Is it OK to use pass away for an animal/pet, or it is just for human?

If it doesn't sound OK, what should be used instead, died?

  • Okay in whose opinion? Yes, some of us may say their pet passed away. And others of us will inadvertently roll our eyes upon hearing it.
    – choster
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:13
  • @choster I mean, to Native American English speakers. In general in USA. Who roll the eyes upon hearing it?
    – Sus20200
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:14
  • 1
    It's used for persons. If non-human animals are regarded as persons, then "passed" is appropriate. It's not just for family pets -- I've heard it used for the great race horse Secretariat, e.g..
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:17
  • Just so long as it isn't used for the star of a cute cat video, I see no reason to object.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:18
  • When in doubt and if sensitivity is called for, it can always be said that an animal (even the one from the cute cat video) has crossed over the "Rainbow Bridge". There's a website and even a touching little poem to help comfort the surviving humans: rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm Oct 22 '15 at 19:38

Pass away means:

  1. To pass out of existence; end.
  2. To die.


Actually "pass away" is an euphemistic phrase to mean "die" as it doesn't sound respectful to the dead and it could be unpleasant (for some people) to hear.

Euphemism means:

a mild or pleasant word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive.

You can use "pass away" for human beings and animals that have passed out of existence. If you google it, you will see a lot of examples used for animals like dogs and cats.

  • Thanks. I don't google it since I don't know who answers. I want to ask it from Native American English speakers.
    – Sus20200
    Oct 22 '15 at 19:40
  • @Susan I understand. But you can at least see how they are being used in a certain context. You need to use "of" in place of "from" in the second sentence.
    – user140086
    Oct 22 '15 at 19:57

It's ok for animals too. For some people dogs especially are family members.

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. As StackExchange seeks definitive answers, rather than personal opinions, your submission would be strengthened with an expansion; for instance, citing examples of its use in major publications, or noted writers, would affirm its validity among the literati. Please take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance.
    – choster
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:18

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