Coping with loss

No matter the circumstances, losing a pet can have a huge impact on your life. It can leave you with feelings that you don’t know how to deal with. It is normal to feel sad and a bit lost at this time, it is testimony to the special bond we have with our animals. You may feel a bit empty especially if you spent a lot of time caring for your pet.

It can be a daunting task to explain death to a child, for many children the loss of a pet is their first experience of death. They can experience feelings of sadness and loneliness. It is best to be honest with children about the circumstances of a pets death using easy to understand language, don’t pretend the animal has ‘gone missing’. Do not underestimate their feelings. Encourage your child to draw pictures or write stories about their pet or make a memorial box/scrap book. Share your own feelings of sadness so they understand it is completely normal to feel this way. Here are some stories which may help explaining pet loss:

Missing My Pet
By Alex Lambert (aged six).

Goodbye Mousie
By Robie.H.Harris.
Published by Simon R Schuster.

Goodbye Mog
By J. Kerr.
Published by Picture Lions.

The Sunshine Cat
By Miriam Moss.
Published by Orchard Books

The Very Tired Lioness

The Blue Cross run a Pet Bereavement Support Service to help both adults and children through this difficult time. It is completely confidential and can be accessed via phone or web chat. Here is the link should you wish to use this service:

Pet bereavement and pet loss