There’s no way around it: losing a pet is HARD. Knowing how to support your grieving friend or coworker after the loss of a furry, feathered, or scaly BFF? That can be equally challenging! But don’t worry – I’m here to help by sharing the 7 best pet bereavement gift ideas to comfort your loved one through this difficult time.
First, some helpful context: I’m one of those crazy pet-people who refer to themselves as “pet parents,” buy a full wardrobe of clothing for their dog (sometimes in matching mom-and-doggo sets 😉), and do not comprehend why you would go anywhere that sports a “no dogs allowed” sign. My tiny toy poodle, Puff, was my entire
world universe. And when he passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, I was completely wrecked. Like, ugly cry in public level of wrecked.
In the following days and weeks, my completely amazing friends, coworkers, and pet care providers showered me with the MOST thoughtful messages, cards, and gifts. And now I’m sharing their brilliant acts of kindness with you as inspiration for how you can show up for your friend who is grieving the loss of a pet.
Pet Loss Gift Ideas
1. Send Food
There are few things more comforting than yummy food! After the loss of my dog, we had friends send boxes of cookies and an amazing gift of tea and honey. Pick something that you know your friend will love and if you feel stuck, remember that you can’t go wrong with sweets! I’d recommend a large box of caramels or Peach Bellini Gummy Hearts from Sugarfina.
If your friend has dietary restrictions or isn’t a fan of sugary foods, tea or soup are both comforting options. Our friends at Big Heart Tea Co make an amazing Cup of Love Tea and Cup of Sunshine Tea.
2. Share Words of Encouragement
Have a meaningful poem or quote about pets? Send your friend a text, a DM, or send it by snail mail. Sharing encouraging words about what an amazing life they gave their pet is another surefire way to help them through this difficult season.
3. Give them Photos or Videos of their Pet
You’ll want to make sure that your friend is ready to see photos or videos of their pet, but once they seem ready, sending photos and videos of their beloved pet can be a really meaningful gift. (Pro tip: if they are sharing photos of the pet on their social media, it’s probably safe to send!).
Look through your camera roll to see if you have any photos of their pet that they may not have. This is an especially thoughtful gesture if you are a groomer, dog daycare, or vet who has many photos and videos of your clients.
4. Get Creative with a Greetabl Gift
Send a personalized message, photos, and a unique gift with Greetabl. Choose from one of our treats, teas, or photo frame gift options and pair it with the Here For You or Things Have Been Tough design.
I may be biased (I mean, I 100% am!), but receiving a Greetabl gift never gets old! It’s the perfect surprise for a friend or loved one who has recently lost their fur baby.
5. Mail a Greeting Card
If you don’t know them very well, if they live overseas, or if you have a tight budget, sending a greeting card is a simple way to show your friend that you are thinking about them.
After Puff passed away, I received an extremely thoughtful gift from Petropolis in St. Louis that included three greeting cards with notes from every single employee who knew Puff. Each note mentioned something specific that they would miss about him and let us know they were thinking of us. It was incredibly touching and I will never forget it. If you are a pet care provider, these kinds of gestures can go a long way to winning raving fans!
6. Send a Plant or Flowers
Sending flowers is a familiar gesture of sympathy after the loss of a loved one, but it can also be an appreciated and appropriate way to comfort someone after the loss of a pet. One unique spin on the traditional gift is to send a small potted plant as a memorial to their lost pet.
After I lost Puff, one friend sent a small cactus that I could keep at my desk to cheer me up when I was feeling down and as a reminder of all the good memories I have of Puff’s happy life. If your friend or loved one doesn’t have much of a green thumb, sending a Good Vibes Heart Tray or Rose Quartz Heart would have the same impact (without the risk of immediately dying).
7. Give them Seeds to Plant in their Garden
If sending flowers feels a little too stiff or doesn’t fit your price range, sending seeds to plant flowers in their garden is a thoughtful and cost effective alternative. My vet sent a small paw print made from seed paper that I could plant in my yard as a permanent memorial to Puff and I was blown away by that kindness.
What to Write in a Pet Loss Sympathy Card
The final step is picking what words you want to include in your card or Greetabl gift. This part can feel a little overwhelming, but the key is to speak from the heart, and to remember there are no magic words to make everything okay again. Your friend will just appreciate that you took the time to write something personal! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Say something specific about their pet, if you can. It goes a really long way if you can show them that you remember something about the pet – especially if you are a pet care provider. Let them know that you loved the way their dog did little dances, or that you will always remember the time their cat caught a lizard and brought it into the house.
- Let them know that they gave their pet the very best life. Often times feelings of guilt can accompany the grief a pet parent feels after their pet passes away. They may be lingering on questions about what they could have done differently to keep their pet going a little bit longer. Reminding them that their pet lived a full and happy life will bring them immense comfort during this season.
- Acknowledge how painful this loss is. Some people just don’t understand the devastation that comes with losing a pet. Be a reassuring voice to your friend by letting them know that you understand how hard this is for them.
- Share some spiritual wisdom, if that is something your friend would appreciate. If you know your friend is a spiritual person, go ahead and share a poem or verse that you think will speak to them in this moment. Just be careful not to push your own religious or ideological beliefs on someone who may not share them.
Brittany Wells is the Director of Marketing at Greetabl.