A Ritual and Prayer Upon Adopting and Naming a Pet

Reid Scott is quoted as saying, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had pets. Something about the connection you share with this entirely different species just blows my mind.”

They are intelligent and perceptive. They comfort us and humanize us. They make us better people. Our family has always had pets. This isn’t too surprising since more than 470 million dogs and 370 million cats are kept as pets worldwide (fish and birds are also very popular pet choices).

They are an integral part of our families. In our faith tradition, we enjoy many baby-naming and covenanting rituals. Here is one that my family asked me to write to use when adopting and naming a new pet.

Dear Holy One of blessing,
We are gathered together and filled with joy today
as we adopt and name this precious soul
who has chosen us to care for them.

(May insert how the pet came to the individual or family.)

Help us strive to meet their needs with love,
compassion, and tenderness.

Bless them that they learn trust and love.

May the paths of Torah guide us every day
to treat our new charge humanely, meeting their needs
before our own.

May we enjoy many good years of companionship with each other.

Joyfully, we give the name ___________,
(for the reason) or (because) _______________.

L’Chaim!

(Apply a collar or new name tag, then provide a toy or treat to the pet.)

Don’t forget to mark the occasion with plenty of pictures!

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