Expressing Sympathy

Your best friend’s pet died, and although you are not a pet owner yourself, you wonder how to comfort them through their grief.  Expressing sympathy for pet loss is not as hard as it may seem.  There are many things you can do to help comfort your friend during this time, and to help them recover from their sadness so that they can begin healing.

Now more than ever before, people consider pets a member of the family.  They love their loyal companions, and even sometimes treat them as almost human.  Thankfully, there are several sympathy phrases for pet loss, so that your friend feels that you care.  Some people feel silly that they get so upset and saddened by the death of a pet, because other people don’t seem to get so attached to pets.  This is another reason to express your sympathy – pet loss is much more devastating to some individuals than others.

Sending a sympathy card to your friend is always a good idea, and now cards are being designed that are directed specifically for the owners of pets.  You can always write a special letter that includes your heartfelt sympathy, or craft a poem in remembrance of your friends beloved pet.

Pet cremation jewelry is another idea that is growing in popularity.  There are hundreds of styles and designs available.  This jewelry is designed to hold a small portion of the cremains or other memento, helping the bereaved feel that they have a special remembrance to keep with them always.  You may also want to consider garden stones to be placed as a memorial, or even pet themed picture frames so that your friend can display a favorite special photo.

There are several great sayings that have been penned to help you express sympathy for pet loss.  You may want to have one or more of these expressions imprinted inside a special card, or simply write them yourself:

No one loves you unconditionally as your beloved pet. – Cynthia S. Dobesh

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. – Author Unknown

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. – Helen Keller

Offering your sympathy for pet loss is a loving gesture toward your friend.  It gives them comfort, and helps them validate the loss and sadness they are feeling.  When you have a good friend that has lost a truly cherished pet, support them by giving something from your heart – sympathy.

Pets to Rest Blog


  1. Thanks for the good article. I believe that giving a card with a hand written note is one of the simplest and meaningful things that you can do for a friend that has lost a pet. As one of the reasons that pet loss can be so hard is that the grief is not acknowledge by other people unlike human deaths. So whenever you learn of friend who has lost a pet send a card.

  2. I always appreciate it when pet loss is validated publicly. As an animal chaplain, I work with people to help them prepare for, cope with and move on after pet loss. Frequently, people who have friends who are facing such an impending loss will reach out to me for advice on how to comfort these preemptively grieving friends. Often, they’ll give their friends a book about pet loss, with mine (“Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss”) one of many apt choices available. The true stories included in my book of afterlife connections we can have with both people and pets can give the bereaved pet parent comfort in the knowledge that their companion animal is merely gone in a physical sense. Knowing we can remain connected spiritually after their transition from this life can speed a grieving heart’s healing.

  3. What a wonderful article. Thanks a lot. Our family recently has had a tough run of losing pets. Our dog, Haggis, suffered from fear aggression and ultimately had to be put down. Our veterinarian sent us a wonderful card that also included a notice that a donation in Haggis’s honor was being presented to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary medicine. Also, when our pugs passed, a friend had two trees planted in their memories. Things like this made losing our dogs much easier to handle.

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