Accepting the loss of a pet is never easy. Whether it is from natural death or in-home dog euthanasia, such as what Dr. Ray Spragley does, death isn’t something most people can instantly accept, especially kids. To make it easier for the little ones to accept and understand pet loss, keep on reading and we’ll talk about some of the best things to do.
- Read Books About Pet Death
One of the unique ways to help children get through pet loss is through books. Especially if they love reading, certain books can help kids better understand what happened. One of the best books to read is Goodbye, Brecken by David Lupton, which is appropriate for kids aged four to eight. Erainna Winnett’s Memories of You, on the other hand, is good for those seven to 12-years-olds.
- Do a Memorial Service
It might sound cheesy but having a memorial service for pets is a great coping mechanism not just for kids but even for adults. This can be an opportunity for kids to formally express their feelings. It will give them an avenue to pour out their emotions. While some children may participate, others may be hesitant. If that’s the case, then do not force them to do something they do not want.
- Answer their Questions
Kids are ever-curious. They have lots of questions, so expect that they will ask a lot of things following their pet’s death. The most important thing is that you are ready to answer their questions as honestly as possible. Be careful in answering their questions as they may end up blaming other people.
- Do Not Put Everything Away
One mistake most parents commit is that they quickly put the pet’s things away following its death. There should be no rush. Doing it will not take away the pain your child is feeling. It is just going to exacerbate their suffering. Wait until things have settled and when kids can fully accept their pet’s death. This might take quite a while.
- Be Real
Do not try to sugar-coat the situation. Death is a natural occurrence, so make sure that kids understand such. Do not pretend to be strong. Cry if you must. Show your children that it is alright to channel grief through their display of emotions. Some parents would rather avoid talking about it, but this won’t help. The more open and real you are about the situation, the easier it will be for kids to accept what happened.
For most children, losing a pet is their first experience with death. Help them cope by doing the things above. While death is inevitable, it is important to prioritize the health and well-being of pets to prevent their untimely demise. Look out for a holistic vet near me to help you uncover different ways to make pets healthier and prolong their life!