Advice for the Death of a Pet

For many children, especially young kids, the death of a family pet may mean the loss of a lifelong friend. It may also be your child’s first personal encounter with death. Be open and honest about the incident if the death happens unexpectedly. If your pet is suffering from an illness that requires it to be euthanized, reassure your child that your vet has done everything she can but that your pet was too sick to ever recover. Avoid potentially vague and confusing phrases such as “put down.” Children told the pet has been “put to sleep” can develop a fear of going to sleep.