Comforting Someone Experiencing Pet Loss

Comforting a Loved One

When your friend or loved one loses a pet, it can be a traumatic and hugely upsetting time in their lives. It can be tricky to know what to do or say to someone you love when they are grieving, but there are a few simple things you can do to show that you care and will be a great comfort to them.

Make the First Move

The first most important thing to do is to reach out to them straight away. You may be worried about saying the wrong thing but the worst thing you can do is say nothing at all. It can be as simple as offering your condolences. A good way to reach out to them is by sending a sympathy card, or simply picking up the phone. If you are unsure what type of person they are with their grief, letting them know that you’re there when they’re ready is a good start. Whether they are someone who needs a little time alone, or they need comfort and a shoulder to cry on, making the first move and allowing them to respond in their own way is often the best option. Some people might cancel plans and withdraw a little when grieving, but don’t take it personally or get frustrated with them. They need you to be understanding in that moment.


When your friend is ready to talk, they will want a listening ear. They won’t want to hear that they will soon be over their loss or that they should get another pet, as this is not only insensitive, but it also dismisses their feelings. They will want to feel validated in how they feel. Losing a pet can very much feel like losing a human being and you will need to be understanding of this. Your friend may want to talk about the memories they have of their pet, or what they miss about them. The most important thing here is to listen. Talking about your own experiences might not be what they need right now. Some may find solace in hearing other people’s stories, others might just want to think about their own pet in that time.

Be Thoughtful

Offering help to remember your loved one’s pet can be an extremely thoughtful way of being there for them. Gifting them a tree or shrub to plant in their memory could be a touching tribute, or a memorial item such as a personalised photo frame or candle holder to help them remember their pet. You could also offer to help them arrange a pet funeral if this is something they want. Helping them navigate through the options available such as burial or cremation, pet coffins or pet ashes caskets could really take the pressure off during a distressing time.

Practical Help

Practical help is always appreciated. Helping your friend by taking round a cooked meal, bringing their washing in or simply driving them to their appointment is a physical way of supporting your loved one. Simple acts that will help them in everyday life can show you care, especially when that person may not feel like taking good care of themselves when they are feeling low. It could be that the practical help is even clearing out their pet’s toys and bedding if they don’t want the constant reminder, but don’t feel up to doing it themselves.


After some time has passed, your friend may need some distraction to what they are feeling. They may be lonely without their companion that is normally always by their side. Taking them out for the day to do their favourite thing could be really beneficial for their mental health. Even just getting them out of the house for some fresh air and a walk may make them feel a little better. Exercise has always had a positive impact on mental health.


Being a supporting friend won’t take away their grief or pain, but it can make things a little easier for them. Knowing they have someone there for them during difficult times will bring them comfort and will only deepen your relationship.