Up next in Pet Care (18 videos)
Give Mittens and Rover the love and care they deserve.
You Will Need
- Time to talk
- Children's books about death (optional)
Explain what happened
Tell the child about the death of the pet in clear, direct, and age-appropriate language. Don't avoid the words "death" or "dying." Euphemisms may make things more difficult for your child to understand.
Show the pet
If your child is not afraid, show the dead pet. Some young children can accept the loss of a pet more readily if they can see the animal.
Tell your child you will always be available to talk about the pet -- and follow through on your promise.
Commemorate the loss
Many children feel better about the loss of a pet if they can participate in some kind of farewell ceremony for the animal. If a backyard burial is appropriate, help your child arrange it. If a 'memorial' service would work better, then help with that.
Talk about the loss. It can be hard to discuss, but your child will remember your compassion and understanding long after the memory of the pet has faded.