What do I say when a friend is grieving over the death of a pet?

Kerry from Mesquite wrote to me with the following question:

One of my co-workers recently had to put their dog down.  I am a dog owner but most of the other people in our office are not. They are not being very sensitive to her loss.  Is there an accepted etiquette for condolences when it comes to the loss of a pet?

Dear Kerry,

What a wonderful question.  We all know someone at some point who grieves over the loss of a pet.  We go through the same grieving process with the death of a dog or cat that we do with the loss of a friend or family member.  Although our grief over the loss of a family member is greater, our lives are still impacted when we loose a pet.

Here are a tips that I hope will help:

-Even if you don’t have a pet or are not an animal lover, it is important to remember that your friend or co-worker who lost their pet will feel a void in their life.  Be respectful of the love they had for their pet and send them a note of condolence or a card.  Have patience with them while they grieve.

-Remember that their daily lives will be altered and they will go through an adjustment period.  Imagine going home to an empty house at the end of the day instead of being greeted by a wagging tail and unconditional love.

-Consider sending flowers or making a donation to an animal charity in honor of your friend.  The gesture will surly make them feel that you understand their loss.

1 Comment

  1. Kelley on March 17, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Such great suggestions. I'm a pet owner and do not have human children of my own. Pets are the closest things we have to our own human children. Great advise to treat this lose so seriously! XO!

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