Understanding Pet Sympathy

Acknowledging the death of a pet is becoming more commonplace in today’s society as family and friends have learned to respond to an animal’s death with sympathy and compassion. To many, these pets were constant companions and their loss is felt just as deep as if a family member died.

The best way to honor a family animal that died is through pet condolence sentiments, cards, or gifts. These expressions allow others to show how important the pets were to everyone around them. Even if you aren’t an animal lover, you can still be understanding of your pet parents feelings about their pet.

Recognizing a Pet’s Death

Some people feel when a pet dies, you can simply go to the pet store and purchase another; after all, it’s just an animal. However, this attitude doesn’t sit well with most owners because their pet, be it a dog or ferret, is one of the family and is treated as such. This train of thought is carried over to when the animal passes away. Instead of a quick burial in a shoebox behind the garage, some owners take the more sentimental route and have a pet funeral and burial, complete with a casket, funeral program, and headstone. As a friend or family member, your job is to lend non-judgmental pet sympathy to the pet parent. Even if you think he or she is being extreme with the burial arrangements, you need to remember this pet was a large part of his or her life and will be greatly missed. Offer condolences and support, but don’t offer an opinion if it will cause more grief.

Types of Pet Sympathy Sentiments

A great way to honor the death of a pet may be through a small but significant gesture such as:

Sympathy Card or note

A card, short note, or letter is suitable to send when a pet dies. You don’t need to say a lot, but let them know he or she is in your thoughts. You can purchase a pet sympathy card from the store and add a few words, or a blank card with a calming image on the front. You can then say what you want. Remember to keep your friend or family member’s feelings in mind and don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to hear if someone close to you died.

Thoughtful gift

Nowadays, there are numerous types of pet sympathy gifts on the market, most of which would be proper to give. You can get a framed picture of animal, various pieces of jewelry with charms related to the pet, an engraved garden marker, or even simple wind chimes that will remind your pet parent of his or her animal every time they make music.

Act of kindness

If you don’t know what to buy or say to your friend, you can make a donation to the local animal shelter or have a tree planted in the animal’s memory. You can also just come over and help out with household chores, yard work or grocery shopping. There are many things you can do to offer support during this difficult time.

Allow Time for Grieving

Grieving for a pet is similar to mourning a family member or close friend’s death. The pet parent needs time to live his or her life without their companion. Be respectful and allow time for this to occur.