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 the loss of a pet will comfort and help owners cope with the death of their dogs or cats.
With great love comes great suffering. While the grief of pet loss can last for years, there are things you can do to make surviving the death of a dog or cat easier. One of those things is holding on to the hope that your beloved dog or cat is resting in peace in Heaven – or whatever afterlife you envision – watching over you with kind eyes, love, and peace. In this article, you’ll find comforting prayers, encouragements, and suggestions for saying goodbye after the loss of a pet.
How long will the pain of pet loss last?
“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.”
Comforting Ideas and Heartfelt Prayers for the Loss of a Pet
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.
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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.
“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.
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.
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.”
The death of your beloved pet can be one of the most heartbreaking losses you’ll ever endure. But healing after the loss of a pet dog or cat isn’t only about finding closure through prayers and healing. You also want to know where your best friend has gone.
After the intense, unexpected grief he experienced following the loss of his own companions, animal lover and biblical scholar Gary Kurz set out to prove that there are indeed pets in Paradise. After devoting countless hours of research, he shares his inspiring insights to bring pet lovers a richer understanding of animals and their souls. You’ll finally find answers to common questions about animals and the afterlife – and in this book you also get a 30-day devotional to help you work through your grief.
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.”
Healing Your Heart After the Loss of a Pet
In Biblical Proof Animals Do Go To Heaven, Steven Woodward finally answers the age old question once and for all: “Do pets go to heaven, or did they just die and that’s it?”
Do animals have spirits? In this book, you’ll discover one perspective about God’s relationship with animals, and how He really feels about them. Woodward shares his divine visions along with scriptural proof, which Jesus reveals and explains to him, concerning God’s entire creation.
Whether you are a pet lover or not, you will gain a greater understanding of the immense love of Jesus, for all of His creation. After reading this testimony, you will look at love and forgiveness in a whole new light. You’ll also have a different perspective on praying after the loss of a pet!
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.
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,
Losing a loved one can bring about a sudden feeling of shock and trouble. Reciting a traditional prayer for comfort can help to bring you consolation and reassurance. Here is a look at some great prayers for loss of a loved one.
Comfort me with Your love O God
Wrap me up in Your strong embrace
Shelter me from the storm O Lord
Envelop me in Your tender care
By day I pour out my heartbreak to You
By night I give you my racing thoughts
In You I take refuge
In You I will not be afraid
For you hold me strong, You hold me safe
Calm my fearful heart O God
Still my anxious mind O Lord
For all my life is found in You
All my being is given to You
All my hope begins in You
Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You,
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.
I pour out my grief to You
And praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall walk together again.
Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be honored. There is none greater than You. You are our refuge and strength. You are always ready to help in times of trouble. We praise You, Lord. We lift our hearts with praise. It is good to sing praises to You, our God; how delightful and how right! Lord, You are great and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. We thank You, Father, for the life of our loved one(s) who have gone on to be with You. Thank You for their time on earth and the impact they had on our lives. We are thankful to You and we bless Your Name.
Father, You can count the stars and call them all by name. Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. You support the humble and bring the wicked down into the dust. You comfort those who mourn. We declare that those grieving the death of a loved one; mourning will turn into dancing. We confess that You are their rock, fortress, and Savior in whom they will find protection. You are their shield, and the strength of their salvation. Father, You are their stronghold. As they call on You, You have promised to answer. We believe that You will be with them during this period of bereavement, rescue them from grief, honor them, and give them Your salvation.
Father, we ask You to send Your peace to those persons who are mourning. Continue to surround them with family, friends and loved ones who will offer words of comfort. Give them sweet and restful sleep. Father, remove the spirit of heaviness, and give them garments of praise. In due time, bless their lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. As they take refuge in You, please help them to put their trust in You. Holy Spirit, we ask that You settle the hearts and minds of those who are feeling any guilt, resentment, bitterness, or anger. Help them not to look back but to press forward.
Father, forgive the bereaved for any sins they have committed through thoughts, words, or deeds. Forgive them if they have not meditated on Your Word to find comfort. Father, forgive them if they have not been totally submissive to Your perfect will for their lives. Forgive them for any hurtful things they may have said or done to the deceased. Lord, help them to forgive the deceased if necessary. Please remind them of anyone they need to forgive; and help them to forgive quickly.
Loving Father, I am finding it so hard to even get up out of bed to start the day, knowing that I have to face it alone and without the one I love so dearly – I know that without Your grace and sufficiency I could never get through the day – but I thank You that You have promised to be with me and to provide me with Your strength for the day as well as bright hope for tomorrow.
I can’t imagine tomorrow being anything but a day filled with pain – as I do not have my loved one beside me, but I ask that in Your grace You will give me the strength to get through today, step by step – knowing that You are there to carry me, even when my heart seems to fail from the grief and pain that I am going through.
Thank You that You have promised to carry our pain and thank You that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality in our lives. Give me the strength and to cope with the loneliness I feel and help me to move forward in my life-plans, knowing that You are with me, to support and strengthen.
Give me hope for tomorrow – for my hope and my trust is in You, Lord. Hold me close I pray and thank You for always being with me and the great comfort that I have in knowing You, as my own dear Saviour and friend.
Loving Lord and Heavenly king, I want to lift up some dear friends of mind that are going through much grief at the moment and are finding it so difficult to come to terms with all that has taken place in the last few days…
I humbly ask that You would come to them and provide the comfort they need to come to terms with all that has happened – and the strength to face the reality that things will never be as they were.
Lord I know that their grief seems to be overwhelming them and I am hurting for them, and know not what to do to help – and so I am coming to You to in prayer, to ask that You will meet each of them at their point of need and help them to turn to You at this sad time.
I pray that as the day passes Your healing touch will comfort and succour them in this time of distress and may this be a thing that causes each of them to draw closer to You, knowing that You alone can heal the broken-hearted and bring joy out of pain.
Thank You Lord for being there for me and into Your hands I place each one of these dear ones who have such sadness in their hearts – I KNOW in Whom I believe and an confident that You will bring good out of this situation – and to You be all the praise and glory, Amen
Loving Lord I am filled with grief and sadness at the loss of my precious loved one – and yet that pain is tinged with gold, knowing that they trusted you as their Saviour and that they are now in Your presence.
I know that I am going to miss this precious one, who has been my strength and my joy for so long, and thank You for the precious times we had together.
Often Lord I expect my dear one to just be there, or walk through the door – and then remember that they have gone home to be with You. At times this is quite hard and yet I know that I must not grieve as those that have not hope in Jesus – but rejoice knowing that the day is coming when we will be together with You and You will wipe away all tears from our eyes – but at the moment my loss is like an open wound – and I pray that You will heal my brokenness and the loneliness I feel… and draw me every closer into Your arms of love my Lord and my God.
Thank You for all You are to me and may I rest in You in Jesus name, Amen
My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too.
If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.
When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.
Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.
Let’s draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let’s help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.
If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.
If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.
If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.
If there was ever a time in my life I was weak, it was the days, weeks, and months after my daughter died. To know that God’s strength was at it’s best when I needed it the most gave me courage to take another breath. It seems impossible to “glory in my affirmities” when you don’t feel you have the strength to go on with your life, but God’s grace *is* sufficient. There is power through Christ Jesus to sustain you when nothing else can. You must allow Him to carry the burden – there are things too big for us to handle on our own. We cannot as mothers (and fathers) get through the loss of a child and retain any sanity without His help.
I don’t think it’s wrong to ask “why” – I have many times over the years. But you have to recognize God’s authority and know that whatever purpose there was for your child, it was fulfilled during the time you carried him or her. We don’t understand all of it, and honestly I don’t believe we have the capacity to. But I take comfort knowing that one day, God will hold me close and explain it to me in a way that I can understand.
Praise God that He is close to those who are suffering. He knows the pain we’re going through and He keeps us from being consumed by it. I know without a doubt that had it not been for the grace of God, I would have come through my daughter’s death a bitter and downtrodden woman. But through His love and compassion, He saved me from being crushed by the weight of the burden I carried. My heart still aches for my baby and it’s been seven years since she died – the ache has dulled some with time, but I don’t believe it will ever go away completely. I still cry at times talking about her, but I rest in the knowledge that God is near and will continue to carry me if I allow Him to. It’s a choice – a conscious decision you have to make. You have to acknowledge that you need help getting through it, and God is the only answer.
Dianne Gray, head of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation discusses the five stages of grief and the classic book, ‘On Death and Dying.’