How To Help Children Cope With The Loss Of Their Dog

  • 11/11/2019
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At any age, losing your dog is devastating. Even if you have been trying to emotionally prepare for the day, it’s hard to believe that it will ever get easier. However, at a dog owner, it is the responsibility we choose to take on in exchange for years of companionship, loyalty, and fun memories.

For children, losing a family dog is sometimes their first experience with death and grief so it can be especially hard to understand. Even though everyone grieves differently, there are a few things you can do to make the healing process easier for your family. This guide on coping with the loss of a family pet gives valuable advice on helping your children through this tough time.

1. Be honest with your kids

If your dog’s passing is expected, try to talk to your older children about why this is the best decision to bring your dog peace. Younger children may not understand right away but be honest about your pet’s passing. You can explain a dog’s life expectancy, health conditions, and how wonderful their life was with your family.

2. Take time for grieving

There’s no set formula for how or how long someone should grieve. It looks different for everyone so try to avoid pressuring your children to feel a certain way. Let them express themselves and lead conversations to check on how they’re doing. Sometimes quality time with loved ones can help support your children while others may appreciate some alone time to rest.

3. Celebrate your pet’s life

When you and your family are in a good place, talk about ways that you’d like to honor your dog. It could be taking a walk around their favorite park or planting flowers in their honor. Whatever it is, take time to be together and memorialize your special family member.

Remember that losing your pet is going to affect everyone in your family, but you do have each other and all of the memories you made with your dog. Pets are a valuable treasure in our lives and they teach us some of the most important lessons about friendship.

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