19 Most Comforting Songs About Losing Your Dog

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Dogs are universally loved pets. Words are not enough to describe all the ways they make our lives better. Despite the drool on your expensive couch, the endless wiping of pee, and the scooping up of poop, having a mighty canine in your life is all worth it.

That’s why losing your dog is synonymous with getting your heart broken, leaving you to seek comfort in various ways. Music is one of the best ways to help you get through your loss.

Here, we have a list of 19 comforting songs about losing your dog. We hope that by reading through our compilation, you’ll find some semblance of comfort.

1. “Old Shep” By Elvis Presley

The legendary Elvis Presley knows a thing or two about losing a dog. In 1956, he released “Old Shep,” a heartfelt tribute to a beloved pet dog.

The song narrates the joys, and deep bond shared between a young boy and his faithful canine friend, Shep. They have been together ever since Shep was a puppy. They spend days on adventures and grow up together.

Unfortunately, Shep grows old and gets sick. He aims his rifle at Shep to put him out of misery, but he can’t bring himself to kill his furry friend.

In reality, Shep is based on lyricist Red Folley’s dog, Hoover. A neighbor poisoned the dog.

The song’s heart-wrenching lyrics can reflect the deep pain owners feel when their dog passes away.

2. “Shannon” By Henry Gross

Singer-songwriter Henry Gross was inspired to write the song “Shannon” as a tribute to a beloved pet. He had toured with the Beach Boys in 1975. In conversation, he discovered that Beach Boys member Carl Wilson had a Samoyed dog named Shannon that died recently after being hit by a car.

Renowned for its heartfelt lyrics, “Shannon” reflects the sadness and pain associated with dogs dying. The deep bond between humans and dogs is evident here – palpable even in death.

While “Shannon” may elicit tears, it also underscores a larger narrative about coping with pet loss. It evokes memories of good times shared with our furry friends. It also encapsulates an emotional journey that resonates well beyond its melancholic tune.

3. “Dogs In Heaven” By David Gregg

If owners can have one wish for their beloved pets, it’s that their furry friends can do everything they want. And they can, according to David Gregg‘s “Dogs in Heaven.”

The song relates how the singer wants to see his dearly departed dogs having the time of their lives in dog heaven. He wants his Irish setter to have his own chair up there and his mutt to be able to chase anything.

Above all, he wants all dogs to be able to play and run and never age a day. He wishes that dogs were able to do all the things they enjoyed doing when they were still alive.

And on days when he terribly misses his dog, he is comforted by the fact that his pet is up there “on Jesus’ lap.”

4. “Beyond The Rainbow Bridge” By Trina Belamide

Losing a dog is a painful experience. The only consolation dog owners have is knowing that their beloved pets are happy “Beyond the Rainbow Bridge,” as Trina Belamide‘s song says.

Rainbow bridge refers to the journey to the afterlife that pets go through. It is the same place where they wait to be reunited with their owners one day. It is a place where there is only happiness.

In the song, the owner grapples with grief and loss as she sends her pet on its way to the rainbow bridge. Despite the pain, she draws strength from the memories she and her pet have and in the knowledge that they will see each other again.

5. “Maggie’s Song” By Chris Stapleton

Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton pays tribute to a beloved dog in the 2020 single “Maggie’s Song.”

Maggie was “just a fuzzy black pup” that needed care and a family when the singer found him. He gave her a home and a family who loved her and took pride in her. In return, Maggie took her doggy duties to heart, watching after the kids and keeping them away from harm.

But a dog’s life is too short, and Maggie eventually dies in her owner’s arms. He lets her know that she has always been a good dog and that he will never know another dog better than her.

6. “Old Blue” By The Byrds

Our next song on the list is an old folk song that serves as a tribute to a cherished hunting dog. The Byrds‘ version of “Old Blue” came out in 1969 from their album Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde.

With simple lyrics, the song captures the special bond between humans and dogs. With lines such as “I had an old dog, and his name was Blue,” it evokes feelings of nostalgia and remembrance.

And when dogs pass away, it’s always a sad affair. Old Blue is obviously highly regarded, even burying him “with a golden chain.” And when it’s the owner’s time to go be with the Lord, he promises to look for Old Blue first.

The emotional depth of “Old Blue” makes it one of those songs that can bring tears to your eyes but also provide a sense of closure and healing. It serves as a reminder that even though our precious pets may no longer be physically present, their memory lives on in our hearts forever.

7. “Cracker Jack” By Dolly Parton

Another tribute to a cherished pet dog is Dolly Parton‘s “Cracker Jack.” While Cracker Jack is Parton’s childhood rescue dog, he also represents the departed dogs that her family members have throughout the years.

This is not one of those songs that mention losing a dog directly, but we can definitely relate to the pain of losing one.

Parton was inspired to write about the unconditional love all dogs have and the impact they leave after passing away. In the song, she recounts how Cracker Jack came into her life. He was a stray, and she gave him a forever home.

Parton looks back on the years with Jack with fondness and longing. He became more than a best friend. For her, he is her “playmate, a companion.” Even though Jack already crossed the rainbow bridge, she always reminisces about their good times together.

8. “I Wish Dogs Could Live Forever” By Tyler Farr

Dog lovers out there agree with Tyler Farr‘s sentiments in “I Wish Dogs Could Live Forever.” Sadly, dogs are only given a few years to live with us.

This is not a song that mentions losing a dog in the title. But the title is enough to tell us that it talks about the pain of losing a loved pet.

And Farr is not a stranger to losing dogs. In fact, he lost his dog, Cooter, in 2018, so this song resonates with his own experience of loving and losing a furry friend. He sings about how his dog has always been with him through the good times and the bad.

His dog is even more loyal than the people in his life. He helped him pull through some of the toughest moments, such as when he and his ex broke up. It makes him wish that “dogs could live forever.” But the only thing he can do now is wish that he could see his dog again someday.

9. “Ghost Of Buddy” By Wisdom In Chains

Long after our beloved pets pass away, only their memories remain. In Wisdom in Chains‘ “Ghost of Buddy,” the singer has to deal with the “ghost” of his dog. But only too happily.

As it turns out, he and his dog Buddy had some really wonderful memories together. His dog had given him unconditional love since day one. Buddy was the best friend one could ever hope for.

And after Buddy passed away, he is always reminded of him. Sometimes he still feels his dog around. But he really doesn’t mind being haunted by his old dog.

This song that mentions losing a dog in the lyrics reflects the grief and loss a dog owner experiences when pets die. It shows the great impact that dogs have in our lives and the permanent place they hold in our hearts.

10. “A Dog Named Fletcher” By Atlantic Wasteland

How enlightening it would be if only we knew what goes on in the minds of our pets. Atlantic Wasteland gives us a little peek into what dogs presumably think about in “A Dog Named Fletcher.”

The song is written from the perspective of Fletcher, giving us a unique narrative showing a dog’s thoughts and emotions. He is sick and finds himself alone in a vet clinic or hospital, feeling disoriented. All he wants is to be with his family doing all the usual stuff he does.

Fletcher shows us through this narrative that he shares a deep bond with his humans. We can tell he is dearly loved, and this is also a difficult time for his family. It goes without saying that if does not survive his illness, it’s going to break his family’s heart.

11. “My Dog And Me” By John Hiatt

Up next is John Hiatt‘s heartfelt song “My Dog and Me.” This song is proof of the loyalty that dogs have to their owners.

In the lyrics, we find the owner and his dog enjoying the outdoors. Perhaps this is one of their favorite things to do and places to visit. The dog would mark the trail and chase away animals to keep the coast clear.

During this walk, the owner recognizes that his dog would “lay down her life” without question. His dog would no doubt “face the bullet” and “face the knife” to keep him safe.

And while the song does not directly address losing a pet, these characteristics make it hard to deal with when a dog passes away. It’s a reminder that dogs give us unconditional love.

12. “Good Dogs” By Jameson Rodgers

In “Good Dogs,” Jameson Rodgers shares a sentiment that dog owners know by heart. Dogs bring so much joy to our lives, yet they are given a short life with their families.

The lyrics tell us how important dogs are in our lives. They are more loyal than most people and stick by our side through life’s lows and highs.

Just like Rodgers says, “It hurts like hell to lose ’em.” They’ve been with us for so long that it doesn’t feel normal to not see them around. What we can hold on to is their memories. Somehow, it helps ease the pain of dealing with the loss of a beloved dog.

13. “Sad 2” By Greta Kline

Dogs are simple creatures. But when they die, we realize just how profound their impact is on our lives. In Greta Kline‘s “Sad 2,” she shares her feelings after losing her dog.

Kline is speaking from experience, having owned a dog named Joejoe. She penned several songs, including “Sad 2,” following Joejoe’s death. She confides, “Dad made the appointment, To kill my best friend. There goes my fear of death.”

Joejoe’s death saddens her because her dog was the only one she could confide in. It’s through this song that she is able to express her grief and longing for the passing of her dog.

14. “It’s Just A Dog” by Mo Pitney

Dogs can mean so much to us. So much, in fact, that they become a permanent part of our lives, and it’s heartbreaking to lose them. That is what you’ll find in Mo Pitney‘s “It’s Just a Dog.”

In the song, he recounts how he found his dog one rainy night. He could have just driven away, but it must be fate that he took that dog home. And just like every dog owner, he’s gone through challenging times that involve his dog chewing on shoes, digging holes, and chasing cars.

But nothing can ever replace a dog in a man’s heart, even after she passes away. There’s that feeling that something is always amiss, and he finds it hard to come to terms with her death.

This song serves as a reminder of the unique bond we share with our dogs and their profound impact on our lives.

15. “Chasing Butterflies” By Frankly Speaking

Singer-songwriter Jordon Frank, who goes by the name Frankly Speaking, is known for writing songs that tug at the heartstrings. A case in point is “Chasing Butterflies,” an ode to the wonderful furry friends we have.

This is Schneider’s own tribute to his dog, Keys, whom he lost to cancer. He lists down all the ways that make dogs special, showing us the pure nature of these creatures.

At the end of the song, we learn of Schneider’s heartache at the loss of such a wonderful friend. He wishes to be reunited with his dog one day. But until then, he wishes for Keys to be “chasing butterflies” and having the time of his life.

16. “Little Boys Grow Up And Dogs Get Old” By Luke Bryan

Country singer-songwriter Luke Bryan sings a touching and bittersweet ode to man’s best friend in “Little Boys Grow Up And Dogs Get Old.”

In the lyrics, the singer recounts how Bandit, a black lab, came under his care. They became best friends fast, doing things together and forming a relationship that would outgrow both of them.

He enjoys their time so much that he thinks they’re going to be together forever. And while he is only entering the prime of his life, Bandit is already in his old age. It’s a rude awakening for him to realize that dogs get old.

17. “I Will Always Be With You” By Jesse Corti And Sheena Easton

When it comes to songs about dog loss, few can match the emotional power of “I Will Always Be With You” by Jesse Corti and Sheena Easton. This is a beautiful song that celebrates and remembers the bond between you and your pup, even long after they have passed away.

The lyrics, from the perspective of the dog, are full of love as he reassures his owner that he will always stay by his side. He is gone and on a different path than his owner’s. But it doesn’t matter because they are “joined at the heart.”

This song is a poignant reminder to all dog owners whose pets crossed over the rainbow bridge. It brings comfort and happiness to know that dogs are “like a guardian angel,” always looking out for you. And the bond that you shared “doesn’t end with goodbye.”

18. “Old Grey Dog” By Jimmy Scott

All dogs should be loved and cared for, despite their age. Jimmy Scott offers a song called “Old Grey Dog” in tribute to our senior canine friends.

In the song, Scott recounts seeing his neighbor’s aging dog, which is always alone. Obviously, his owners neglect him, seeing how his tail is matted and “his fur is a mess.” And even when they’re home, they don’t spend time with their senior dog.

The song reminds us to love our pets, especially the senior ones as they don’t have much time in the world with us. All their lives, we are the only family they’ve ever known. And they give their loyalty to a fault. The last thing we can do is love them with all our hearts.

19. “Old King” By Neil Young

Last but not least is Neil Young‘s “Old King,” a tribute to his dog named Elvis. He changed the name to King in the song to avoid confusion.

Now King is the best hound dog the singer has ever known. They spent many days together on adventures that he would always look back on. As is always the case, it’s when the dog is already gone that we realize just how much they mean to us.

The singer has the same realization as he feels a deep sense of loss after King has gone. He acknowledges that dogs are irreplaceable, and their bond with us remains beyond death.

Summing Up Our List Of Losing Your Dog Songs

We know that losing a beloved pet is an incredibly difficult experience. The grief can be especially hard to bear, often leaving us feeling lonely and overwhelmed with emotion.

We hope that the songs above helped you heal a little. But above all, we hope that they reminded you of the special place your four-legged best friends have in your life.

So if you want to celebrate or just remember your faithful companion, we recommend going back to our list. As you already know, music is one way to get through grief and honor your pet’s memory at the same time.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.