Expressing Feelings For A Friend Losing A Pet

What To Say (And Not Say) To Someone Who Has Just Lost His Dog


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June 24, 2013

Things not to say to a owner who lost his dog.  Losing a dog can be one of the most devastating events in a dog lover’s life.

When this happens to someone that you care about, you have to step up to make sure that they are receiving comfort and support. This is also a sensitive time, and one has to be careful of what he says, as it can really come out hurtful and even offensive. We understand how difficult it can be to find the right words, so we thought we would help you by giving good examples of things to say, and not say!

  1. “I’m sorry for your loss” – words like these, and others that offer sympathy are a great thing to say to someone going through a situation like this. We know that these are the things that one would say to someone who has lost a human, but they are still perfectly appropriate to say to someone who regarded his dog very, very highly.   As long as you offer words of sympathy, you should be okay.
  2. He was such a great dog, and you really did make him (her) very happy – Dog lovers will always look back on the great memories that they shared with their furry friend, and it can really be comforting to hear someone else acknowledge that yes, they did have great times together. Another thing that the dog owner may be wondering about at this time was the kind of life he gave his dog. Did he treat him right? Did he give him comfort? To have someone affirm that the dog did have a very good life will really put the dog lover’s mind, and heart, at ease.
  3. It’s okay to feel sad – Dog lovers may feel so much grief over the loss of their pet, but may be hesitant to express it, just because there may be other people who think that grieving for pets is strange or weird. Do let your friend know that you are not one of those people, and that he is very free to grieve about his loss with you. This kind of acceptance will really be very appreciated, as it can be exhausting for someone who is experiencing such a great loss to pretend that he is doing okay.
  4. Don’t say “it was just a dog” – This is probably the worst thing that you can say to a dog lover. To you, and maybe to other people, the person’s pet was “just” a dog, but to him, it was so much more. Dogs are friends, companions and even confidants. It is hard to explain the beautiful relationship between a dog and his owner, but it is never a good idea to trivialize it. When you say something like that, you could be offending your friend, and that is the last thing that he needs, especially at this terrible time.

Courtesy of Sam Briones,  a freelance writer and also contributes at Technovate Translations

This article was originally posted and shared by Dog Culture