How children deal with pet loss
Please always consult a pediatrician or your physician for more in depth professional guidance specific to your child's needs and their age. Children will feel a sense of loss in the family and will sense your grief and stress indirectly. Be especially mindful and available to your children during this time and openly discuss the feelings everyone is experiencing.
Below you will find some information on the things children may experience.
0 to 2 years
Children will feel your emotional distress.
2 to 4 years
Children this age understand the loss in the family, yet they may not understand the permanence and finality of the event. They will be curious and openly ask questions about the death of the pet. They may "work through" this through play with their toys and drawing.
5 to 8 years
Children this age may not be equipped to deal with death. The grieving period for their pet may have a delayed onset of sometimes weeks or even months. Children around eight years of age are grasping the finality and permanence of death.
9 to 12 years
At this age, children are able to express their grief and talk about their feelings related to loosing their pet . Some children may be curious about the process of dying and euthanasia itself.
13 to 17 years
Teenagers are going through a lot of changes in their physical and emotional body during this time, so anything that is happening in their immediate life may exacerbate this. They may act as adults and be tough and strong, yet shortly after they may require your attention as a smaller child would.