How This Vet Talks to Kids About Pet Death

Do Consider Opportunities for Closure

Hold a service, say a prayer, plant a tree . . . it all works.

Offering a concrete reminder is also a good idea: Cremains, clay pawprints and professional-quality portraits are great, but even something as simple as a lock of fur will do. Kids often need these more than we think that they do.

Don't Forget

It might be hard to do immediately, but recalling past pets is a profitable family pastime. Tell a funny story over dinner, encouraging kids to do the same. And repeat this routine regularly.

We would all do well to remember that kids are just like the rest of us. And what any of us needs when it comes to dealing with pet death is honesty, mutual respect, and an opportunity to process and grieve in a safe and supportive environment.


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