Coping With the Loss of a Pet

young girl hugging cat

Reading Time: 5 mins  

Suitable for: Families of primary-age children 

Read the secondary-aged version of this Quick Read

Pets are more than just animals - they're members of the family. Unfortunately, the joy of owning a pet goes hand-in-hand with the heartbreak of losing one. For many children, their first experience of bereavement occurs when their pet dies.

Having a conversation with your child about the death of their pet can be extremely tough, but it will give them the strategies they need to deal with loss throughout their lives. 

Talking about an expected loss 

Knowing a pet will die is hard for you as well as your child, but it's best to be honest about what's happening. Perhaps you feel tempted to hide it away from them, so they don’t worry or feel sad before they have to, however this makes the death a sudden shock when it comes. It's better to talk to give them time to adjust.


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