How to Help Your Child Through the Death of a Beloved Pet

Losing a pet is one of the hardest things to walk your child through. Here are some ways to help you cope through the experience and Bible verses to give all of you comfort.

How to help your child through the death of a pet

Something tangible

Ask your vet if they offer memory prints for a reasonable price.

When our little poodle passed away, each of my children got a paw impression to bring home with them. We hung it up on the fireplace for about a month then moved it to their rooms.

If a memory print isn’t an option, consider asking for a clipping of their fur for your child or take home their collar. My son also wanted to keep our dog’s bed and food bowl next to his bed for a long time. 

Related: 20 important Questions about God to discuss with your kids

Take your child’s lead

Ask your child if she wants to go with you into the vet’s office to say goodbye if you think your child is emotionally healthy to handle it.

Give your kids as much time to decide as possible and let them feel free to leave at any time if they do go inside with you. If possible, don’t make this decision for them. 

death of pet

The days after your pet’s death

Depending on your child’s age, they may act okay afterward and even want to go out with friends or do something to get their minds off it. Just be aware, they will end up facing the grief eventually.

I mistakenly thought my kids were okay and didn’t want to project my sadness on them, so I let them carry on that evening with friends.

When things calmed down, and they had no choice but to face the quiet, the grief came tumbling out, and they had trouble sleeping for a few days, and going to school became problematic.

Don’t rush

Don’t rush into getting another pet. Another pet will be more responsibility for you and your kids and won’t replace the pet your child lost.

Related: Should You Get a Dog? 7 Surprising Reasons for Yes

Your child needs to grieve her pet’s loss before getting another one, or else she may feel resentful of the new pet.

We waited six months before getting a new dog, and we were able to talk about our older dog without tears and only in fond memories. The anticipation of a new dog was filled with excitement, and there were no comparisons to our dog who passed away. 

Unexpected grief

Be prepared for your child’s grief to come up at unexpected times.

Your child may be acting unreasonable or be difficult a month later, and you’ll be at a loss as to why. Then you’ll dig further and find out it’s been exactly one month (or the 6-month anniversary) since your pet died.

You may have forgotten this detail, but your child may hold onto the date and be upset quite a while longer and not tell you about it. 

Related: What to do When Your Child Won’t Sleep and What They Really Need

Don’t forget about you

Take care of yourself. Losing a pet is like losing a family member, and while you’re so focused on taking care of your children, sometimes we forgot about our feelings.

Reach out to a friend, take time to cry, grieve for your furry friend. 

Bible Verses to Help Your Child Process Your Pet’s Death

While some might argue that only those with souls who can repent go to heaven, these verses are comforting after the loss of a pet because they are reassuring that God loves all the animals.

Related: 5 Ways a Pet Teaches Your Child Empathy

If your children question if they will see their pet again in heaven, I hope these scriptures are of comfort to you and your children.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Luke 12:6

For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same spirit, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

Ecclesiastes 3:19-20

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:10

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

Psalm 36:6

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.

Genesis : 9: 13-15

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:13
How to Help Your Child Through the Death of a Beloved Pet