What NOT To Say To Someone Who’s Just Lost a Pet

“Are you really going to spend the money to have [him/her] cremated?”

If you’re not a pet parent, you perhaps don’t fully understand the tragedy of losing an animal so near and dear. And, just as with the passing of people, everyone has their own desires on how to handle the service. It is insensitive not to respect someone’s wishes to have an intimate funeral-type celebration for a beloved pet.

“Well at least you have other pets.”

Since each pet is a unique part of the family, they also bring something unique into our lives. You wouldn’t try to make a parent who’s lost a child feel better by saying, “at least you have other kids.”

“Come’on, it was just a cat (or dog, rabbit, bird, etc…)”

If you’ve never been a pet parent, you may not understand the profound love that animal lovers have for their pets. They aren’t looked on as property, but rather a part of the family. For many, they are like children; creatures that fur-parents do everything for, and loved for many years.

“He was really old; it was just his time and it’s for the best.”

While there is some comfort in the fact a pet had lived a long, great life, that also means that pet parents shared a long time of memories, which makes his death more profound. That’s not to say that the passing of a younger pet is easier. There really is not a good time to lose a beloved family member.

“When are you getting another pet?”

Saying this suggests that your beloved pet is easily replaceable, like a broken piece of furniture. Pet lovers view animals as children, or at least part of their family, so to imply that they can just get a “new one” is not thoughtful. Conversely, realize that everyone grieves in his or her own way so while some will want to welcome a new animal into the family quickly, others will need to time to mourn. It still doesn’t mean the pet is being replaced. There’s no right way to mourn or move forward.

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