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When a child Loses a Pet

Loss of a pet can be extremely difficult for a child to understand. Especially in some cases this may be their first brush with loss. It is a very delicate line and no easy task. Not only is the adult extremely sad in this case but they also must try to explain the complexity of loss.

Children often derive a deeply special relationship with their pets, which include understanding, responsibility, special interactions and communications. Most importantly trust.

For many children their pet was their first best friend, or at least their truest friend.  One they could tell secrets to and feel completely safe.  One they could play imaginary games, one who they could cry too when no one else seemed to understand.  In the child’s heart their pet was their best ally against the world.  With this in mind the loss of a pet to a child can be devastating.

Communication is key.  It is important to realize that this pet was possibly much more than just a pet to this child. Many people other than the parents of this child may not comprehend that and not realize this pet was much more than “just a pet”.  To make matters even a little more difficult, it’s likely that this pet loss possibly is the first encounter with death, so the parent must soothe the child’s grief over the disappearance of a friend, but also try to explain the concept of death.

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