15 Short Poems About Putting Down Your Dog


Are you struggling to know what to say to a friend who had to euthanize a dog? Why not rely on a poet’s words to give your friend peace? 

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Read poems about putting down a dog. Consider searching for one of these poignant poems and posting it on your friend’s social media page. You may even want to print out a decorative copy of the poem and give it to your friend as a gift.

Established, famous poets wrote some of these poems, and dog owners wrote the others. 

Poems About Saying Goodbye to Your Dog

Poems About Saying Goodbye to Your Dog

The moment before you say goodbye to your pet may be excruciating. Even though you are doing what is best for the animal, it’s hard to know that your dog won’t follow you when you leave the vet’s office. 

Here are some poems to help you as you face this challenging moment in life.

1. “The Last Battle” by Unknown

This poem is perfect for someone who is struggling with the decision as to whether or not it is time to euthanize a pet. It is written from the dog’s perspective. 

One stanza begins, “Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.”

This poem may also be found under other titles, such as “If It Should Be” or “A Pet’s Prayer.”

2. “Four Feet” by Rudyard Kipling

This bittersweet poem is about a person missing his canine companion. It begins, “I have done mostly like most men do, and pushed it out of my mind; but I can’t forget if I wanted to, Four-Feet trotting behind.”

Rudyard Kipling also wrote “The Jungle Book.”

3. “They Will Not Go Quietly” by Unknown

If you recently lost a pet, you probably feel the loss every time you walk through the door and your pet isn’t here. A poet describes this painful feeling: 

“Old habits still can make us think we hear them at the door. Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.”

4. “Rainbow Bridge” by Paul C. Dahm

It’s not clear who wrote the “Rainbow Bridge” poem. Regardless of which version you enjoy, the concept of the rainbow bridge gives many people comfort as they experience losing a beloved pet. 

5. “I Walk With You” by Unknown

Do you feel as if your pet is still part of your life? Are you awakened by the sound of a familiar bark off in the distance, or do you feel the brush of a tail as you sit in your favorite chair? If so, you will connect with this poem. 

Sad Poems About Putting Your Dog Down

Sad Poems About Putting Your Dog Down

Sometimes a child’s first experience with death comes when they have to say goodbye to a canine friend. If you are struggling to tell a child about putting your dog down, you may look for children’s books written about the subject. Consider sharing these poems so your child knows it’s okay to suffer when a pet dies.

» MORE: Create a free online memorial. Honor your loved one, share funeral details, and collect memories and tributes.

6. “To A Dog Injured in the Street” William Carlos Williams

In this poem, the speaker thinks back on all the animals he has seen in pain and the “power of beauty to right all wrongs.”

Williams was a prolific poet who also had a long career practicing medicine.

7. “A Little Dog Angel” by Noah M. Holland

A dog waits for his master to join him in heaven in this poem. The dog angel refuses to go through the gates without his companion, so he waits for the old man to die.

8. “I’ll Meet You in the Light” by Maureen Bauer

You can read so many poems similar to “I’ll Meet You in the Light.” Each one describes how a pet awaits the death of its master before entering into heaven. Even though each poem describes a similar scene, you may find one that speaks to you more than others.

9. “Geist’s Grave” by Matthew Arnold

You can tell that poet Matthew Arnold loves dogs. He describes having to say goodbye to his pet Geist after only four years. His description of the dog and his sadness over the loss are very touching. 

“That liquid, melancholy eye,
From whose pathetic, soul-fed springs
Seem’d urging the Virgilian cry,
The sense of tears in mortal things —”

10. “Epitaph to a Dog” by Lord Byron

Lord Byron’s beloved dog died of rabies. To commemorate the life of his dog, he had a large monument built. This monument ended up being larger than the eventual headstone that marked Lord Byron’s own grave.

Uplifting Poems About Putting Your Dog Down

Uplifting Poems About Putting Your Dog Down

Finding the right type of pet sympathy gift may be difficult. The dog statues and ornaments may depict specific breeds instead of the shape of your friend’s beloved mutt. You may wonder if your friend would appreciate a meal or pet loss sympathy flowers

As you ponder the right way to commemorate the animal’s passing, consider sharing a poem with a friend by texting one of these poems to a friend.

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11. “To Flush, My Dog” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Most of the poems on our list are written by pet owners who are trying to express their sadness over the loss of a pet. Browning, on the other hand, was a famous Victorian-era poet who wrote about her cocker spaniel.

It includes the lines,

“Loving friend, the gift of one,
Who, her own true faith, hath run,
Through thy lower nature;
Be my benediction said
With my hand upon thy head,
Gentle fellow-creature!”

12. “A Popular Personage at Home” by Thomas Hardy

A dog named Wessex is the speaker in this Thomas Hardy poem. This poem proves that people have been wondering what their dogs think about long before the current era. Wessex describes a typical day in the poem:

“‘Along the path, amid the grass
I sniff, and find out rarest smells
For rolling over as I pass
The open fields toward the dells.”

13. “If It Should Be” by Wendy Van de Poll 

Even though this is a poem about having to euthanize a dog, the tone reassures the reader that they did the right thing. The ending stanza is especially poignant. 

“Please do not grieve that it was you
That had this painful thing to do.
We’ve been so close, we two, through the years;
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.”

14. “Paw Prints in the Sand” by Unknown

Did you enjoy a walk on the beach each day with your furry friend? If so, you’ll connect with this poem. The speaker in the poem describes being woken up each day by his dog to a walk on the beach.

15. “A Bridge Called Love” by Unknown

Even though this poem is not explicitly about the loss of a pet, the imagery of the bridge is reminiscent of the rainbow bridge.

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Saying goodbye to a dog is difficult, no matter the situation. Hopefully, some of these words will bring you solace as you suffer the loss of your companion.

If you feel that you need additional support as you grieve the loss of your dog, consider reaching out to a pet loss support group. Many online groups have trained grief counselors. Some are conversation boards that can be posted on at all hours of the day, while other groups meet at certain times throughout the week.

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