Believing in heaven or an afterlife doesn’t erase the intense pain of a dog or cat’s death, but it can help. These prayers for pet loss will comfort and help owners cope with the death of their dogs or cats.
“No one can say how long we will mourn pet loss,” writes Gary Kowalski in Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet. “Grieving may commonly be measured in days or weeks, but it can be months, or even longer. Many people report feeling ‘choked up’ by the memory of a beloved pet years after the animal is gone.”
With great love comes great suffering. Yes, it’s true that the pain of pet loss can last for years – but there are things you can do to make surviving the loss of a family pet easier. One of those things is holding on to the hope that your beloved pet dog or cat is resting in peace in heaven – or whatever golden afterlife you envision – watching you with love and peace. In this article, you’ll find comforting prayers, encouragements, and suggestions for saying goodbye after the loss of a pet.
Comforting Prayers for the Loss of a Pet Dog or Cat
God doesn’t take away our pain – but He does help us walk through it.
Father in Heaven,
Bring comfort and healing to those who are mourning the deaths of their beloved pets. You know their pain, for you lost your own beloved son. You know the depth of sadness and grief your children feel when they lose a dog or cat who was so dear, near, and special to them. You know the emptiness of a home that no longer has that furry little (or big!) creature; you know the emptiness of a heart that longs for the comforting touch of a beloved cat or dog.
I thank you for the gift of our pets, for the love these creatures give us, for the life that they offer, and for the chance to love them like we love nothing and nobody else on earth.
I pray for comfort, peace, and healing as we let go of the cats and dogs that we loved so dearly.
Understand the depth and width of pet loss
Why is the death of a cat or dog so devastating? Because our pets bring us a depth of companionship and love that nothing else on earth offers.
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“Our relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than our human relationships, if for no other reason than dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback,” writes Frank McAndrew in Rover: Getting Over Rover: Why Our Grief Over a Dog Is So Intense on the Psychology Today website. “Interacting with dogs makes us feel good, and just looking at them can make us smile. Dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and, on average, they are happier than people who own cats and those who own no pets at all.”
The loss of a cat or dog is painful because we are not losing just one pet; we actually experience multiple losses at the same time. We may be losing our primary companion, a source of unconditional love, a “life witness” who provides security and comfort to us, a best friend, a link to ourselves, and even a part of who we were and are and hope to be.
The loss of a pet cat or dog dramatically changes your daily life at home and in the neighborhood. Pet loss is even more profound than the loss of most friends and relatives, because of the extreme and sometimes sudden changes in lifestyle and routine.
“If I only I would’ve known my dog was that sick, I would have taken him to the veterinarian sooner,” say some readers on differently,” say some readers on How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Beloved Dog.
Loving pet owners almost always feel guilt and regret after their dogs or cats die. They tell themselves they could have held on longer, given more mediation, tried one more tactic to avoid death…but the truth is that a dog or cat’s life is finite.
There is no value in replaying the “if only” scenarios when you’re coping the loss of a family pet. Instead of looking back at the “if onlys”, focus on saying good-bye to your dog or cat — perhaps with a pet memorial service or a celebration of life. Say prayers that honor your dog or cat’s life and memory, and ask for peace, healing, and self-forgiveness.
Remember that God is in control – and He loves you deeply. Your life – and your pet’s death – unfolded not because He wasn’t looking, but because it was time to say goodbye.
Plan a memorial service or “celebration of life” for your pet
“A pet loss memorial service can be solitary, or friends and family may also gather in farewell,” writes Kowalski in Goodbye, Friend. “Coming to terms with the death may be especially difficult for those who lack the chance to say a personal goodbye.”
Memorials can include a period of silence, a brief time for sharing, a eulogy, reading, prayer. Acknowledge loss and honor your memories. Express hope for the future, with an affirmation of life ahead. Focusing on what Heaven means to you and your pet is a spiritual way to survive pet loss for many mourning pet owners.
A prayer for a pet loss memorial service
Thank you for the gift of pets. You blessed us with the existence of this dog in our hearts and home for 10 years. You brought this dog to us; You brought life, joy, love, companionship, laughter, and comfort to us through this dog. He loved us unconditionally, and You loved us unconditionally through this pet. Thank you for this experience, this life we had together. Thank You for giving us this gift and blessing. It was a short life, but it was deep.
We lift our beloved pet to You now. We lift her spirit, her heart and soul and dear little body to You. We know You love this pet dearly, and You are watching over us now. We know You care, and Your heart aches just as ours do. We pray for the loss of our pet, and we give You our grief and pain. We bow before you in humble adoration, and we lift our broken hearts to You.
We trust You with a childlike faith, Father, and we know our pet is safe in Your arms. We love you with innocent hearts, and we know You will take good care of our pets now and forevermore.
Until we meet again, our pets rest safely in Your arms and our hearts.
Rest – for it is God’s gift to you
Give yourself the gift of rest. You have lots of time to learn how to live without your pet dog or cat. After the shock and grief of pet loss, you may feel exhausted and drained. All you want to do is sleep. This is a normal, natural part of the grieving process. I believe it’s God’s gift to us. Sleep is healing and therapeutic, and can help your body and mind process the pain of losing your pet.
Here’s a practical tip for coping with pet loss: don’t make any major decisions in the period immediately following your dog or cat’s death. You’re emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and perhaps even spiritually dry. Your judgment isn’t the same as it normally is, and you may make a hasty or impulsive decision that you may later regret.
If possible, postpone making any big changes in your life. This is may not be the time to adopt another pet dog or cat, for instance, nor is it the time to vow that you will never bring another pet into your home because you’re devastated. Allow yourself time to absorb and adjust to the situation. This isn’t the best time to make career changes, relationship decisions, or move to a new city.
Stick to the familiar, and hold tight to God. Continue your spiritual practices – and consider deepening them in this time of grief and loss.
All your spirit to connect with the Holy Spirit – no words necessary
You don’t need “prayers for pet loss” to tell God how you feel or receive His comfort and peace. Just open your heart and spirit to Him. The Holy Spirit’s job is to advocate for you, to tell God what you can’t say. Let the Holy Spirit do his job.
But you must do yours. Take time to bow your heart and humble yourself before God. If you’re angry because you lost your pet dog or cat, tell Him. Your prayers don’t have to filled with petitions, praises, or please.
Your prayers just have to be you.
On a practical note, both meditation and prayer have been found to reduce stress, increase feelings of well-being, offer deep relaxation, reduce depression, and increase self-confidence and self-love. You don’t have to be religious or even spiritual to benefit from meditation when you’re mourning the loss of your family pet. Connecting to a higher power such as God, the Universe, or Allah can get you through the worst parts of your grief. Friends, family members, and spouses can be a great source of spiritual strength and comfort – especially if they’re open to praying or meditating with you.
Imagine your pet dog or cat safely and joyfully resting in peace
“Hold your pet in your heart, but know that physically they are in another place, a place far superior to the one they left,” writes Gary Kurz in Cold Noses At The Pearly Gates. “Suffice it to say that your pet is alive and well; and know that I would never say anything of such gravity if I were not absolutely sure of the facts.”
Kurz’s book offers many spiritual ways to survive pet loss – he is a pastor and dog lover. He believes our family pets are healthier and happier than ever before because they’re at home with God.
Allow your thoughts to roam where they will
After pet loss, some owners pray for a “new” dog or cat to love. Other pet owners say they will never own another pet again for as long as they live.
What do you think? Are you praying for a pet to fill the loss in your life, or are you unable to even consider the thought of another animal in your home?
“A friend of mine, Pam, gave me the greatest advice when I lost my cat,” says Paige on How to Cope With the Pain of Missing Your Cat. “She told me to go get another kitten. Her reasoning was that Zoe gave me so much love and happiness in the 13 years she lived with me that it would be a shame to deprive myself of that type of relationship just because Zoe was gone. She was absolutely right. I never replaced Zoe in my heart, but I have opened my heart and home to several other kittens.”
This idea for surviving pet loss doesn’t work for everyone, but it has been incredibly helpful for some people.
“Time always brings eventual relief from the pain, and your life will return to normal,” writes Kurz in Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates. “There will be a time when you feel guilty for feeling better, but even that will pass. Nothing will ever take away the sense of absence, but the disabling and relentless grief will subside and eventually disappear. I know it may not seem that way now, but…it has proven true every time.”
If you want to comfort someone who is grieving pet loss, you might find 8 Pet Sympathy Gifts to Ease the Pain of a Dog or Cat’s Death helpful.
Healing Your Heart After Losing Your Pet Dog or Cat
In How to Heal Your Heart After Losing Your Pet, I share 75 ways to cope with grief and guilt when your dog or cat dies. I interviewed veterinarians, pet loss experts, grief specialists, and dozens of pet owners so I could write this ebook.
The ideas in this ebook range from pet memorials to understanding the grief process so you can start healing. It will help you heal and cope with the death of the animal you loved with all your heart.
Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends’ Journey Beyond Death describes meaningful and heartwarming true stories of people’s experience with their animals after they passed on. This book will increase your faith in the afterlife for your pet, and help you mourn your pet’s death.
I pray for healing from the grief and guilt you feel over the loss of your pet dog or cat. I lift your pet’s spirit to our Father in Heaven, and ask for His peace that surpasses all understanding to wash over you. I pray for your pet to remain alive and joyful in your heart and soul, and for you to remember your pet with joy and love.
May you hold on to the light, life, and love your pet dog or cat brought to your home. May you be free from the shadows, and may your heart, soul and spirit be filled with the peace, joy, and radiance that can only come from the Son.
In sympathy and with His love,