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Losing a pet comes with heartbreak that’s difficult to put into words. If you’ve lost a pet, or you’re looking for ways to comfort someone who’s pet has died, some of the pet loss poems below can help. They share others’ experiences of saying goodbye to friends big and small, from horses to cats, dogs and more. 

Rainbow bridge poems 

The Rainbow Bridge – Anonymous 

“By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill, 
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still. 
Where the friends of man and woman do run, 
When their time on earth is over and done. 

For here, between this world and the next, 
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest. 
On this golden land, they wait and they play, 
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day. 

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness, 
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness. 
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed, 
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.” 

Recently, more people have started using the “rainbow bridge” to talk about pets passing away. The idea comes from the original rainbow bridge poem above. It says that pets pass over the rainbow bridge, leaving Earth behind to spend time in a heavenly meadow, without illness, injury or the limits of old age. 

Read the full poem at Vetwest


Beyond the Rainbow - Cate Guyan 

“As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played, 
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade. 
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free 
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity. 
I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side 
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide! 
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see 
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!” 

The original rainbow bridge poem has inspired related poems. This pet loss poem by Cate Guyan talks about her pet crossing the rainbow bridge and how the idea of the heavenly meadow comforts her.  

You can find the full poem at


Our Pack – Saleema Lookman 

“Whenever I feel sorrow come over me, 
I imagine you racing beyond the Rainbow Bridge 
With all the beloved dogs I've lost in the past. 
My sadness quickly turns to delight; 
You deserve this joyous afterlife.” 

This rainbow bridge poem for dogs is by Saleema Lookman. She imagines the dogs she’s loved over the years forming a pack beyond the rainbow bridge, enjoying their time in paradise together. You can find more of her poems in her page on Love to Know

Pet loss poems 

You Were Here - Jenine Stanley 

“The emptiness is beginning to fade, 
To change into another reality, 
One with you still playing a part, 
But a role of ethereal presence rather than physical comfort we crave; 
Your memory, your spirit, your essence and counsel, 
Dwell with us, but this feeling is not the same as when, 
You were here.” 

You Were Here by Jenine Stanley offers comforting words to anyone who’s lost their pet – whether that’s a dog, cat, horse, bunny or any other animal who had an impact. The focus of the poem is remembering your pet. While they might not physically be here anymore, they live on in the memories you have with them. 

Read the poem in full at 

Dog loss poems 

A Dog Has Died – Pablo Neruda 

“My dog has died. 

I buried him in the garden 

next to a rusted old machine. 


Some day I'll join him right there, 

but now he's gone with his shaggy coat, 

his bad manners and his cold nose, 

and I, the materialist, who never believed 

in any promised heaven in the sky 

for any human being, 

I believe in a heaven I'll never enter. 

Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom 

where my dog waits for my arrival 

waving his fan-like tail in friendship.” 

Pablo Neruda is a famous poet, best known for his love poetry. But when he lost his dog, he expressed his grief in this dog loss poem, A Dog Has Died. It’s a few stanzas long and talks about how he’s buried his dog in the garden and some day he’ll join his dog there. Though he never believed in a heaven before, he says he does believe in a heaven for dogs. 

Find the poem in full at the Poetry Foundation


Epitaph to a Dog – Lord Byron 

“Near this Spot 
are deposited the Remains of one 
who possessed Beauty without Vanity, 
Strength without Insolence, 
Courage without Ferosity, 
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices. 
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery 
if inscribed over human Ashes, 
is but a just tribute to the Memory of 
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803 
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808.” 

Lord Byron is one of the most famous Romantic poets, but aged 20, he wrote this epitaph for his dog, Boatswaine, who passed away in his arms. The epitaph mentions the things he admires about his dog: his lack of vanity, his courage and how he didn’t have any of the vices that people might. The epitaph is followed by a poem about the loss of a dog, dedicated to his faithful friend. 

Read the poem that accompanies the epitaph on


I’ll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau – Jimmy Stewart 


“When he was young he never did learn, 

To heel, or sit, or stay, 

He did things his way. 

Discipline was not his bag, 

But when you were with him, 

Things sure didn’t drag. 


He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me, 

And when I’d grab him, he’d turn bite me. 

He bit lots of folks day to day, 

The delivery boy was his favourite prey.” 

Officially named “Beau”, this poem on the loss of a dog is better known as “I’ll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau”. Through the poem, Jimmy talks about all of the things he remembers about his dog – the good and the parts that seemed bad at the time. It’s comical, but touching, ending with Jimmy talking about the process of grieving Beau and how he’ll always love him. 

You can watch Jimmy Stewart reading the full poem in the video above. 


Poems about losing a cat 

On the Death of a Cat - Christina Georgina Rossetti 

“Who shall tell the lady's grief 
When her Cat was past relief? 
Who shall number the hot tears 
Shed o'er her, beloved for years? 
Who shall say the dark dismay 
Which her dying caused that day?” 

Christina Georgina Rossetti wrote in the late 1800s and is best known for her poem Goblin Market. But she did write a long and tender poem when she lost her cat, Grimalkin. On the Death of a Cat talks about the grief she faced and how she would continue to mourn her cat over the years. She remembers her cat’s prowess and how mice and rats trembled in her presence. 

Read the whole poem at Poetry Nook


Cat Poem -  Linda Barnes 

“They will not go quietly, 
the cats who’ve shared our lives. 
In subtle ways they let us know 
their spirit still survives. 

And although time may bring new friends 
and a new food dish to fill, 
That one place in our hearts 
belongs to them. . . and always will.” 

This short poem for the loss of a cat can offer words of comfort in a sympathy card. While we learn to cope with our grief, it reminds us that a part of our heart will always belong to the cats who’ve passed. 

Find the poem on Pick Me Up Poetry

Weep Not for Me: In Memory of a Beloved Cat – Constance Jenkins 

“Weep not for me though I am gone 

Into that gentle night. 

Grieve if you will, but not for long 

Upon my soul's sweet flight. 

I am at peace, my soul's at rest 

There is no need for tears. 

For with your love I was so blessed 

For all those many years. 

There is no pain, I suffer not, 

The fear now all is gone. 

Put now these things out of your thoughts, 

In your memory I live on. 

Remember not my fight for breath 

Remember not the strife. 

Please do not dwell upon my death, 

But celebrate my life.” 


When Constance Jenkins’ sister lost her cat, she wrote a long poem called Weep Not for Me: In Memory of a Beloved Cat. It’s a book containing one long poem for the loss of a cat, with illustrations of cats by Pat Schaverien. She wanted to comfort her sister and remind her of the happiness and good times she had with her companion. It takes the point of view of a pet who’s passed away. They ask that you don’t cry for them and want you to know that they’re at peace now. The poem encourages you to remember the happier times and to celebrate the life they had with you. 


Heavenly Nap by Rob Tramner 

“You lived your nine lives here with me 
my loyal, loving friend, 
Then God took you up to Paradise 
to live life number ten. 
I’ll bet you’re peacefully lying 
upon an angel’s lap. 
Purring there, without a care 
having a heavenly nap. 
I'll miss you for a little while, 
but our friendship will not end. 
Time will pass, and then at last 
you’ll be on my lap again.” 

Rob Tramner wrote this poem for cat loss and drew on the idea of cats having 9 lives. He says that your cat is now living their 10th life in a peaceful and happy afterlife. The poem says that you will miss your cat, but it’s only a matter of time until you’ll be reunited. 

You can find the poem on


Horse loss poems 

Don't Cry For The Horses - Brenda Riley-Seymore 

“Don't cry for the horses that life has set free. 
A million white horses forever to be. 
Don't cry for the horses now in God's hands. 
As they prance and they dance in a heavenly band. 
They were ours as a gift, but never to keep. 
As they close their eyes forever to sleep. 
Their spirits unbound. On silver wings they fly. 
A million white horses against the blue sky.” 

This positive poem on the loss of a horse encourages you to remember the good times that you and your horse had together. It says that horses are a gift, but eventually they do have to leave. It offers hopeful words that they’re now free, enjoying their afterlife with other horses who’ve passed before them. 

See the full poem on Horse Forum.


I Know Great Horses Live Again - Stanley Harrison 

“Somewhere...somewhere in time's own space 
there must be some sweet pastured place. 
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow 
some Paradise where horses go. 
 For by the love that guides my pen 
I know great horses live again.” 

Stanley Harrison’s horse loss poem I Know Great Horses Live Again is also sometimes referred to as “Sometimes”, after its opening lines. He talks about how his pen is driven by love when he writes this poem, and it tries to keep a positive tone. He says that while your horse might not be with you anymore, he believes they get the chance to live again, in a Paradise full of sweet pastures. 

You can find this poem on The Equinist


Poems about losing a rabbit 

Emily Stuparyk’s When Only the Love Remains: The Pain of Pet Loss is dedicated to “Poochie, a precious, small, brown bunny, who was my best friend ever”. In the introduction, Emily explains her bond with Poochie, saying “she was not just a rabbit; she was my very special “Poochie”. We’ve listed a couple of poems from the collection below. 

Poochie’s in Heaven – Emily Stuparyk 

“You were a bright light for me, 

My shining star; 

Now, the light has gone out. 

How will I go on!” 

This poem opens Emily’s collection. It shares the difficulty of accepting your rabbit passing away. When you lose a pet, it’s normal to wonder how you’ll be able to carry on without them. The following poems chart Emily’s grief and how she manages to continue her life, holding her rabbit’s memory close. 


I’ll Never Again Know Her – Emily Stuparyk 

“No more rides on my shoulders, 

No more cradling you in my arms, 

No more stroking your beautiful body, 

No more keeping me company.” 

In this poem, Emily talks about all the things she’ll miss about Poochie. She lists out the small, daily things they did together and the quirks that made Poochie truly unique. You might find that writing your own version of this poem, listing your own bunny’s special traits, could help with your grief. 


Poems about the loss of a bird 

The Death of the Bird – A.D. Hope 

“For every bird there is this last migration: 
Once more the cooling year kindles her heart; 
With a warm passage to the summer station 
Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.” 

Though birds tend to be smaller animals, they can take up just as much room in our hearts. Whether that’s a parrot, budgie, pigeon or any other feathered friend. This touching loss of a bird poem by A.D. Hope talks about a bird’s “last migration”, leaving the world we know to move somewhere warmer and happier. 

Read the full poem on Lyrikline


Poems about putting a pet to sleep 

You Did Me a Kindness – Kelly Roper 

“You did me the kindness of letting me go. 
You didn't make me hang on when I was suffering so. 
I promise I don't think that you loved me any less, 
And I love you all the more for your selflessness.” 

This poem for pet loss was written for anyone who’s had to make the difficult decision to put their pet to sleep. This can often cause feelings of guilt. But it’s important to remember that your vet will only recommend it if it’s what’s truly best for your pet – and this poem reflects that. Written from the point of view of a pet, the poem offers thanks for helping your pet to escape suffering and pain. It could be a good choice of sympathy poem for a card if you know someone who’s had to put their pet to sleep recently. 

Find the full poem here.

Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.