Pets and children are natural companions. As part of our families, pets are children’s playmates and beloved friends, sharing in joy and adventure as they live and grow together. Children look to their pets for companionship when they’re happy and comfort when they’re hurting or troubled. That’s why it can be devastating when a family pet passes on due to illness, aging, or an accident.
Although losing a pet can be heartbreaking, teaching your children to grieve in healthy ways can help to prepare them for loss they’ll experience later in life. At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we’re there for pets and their families through every stage of a pet’s life, and that includes offering support during the grieving process. Follow this advice to support your children when they lose a beloved pet.
1. Be Supportive
It’s important to let children know that their feelings are valid and that you support and love them. Talk to your child and let them know that you’re there for them. Be sure to offer plenty of reassurance and emotional support throughout the grieving process.
2. Speak Openly
Let your child know that it’s healthy to talk about their feelings if they want to. Discuss the loss of your beloved pet frankly instead of downplaying what has happened. Avoid using the phrase “put to sleep” as children may understand the euphemism literally and become afraid that it will happen to them. And never lie to children about where the pet has gone. Instead, emphasize the permanence of death while celebrating your pet’s life.
3. Show Your Feelings
Don’t try to hide your own feelings about your beloved pet. Children look to parents for guidance on how to handle new and difficult situations. Don’t be afraid to show the depth of your emotions and talk with your children about the love and heartache you feel at losing a family member. Consider hosting a celebration of life ritual to honor your pet and give children closure.
4. Emphasize the Good
Talk about the happy memories your child shared with her pet, and encourage her to draw or write about those memories. Emphasize that although life is finite, after those we love are gone the love and good times we shared with them will live on inside of our hearts.
Call Our Edina Veterinarian Care Team
At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we will do all we can to make sure your pet has a healthy, long, and beautiful life. We offer a complete range of veterinarian care services from vaccines to pet dental services and pet emergency care. We know you love and cherish your pets, and we’ll treat them as the valued family members they are throughout their long and happy lives!
To schedule your compassionate Edina veterinarian care, give us a call at 952-831-8272 or contact us online. We can’t wait to help your pet feel her best for a lifetime!