A pet’s death is one of the most difficult things pet owners face. Pets become like friends and members of the family. Saying goodbye to our gregarious, funny, quirky, outgoing animals is often incredibly difficult to do. Not only is it hard for you, but it’s also hard for the veterinarians who came to know and love your furry friend as well.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Steps for Writing a Thank You Note to Your Veterinarian After the Death of Your Pet
- Sample Thank You Letters to a Veterinarian
Veterinarians dedicate their lives to doing everything in their power to help your furry family member live up to their full potential. They train for years to understand how to keep them healthy, how to perform life-saving surgery, and how to supplement their nutrition so they can have the best possible shot at life.
When there’s nothing more than can do for your pet, it can be incredibly difficult for your veterinarian. When it comes to telling your beloved pet goodbye, remember your veterinarian. Even if your veterinarian didn’t see your pet for anything more than a yearly checkup, thank him for all the time and hard work he put into helping your pet stay healthy.
Steps for Writing a Thank You Note to Your Veterinarian After the Death of Your Pet
Writing a thank you note to vet after death might seem like a difficult task. However, if you follow the standard rules of thank you note etiquette and the steps listed here, you’ll do just fine.
Choose a card
The first step in this process is choosing the card you’ll write your note in. Regular thank you notes are often on the cheery side, so it could be beneficial to look for a thank you card that’s blank on the inside.
Match the tone and mood of your card with the reason why you’re giving them the note. This is to thank them for their years of helping your pet, so it should be meaningful but sober.
Address the recipient
For this thank you note, something you want to consider is how to address the veterinarian. You can use “Dear Dr. Name” if you desire. If you’re good friends with the vet and on a first-name basis, you can address the card and use “Dear First Name.”
If you’re writing the note from your pet’s perspective, then you’ll want to get a bit creative and address the card with a greeting such as, “To my favorite vet ever.”
Start your message of thanks
This is where note and letter writing gets tricky. Where do you start when your vet has helped you and your pet through ups and downs for so many years? How do you thank her for her hard work without it sounding trite or unfeeling?
If you need to figure out what you want to say, list out your thoughts on a separate sheet of paper. Make a list of bullet points of things you want to say. Circle the items you absolutely want to mention and cross off the items you decide to leave out. Keep the bulleted list with you as you start to write the letter.
Things to include in this section include:
- Gratitude for your vet’s expertise
- Thankfulness for working after hours
- Appreciation of your vet’s help during an emergency
- Acknowledgment of your vet’s own sense of loss over your pet
- Memories of happy visits at the vet’s office
Add a quote
You can include many pet loss quotes to further emphasize the points you made in your letter. If you don’t feel like being particularly wordy, a quote can also fill up extra space in your card.
Quotes are completely appropriate whether you begin or end your letter with them or place one somewhere in the middle of the card.
Mention other pets
If you have other pets that your vet will see on a continuing basis, state how thankful you are that they have a wonderful vet who loves and cares for them. Share your happiness as you have your pets under the vet’s care for the foreseeable future.
Include a picture
This is entirely optional. However, if you have a special picture of your pet or a picture of your pet and the veterinarian together, you might consider including it.
Pictures included in thank you notes usually get kept for life and end up cherished as a treasured memory.
Sign it for you and your pet
You can choose to sign your letter any way you desire, whether you conclude, “With love,” “With gratitude,” or “From your grateful furry friend.” Sign it on behalf of yourself and your deceased pet.
Choose a gift
If your vet was particularly close to your family and your pet, you might consider getting your vet a pet loss sympathy gift.
Your gift doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. You can give a number of inexpensive or DIY thank you gifts to your vet as a thank you for her years of helping your pet.
Pro tip: Instead of including a picture with your card, place the picture in an “in memory of” frame and give it to your vet.
Sample Thank You Letters to a Veterinarian
Writing a thank you letter brightens your veterinarian’s day and the process can help you cope with pet loss as well. Here are several ideas to help you get started.
Thank you letter to a veterinarian after the death of your dog
Dear Dr. Manning,
Thank you so much for your time, love, expertise, and care on behalf of my sweet Sprinkles. I don’t know where we would have been these years without your expert care, kindness, and understanding as we slogged through the hardships of canine cancer. No matter how difficult it got, I knew we could turn to you for help, answers, and advice. Our sweet little doggie was always so happy to see you, even when she wasn’t feeling well. It spoke volumes to me that she wagged her tail through every visit, even during her final days.
I know you also feel her absence just as much as we do, and I’m so sorry she had to say goodbye to her favorite veterinarian. We appreciate you and we’re grateful for you. We’re so thankful we get to continue seeing you when we bring in Sprinkles’ puppies. She still lives on in our hearts and minds. Thanks for all you do.
With gratitude and appreciation,
The Jennings Family, Sprinkles, and the puppies
Thank you letter to a veterinarian after the death of your cat
To Our Favorite Veterinarian:
I wish my reason for writing this was a happier one, but I had to say thank you all the same. Pixy was the light of our lives. She brought our family joy, laughter, love, and constant companionship. I had no idea cats could be so sweet, so loving, so loyal, and so lovable. It’s so hard to believe that she’s gone, that she’ll never wake us up in the morning with her meows or greet us when we bring the kids home from school. She’ll be in our hearts forever, as will you, our favorite vet. I’m so thankful we found you to look after and care for Pixy. She might have put up a fuss on the ride over, but she never once minded seeing you. Your gentle way with her impressed me from the very first visit we had. Pixy enjoyed seeing you, and our family did as well. The kids all want me to tell you that they’re glad you were Pixy’s friend. Thank you for loving our sweet girl and helping her live the best life she could.
Even though she’s gone, we’ll never forget her sweet presence. As Leo Dworken says, “No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat.” Pixy will always be with us in our hearts and memories.
We’ll miss getting to see you so regularly, but you can be sure we’ll see you again. The boys are already asking for another kitty — they want to name it Pixy Junior. Here’s hoping we’ll see you soon.
Thanks for everything,
Dave, Jenna, Josh, Jered, and Pixy Henderson
Thank you letter to a veterinarian on the death of another animal
You have been the most amazing vet and friend a person could ask for. I never thought I’d find someone to help my pet through the final years of her illness. You not only helped her — you helped me as well. Thank you for caring about your four-legged and winged patients and their parents. This year has been one of the most difficult as we learned we’d have to say goodbye to Rex. He was as fond of you as I was. He may not be here in body, but his spirit is still with us. I’m including my favorite picture I have of you and Rex together. I hope it brings a smile to your face.
Thank you for your years of love and dedication to Rex and our family.
Linda for Rex and the Jensen Family
Appreciating Your Pet’s Vet
A veterinarian selflessly dedicates near-endless hours to helping the pets under his care. Thank your veterinarian often for her dedication. When you say your final goodbye to your pet, let your vet know how grateful you are for everything she’s done.
If you're looking for more resources on what to do after a pet's death, read our guides on pet headstones and pet caskets.