How to Explain a Pet’s Death to Children
20 October 2022
The physician met with the dog’s owners and gave them unexpected news after going through the lab findings and doing Bella’s final examination. The liver cancer in their Golden Retriever had spread and was not getting better. It was unlikely that the 12-year-old canine would live longer than a few days.
Sara and Ryan Miller were devastated by the idea of losing their dog and were aware that another difficult chore was in wait. Their five-year-old son Beckett would need to be aware that Bella, his childhood friend, will shortly depart the family.
How to Bid Farewell
Finding the appropriate words to explain a dog’s death to a youngster continues to be heartbreaking, even after making the painful decision to put a beloved canine companion to sleep.
Losing a dog is often a child’s first encounter with the death of a loved one.
How children understand and handle the passing of their canines influences how they will react to lose in the future.
According to Pamela Regan, Ph.D., a connection scientist and experimental psychologist at California State University, Los Angeles, “Toddlers, particularly young children, do not grasp death the way we do.” It could take children weeks or months to come to terms with the fact that their dog will never return, depending on their age and degree of maturity.
Here are some strategies for handling this touchy subject:
Have a discussion
It’s difficult to comprehend when you find that your dog has a terminal ailment. Set aside undisturbed time to talk to your child about it in terms that are appropriate for their age.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Use true phrases like death and dying when describing the dog’s condition to a young audience, advises Regan. Avoid using euphemisms to downplay the incident.
A three-year-old can find it unsettling to hear that the dog has gone to sleep, especially when it’s time for a nap, according to Regan. “Sugaring up death by having the dog move to a mystical location or live on a farm may seem easier at the time, but it could lead to misunderstandings later. Tell your youngster that if the dog dies, it won’t come back.