Comfort and Prayers for the Loss of a Beloved Dog or Cat


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.

Spiritual Ways to Survive Pet Loss

Spiritual Ways to Survive Pet Loss

“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.

Amen.

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.

Forgive yourself

“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

Father God,

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.

Amen.

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

Ways to Survive Pet Loss“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

how to heal after losing your petIn 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.

Dear Reader,

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,

Laurie

xo



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16 thoughts on “Comfort and Prayers for the Loss of a Beloved Dog or Cat

  • joyce

    My cat died suddenly & unexpectedly 2 days ago. I am not feeling better yet. She was beside me all the time–my constant companion. I am so very sad. My husband said no replacement cats for awhile or maybe ever. Our other cat died a year ago at 22 years old after illness. That wasn’t so hard as this.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Tiffany,

    I’m sorry for your loss. Losing a cat is so sad, and the grieving process is difficult when there are reminders of your beloved pet all over the house.

    How are you doing?

  • Marz

    Its been almost a month since my 9 1/2 year old German Shepherd girl ascended to rainbow bridge. It hasn’t gotten easier, I am absolutely heartbroken. I’ve been through a lot of challenges in life, even cancer, but this is the toughest by far!
    Pets are such pure, loving spiritual beings. They do love unconditionally and transmute our daily stresses. They are teachers,protectors, and comedians. We mourn their deaths more because of all the positive that they bring into our lives and there isn’t the baggage left behind that people leave us with.
    Although I am having a very very hard time dealing with this grief, its a huge comfort to know that my baby girl is still close by in spirit. Heaven and earth are just separated by a thin veil. If you ask your pet to send signs and trust in your pet, with the love shared in this bond, you will see, hear, smell the signs. Be open and know that if you have a feeling its your beloved pet sending these messages, it is!
    I can’t count all the signs my girl has sent to me in just a months time. They are beautiful and usually they come when I need her reassurance the most! Why not? This is what these beautiful souls do for us when physically here!
    Love and healing to all of you and your pets too!

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Debi,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing about Terry. I have a terrier, too, and I know my life will feel empty when she’s gone.

    He loved you so much, whether or not you were walking him in the last few weeks of his life! You took care of him for so many years, and he knew it.

    You loved him with all your heart, and Terry knew that. He knew he was the love of your life, and now he is in good Hands. He is happily doing whatever God created him to do, and he is watching you with love and compassion.

    I hope you are able to forgive yourself, Debi. I don’t think you did anything wrong, but I totally understand those guilty feelings.

    I wrote this article – it may help you:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/guilty-feelings-after-cat-dog-dies-pet-loss-guilt/

    Please come back anytime, let me know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Debi

    I lost my precious 15-year old male mixed terrior, Terry, on May 20. He died of kidney failure. He was truly my little soul mate, a wonderful and loving little guy, and I miss him terribly. The worst part is that I had stopped taking him for walks in the last months of his life, as I had been too “lazy”, and basically had a lack of energy going through a lot of financial hardships. His whole life I was a great “mommy” to him, but I can’t quit feeling quilty of the last time I put my shoes on (about 3 weeks ago) and he got excited for a walk, I just told him that we’ll go soon, but we never did. Now I’ll never be able to make it up to him and it’s killing me!!!!

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Kelly,

    There is nothing that hurts quite like losing a dog, because dogs depend on us for everything and love us unconditionally. I’m sorry your coworkers don’t understand that it’s impossible to just get another dog, like getting a new pair of shoes!

    Your dog loved you like nobody will ever love you. Dogs offer us such an extreme loyalty and dedication, we feel like our hearts are being torn out when we lose them.

    My heart goes out to you, as you adjust to life without April. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Kelly Mastriana

    I have never done anything like this before, because I am a very private person, but the loss of my baby girl is too much to bear. During my life I have been heartbroken, betrayed, and even stolen from by several human beings. I began to hate everyone, until I realized how much my beautiful border collie, April, loved me. She taught me to be patient and tolerant and accept that people don’t really like me or want to be with me. She not only liked to be with me she couldn’t stand to be without me. We went everywhere together, we were each other’s shadow. I am trying very hard not to be mean to my co-workers who keep saying ” just get another dog”, but their insensitivity just feeds my sadness. April was and will always be the joy of my life. I am just such a mess. i don’t know what to do.

    • Altheia

      Hey Kellie,

      I’d like to know how you are doing . I just lost my 13 yo Yorkshire terrier almost 10 days ago. I’m so sick. I cry everyday . I feel so guilty.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thanks for sharing your story, ginger. My husband often goes away on business trips, and I always pray that nothing will happen to our cat or dog when he’s gone. I never know if I should wait until he gets home to share the bad news, or tell him when he’s gone. I think I’d wait, like your parents did, because there’s nothing he can do about it when he’s away. And yet, I know he’d rather know…so maybe I would tell him after all.

    I believe in God and heaven and an afterlife, and I believe I will mean my long-lost dogs and cats there after I die. I believe animals have souls and spirits, and they live on long after their bodies have left our earth.

  • ginger

    I agree that losing a pet is one of the most difficult things to deal with in life. I lost my dog, Patrick many years ago. I was in college and my parents didn’t tell me that he had passed away. I thought he was in the animal hospital until I asked my mother when he would be coming home and saw the look of distress on her face. My parents were trying to protect me for a time since I was in school and finishing the semester, Still, it was so heartbreaking.

    My cat, Sandy a sweetheart of almost 14 years, had to be put to sleep in July of 2011. This was one of the most difficult times of my life. I saw him suffer from Diabetes that couldn’t be controlled. I miss him every minute of every day, but know that he is in Heaven and that I will see him again someday. I try to focus on the fact that he is with Jesus and that he is perfect now. Sandy can never be replaced, but I have since adopted two abandoned kittens. At first, I didn’t think I could take another cat, but both of these needed homes so much. I like to think of them as Sandy’s “little brothers”. fI swill love Sandy forever, but believe that he and God want me to care for these kittens.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thanks, Joyce. I don’t know if losing a family pet is the worst thing a person can go through, but it is one of the worst for sure!

    I think tapping into your spirituality is the best way to cope with the loss of a pet. I like to think that my lost dog and cats are in Heaven, and that I’ll be reunited with them one day. I pray for my dog and cat all the time – my living ones! I think they bring an aspect to my spiritual life that brings me closer to God.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Joyce

    The loss of a family pet is one of the worst experiences that anyone can go through. They say that time heals all wounds. This is the third time we are undergoing this experience and it seems to get tougher each time.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comment, Amy…yes, pet loss really can be so difficult for people. We can get help and support from others who have lost their beloved animals, but our mourning really is individual.