How to help a child deal with the loss of a dog

by Vivien Richardson on October 22, 2010

Losing a dogIf a family dog becomes ill and passes away, everyone is bound to grieve at the loss, but for a child it can be more dramatic. Some children may feel guilty as a mix of emotions rise up; in their mind it may be that they think they are to blame for the loss of the dog in some way.

The one worry that arises from the loss of a dog in a child’s mind is what happens to a dog, will they be in heaven and will they see them again some day.

Taking time to communicate with a child verbally and keeping them busy will help them to come to terms with their loss much quicker. Have a family discussion together to discus the fact their dog was ill, or getting old, and how they are not in pain anymore. Speak about good times and funny memories, laughter will help them release some of the sadness, not all of it, but it is a start.

Young children could draw a picture of their dog and stick it to the fridge door. You can even have them write a letter to a pet and then place it in a hole in the garden, before planting a tree or a bush in memory of their dog.

A good idea is to give your child one of your dog’s favourite toys; placing it amongst a collection of soft toys in their bedroom.

A family can spend an evening or an afternoon gathering their favourite pictures and proceed to put them in a ‘doggie’ album, any such activity is a good positive way for a family to deal with the loss of their pet.

Pet insurance for a dog is an essential tool to have on hand if a dog suffers from a serious or debilitating illness and, in the worse case scenario, the passing of a much loved pet.

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