How to explain to the child the loss of the pet

How to explain to the child the loss of the pet

With the loss of a puppy or family cat, there is another dilemma of parents regarding the child. They think intensely how to best explain to them what a dog's death means and its significance. Discussions around such a topic could help the child understand the topic of losing a loved one and help them express their feelings and discuss openly about them. Explanations and how parents communicate about such a topic are essential.

Children understand the idea of ​​losing a loved one or a pet!

Children are able to understand, in their own way, that life ends at any given moment for any life.

Many parents try to protect their children from such moments and not let them go through that. It is very wrong, say the specialists, especially as they may be surprised at how well the children can react at such times. If the people around them are honest with him and give him clear and logical explanations then the child will know how to react, how to behave and how to control such situations. But it all depends on how you transmit the information.

The explanations surrounding the loss of the pet should be adapted to the age of the child. In any case, you should avoid using complicated words like "euthanasia" or tell them that "it took God-God for him" because it could create a conflict within the child and may manifest unwarranted aversion to God because he got his best friend.

Children 2-3 years

Children of this age do not understand the concept of death. They perceive this idea as being about sleep. The speech for this age must be adapted. It is necessary to be honest no matter how hard it is and to tell the child that the animal has died and that it will never return.

Most likely, his reaction will be a rather sad one and he won't say too many words. It is important to make the child understand that the death of the animal does not have the cause of something he did or said, so it is not his fault.

At this age you do not have to do too many problems, because the little boy will quickly overcome this drama and will very quickly accept another animal in his company. Even so, it is essential not to be lied to, even if it is small.

Children 4-6 years

From 4 years onwards the concept of death begins to take shape in children. They perceive death related to the continuation of the animal's existence beyond its physical presence on earth. It is an attempt to explain to the child that the animal is either asleep forever and rests forever, or is under the ground, but he continues to sleep, eat, play, etc.

At this age, children tend to take the blame on them and to display bouts of anger and disappointment. This attitude must be rejected and the child should be helped to understand that it has nothing to do with what happened. If this is not properly established and perceived by the child, it will tend to show feelings of guilt for the death of some past or future people.

Some children understand death to be a contagious disease and begin to fear that they will die immediately after the death of the animal. And this idea must be fought in the minds of children, helping him to understand that death does not transfer from the animal to him and that he will not die soon.

The suffering that tries to find the news and its manifestation are different and can take the form:

  • disorders of the bladder;

  • some digestive problems (constipation or diarrhea, problems with eating);

  • some sleep problems.

To find out all the feelings and feelings you feel it is necessary to communicate openly with the child and ask him frequently what he feels about the death of the animal. Do not try to make a long session on this topic. Frequent and short discussions are more constructive and useful than one, long and extremely emotionally charged, which can mark it strongly.

Children 7-9 years

From 7 years onwards children understand the irreversibility of death. They know that if the pet died he would never return. Unlike younger ages, they do not personalize death and do not think it will happen to them immediately.

There are questions and curiosities about death and its implications. You must be prepared to answer the most uncomfortable questions without appearing surprised, scared or indignant at what you are asking. No matter how difficult or how small your child may seem, you need to answer their questions honestly, giving them clear and real answers, but in an appropriate vocabulary.

The manifestations of suffering at this age include:

  • learning problems;

  • problems at school;

  • antisocial behavior;

  • a degree of hypochondria;

  • aggressivity;

  • isolation etc.


In the case of teenagers, things seem simpler, and the way of transmitting information is similar to talking to an adult about death. However, things are not so simple and by no means neglected. They can manifest various kinds of denial. Their suffering might manifest inwardly, without any outside reaction. Sometimes this is more dangerous than crying or screaming.

Honest communication on the subject and listing feelings about what happened are absolutely mandatory. Even if it is no longer a baby or small child, the adolescent still has a sensitive affective structure. Do not think that it is "just the death of the puppy", but that it is a good time to cause him to cope with a suffering, for future situations, when instead of the puppy or cat he could be a dear person.

Tags Child talks dead Emotions children Pets Communication children