Helping your children with the loss of a pet

It is always a difficult time when a family pet dies. There are some lovely things you can do to remember them

A pet is a huge part of the family and your children will love it nearly as much as they love you, in some cases the pet would have been around for most of their childhood and suddenly losing the pet will be a huge loss for your child. While parents will be understandably upset they will fear more for their children and how they are going to cope with their loss. While it is never easy, there are some things that you can do to help your child through this difficult time. 
Losing a pet is a hugely traumatic event in a child’s life and one that they will probably remember for the rest of their lives. They will feel a variety of emotions and while some kids will be open and share their feelings others may hide away and hope that the pain subsides. However like any bereavement the pain will not disappear quickly and this could really confuse your child especially if this is the first time they have dealt with grief and loss. 
  • As a family it can be helpful to talk about how you can remember your beloved pet and come up with some ideas to best acknowledge and remember them by. 
  • A memorial service were you might plant a tree in your pet’s honour or a flower and you could consider getting a plague made to put on the grass or on a bench. If there was a particular spot your pet chose to lay down and rest you could put a memorial there or anywhere you think appropriate. 
  • Your child could keep a memento of your pet whether it be his lead, collar, blanket or something else as long as it reminds your child of their pet. 
  • A special toy or collar could even be placed into a deep frame and hung on the wall for all to see and you could add the date your beloved pet passed away. 
  • Put together some photos and print them off on a card to put beside your child’s bed or to keep with them in their school bag. 
When you have decided what way you want to remember your pet sit down and share your memories as a family of your pet and all that he got up to. It is beneficial to encourage your kids to realise that they are allowed to be sad or angry and that it is normal to feel pain like they have never felt before. However include in your chat that the emotions will ease and one day in the near future they will feel happier and more able to cope. It really is true that time is a great healer and in time you all will feel better and once you are over the initial pain you may think about getting a new pet but don’t rush the issue and take all the time that you need. 
Written by Emma, Irish mummy blogger and staff writer at 
Check out her own blog at


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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