Dying.” Catological, 17 September 2020, www.catological.com/common-pet-prayers/
- Putri, Nadhira. “What Do You Know About the Quintessential Muslim Pet?” HalalZilla, 5 July 2019, www.halalzilla.com/sunnah-blessings-of-cats-in-islam/89953
- Weiser-Alexander, Kathy. “Native American Proverbs and Wisdom.” Legends of America, April 2020, www.legendsofamerica.com/na-proverbs/
- Williams, Jonquil. “Prayers for Lost, Sick and Dying Pets.” Pet Prayers, Animal Healings, animalhealings.com/lost-pet-prayers.html
- “Four Basic Forms of Prayer.” The Cathedral of St. Thomas More, www.cathedralstm.org/about-our-catholic-faith/expressing-our-faith/four-basic-forms-prayer/
- “His Memory is a Blessing: The Loss of My Dog, Teddy.” Blog, Reform Judaism, 23 February 2017, reformjudaism.org/blog/his-memory-blessing-loss-my-dog-teddy
- “Native American Prayers.” Jesuitresource.org, Xavier University, www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/native-american
- “Native American Wisdom Quotes.” Pearls of Wisdom, www.sapphyr.net/natam/quotes-nativeamerican.htm
- “Prayers for Pets.” www.prayersforpets.org/
- “The Loss of A Beloved Pet.” Masjid Tucson, www.masjidtucson.org/God/animals/lossofapet.html