Pet passing - what's Swiss culture on condolences?

A swiss family I know suddenly lost their dog yesterday, and they are devastated.

In Australia, I would send them a bunch of flowers and a condolences card. Does this translate to Swiss culture? It might seem like a silly question but I don't want to compound any emotions with "what a weirdo" vibes if there is something else more 'Swiss' in such situations.

Thanks folks.

I don't see how sending some flowers and a card can be misinterpreted as weird at all. I would totally do that for another dog owner suffering a loss, no matter their nationality or background.

Often people think "Oh it's just a dog" and don't realise the utter devastation losing what is tantamount to a family member can mean. Showing genuine sympathy can mean such a lot.

When my mom's dog died and she informed their pet boarding company, the company actually send a really nice card with condolences. My mom really appreciated that.

I also think for sure a card is appropriate, flowers if you feel like it or know them well. If you have a dog too, you could offer a visit or walk once they are ready again, so that they still have some dog contact should they want it.

Great to have it confirmed, thank you folks.

The offer of a walk (when they're ready) is a nice touch too. I'd be lost without my little furry shadow by my side each day, so I feel awful for them.

We have given cards and flowers for neighbours who have lost pets, or even cats that have had accidents and lost limbs etc.

Families with pets know that these are family members, no card or offering of flowers can be misinterpreted. Thank you for your awareness and sensitivity.

When we lost our dog last year, we would have thought this a lovely gesture.

Our dog was somewhat known in the neighborhood and many people who we are not close with send us messages and I thought it was touching. The weirdos were the neighbours we know well say absolutely nothing when they know how much we loved our doggie and were all devastated.

Do what your heart tells you, you cannot go very wrong that way!

I agree - at any time of sadness, a gesture of sympathy, understanding, empathy is welcome.

A close friend - as Eidgenoss as they come - has brought something to plant in the garden when I've lost each of mine, much appreciated not only at the time, but also as the years go by.

There doesn't have to be a close friendship (in Swiss terms) to acknowledge the loss and offer sympathy. Acquaintances have also sent a card, or made sure to convey their sympathies whenever we next see one another. Again, very much appreciated.

My vet sends a card whenever a pet in his care dies. My friends who are also his customers, Swiss and foreigner alike, have remarked on how that gesture helped them grieve.

I always do 'something' when I learn of a loss - what that something is depends on the person. A card, or flowers, or among my Tierschutz circle a donation in the pet's memory to a cause close to the owner's heart. And of course, a shoulder to cry on.

Whatever you do, the key thing is acknowledging that your friend has lost a meaningful part of their lives. You can't go wrong by being kind.

Totally agree.. we love our little puss , nearly 20 now and still going strong, jumps on the bed at 6am every morning and purrs in my wife’s ear and gently pulls her hair to wake her. We will be devastated when her time comes.

Different species, same family.

This is such a lovely idea. I know they're planning to cremate him and bury his ashes in their garden. Instead of flowers, I think I'll get a little plant to go by his resting place. Thank you for sharing, MC!

I grew up with cats. When they died it was sad, but we'd never have expected to receive cards or flowers. The most we got was people saying "Oh, your cat died. I'm sorry.". How times change!

I had 2 cats put to sleep, one in Essex, the other in Scotland. Both times the vets sent us a condolence card. The one in Essex was buried under a wild cherry tree in our garden as that was his favourite shady ambush spot.

Susie in Scotland was cremated and scattered in a wood near the East Neuk of Fife near the sea.

I think it's dependent on the people involved. My father has never been much of an animal lover, even though he has pets. For him, they just kind of exist, and if they died, I don't think he'd be particularly upset about it. I would say "how sad" on the phone to him but a card (or anything more) would be a wasted effort.

In contrast to me, whose life revolves around my dog. We sleep together, we run errands together, she comes on business trips with me, I talk to her throughout the day, and I live alone so if she disappeared from my life, it would be a traumatic and devastating experience that would leave me quite lost about my day-to-day routine.

This family I know are more like me than my dad, so I believe a card + a plant would not be considered an excessive gesture.

My mother grew up with farm cats, where they're working animals, so she was never sentimental about them. Although we looked after ours and lavished them with affection, I think some of that passed over to us.

Our cat wants to be in our company but doesn't ever want to be petted. Played with occasionally, otherwise she just doesn't really associate with her staff, except at meal times.

when I put the sleep my dog, I wanted to do it alone.

first we saw 3 friends on our last walk. completely unplanned.

when all was done, my best friend waited for me Infront of building and drove me to my sister who waited with gin&tonic. it was such a beautiful gesture that they organised without me knowing.

and I found the email from amicus nice - "Soeben wurde uns gemeldet, dass Ihr Hund Rija mit der Mikrochipnummer xxxx am 23.05.2023 verstorben ist. Unser herzliches Beileid!"

when I returned alone in Switzerland, I close friend organised a sleep over at my place (we often sleep over at each others places) because "she needs to be on location" so that I wouldn't be alone first night in Switzerland. it was such a beautiful gesture from her. and it wasn't as if she didn't love dogs, she just wasn't a big fan but Rija was always allowed at her home.

I think those type of gestures are really helping because it is not just a dog, it is a family (of 15 years in my case).