Talking to Your Kids About the Death of a Pet

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM America/New_York

Pets and children are a natural, loving combination. A pet's departure is often a child's first real experience with death, and parents can use the occasion as a teaching moment about the cycle of life and learning how to cope. Telling a child a pet has passed away is a difficult, but very important discussion that is best done in a familar and quiet space. The Child Development Institute offers helpful tips on how to accomplish this constructively.

Maturity Level
The age of the child will dictate the words that need to be used, but a parent should never lie about the event or allow the child to believe death is not permanent. The phrase "put to sleep" should also be avoided as small children may fear going to sleep and not waking up.

Circumstances
If a pet is dying of an illness or old age, children can be prepared before the death occurs. Explaining that the pet is not going to recover and will soon be free of pain is usually enough for understanding and acceptance. If the pet must be euthanized, asking children if they wish to be present is a way to respect their feelings about the pet while helping them face the reality of its death. When a pet dies unexpectedly, it is best to be calm and honest about the event without going into too many details.

Pet Aging
One confusing aspect of pet loss to children is not understanding how the aging process works for them. Kids often cannot comprehend that animals have a higher metabolism that causes them to age must faster than humans. While an older child will probably not require an explanation, a younger one will benefit from learning about "dog years" to come to terms with the loss.

Burial
If possible, burying the pet in a special ceremony will help to finalize the event. Allow kids to include collars, leashes, toys and and farewell letters and offer to plant a tree to mark the burial site. Inside the house, a special photo or other memorial can be put on display to help children remember their special friend. Reading books about pet loss together will help kids move along in the grief process.

Moving On
Children feel grief deeply but will move on quickly. Being open to communication about the loss and allowing kids to openly express their emotions is a healthy approach to the loss of a pet. Parents may also benefit by sharing their own experiences about special animal friends and how they felt when their pets passed away. When it seems that children have resolved their grief, it may be a good time to suggest adopting a new pet into the family.

The companionship and unconditional love of a pet is something that will stay with a child forever. Letting children know that death is part of a larger spiritual journey will help them cope and move forward.

Posted in News By

Scott Steckman

Create Your Loved One’s Customized Headstone

At Legacy Headstones it is our goal to provide you with the tools you need in order to create the perfect headstones for graves that honor your loved one. Legacy Headstones has been a family run business for almost 100 years so we understand the importance of a legacy. Creation and design of headstones may have changed over the years but one thing has not, our family tradition. We are proud to have our two sons Shane and Dustyn to carry on the craft of providing people with quality headstones at affordable prices.

We understand that it is always hard to lose a loved one, and we hope that Legacy Headstones can make choosing the right memorial as easy as possible. Our free memorial designer is easy to use and helps to ensure they you are able to create the perfect headstone for the departed. It really is simple, just choose the style of headstone you wish to customize, then use the designer to add anything you wish such as a family name, favorite quote, or even an image. Our designer gives you the opportunity to continue your loved one’s legacy and pass it on to future generations!

Blog

As the name implies, it's called this because it is usually placed at the head.  Also Headstones usually face the east

Read More

DIY

In todays economy everyone is looking to save some money.  Maybe no one would think of making there loved ones headstone!  Do it Yourself Headstones just think of it.  With LegacyHeadstones.com website you can design a gravestone just the way you want it.  

Read More

We have many traditional holidays in america, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, forth of July, etc. etc. .  But Thanksgiving is a holiday that is about giving thanks for our many blessings as a nation and as a people, enjoying family and friends and eating some good food!  This Thanksgiving do something for someone, even if you don't know them.  You will be blessed for it.

Read More

The tradition of funerals and burial history has been diverse throughout the thousands of years that humanity has existed. While a certain reverence and respect for the dead has been paid in most parts, there are many methods in which this process was carried out. 

Read More

Whether you call yourself Christian, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist, there is a common thread that binds all people on this earth, and that thread is the reality of death. There is a reason that all religions have a dedicated ceremony specifically to respect the people who have moved on beyond this life. However, even people who do not consider themselves religious have an internal compass that naturally points to respecting the dead. These ideas may not be crystallized, but they are certainly there. 

Here are just a few of the reasons that it is in your best interests to respect the dead even if you are not religious.

Read More

Pets and children are a natural, loving combination. A pet's departure is often a child's first real experience with death, and parents can use the occasion as a teaching moment about the cycle of life and learning how to cope. Telling a child a pet has passed away is a difficult, but very important discussion that is best done in a familar and quiet space. The Child Development Institute offers helpful tips on how to accomplish this constructively.

Read More

Losing a pet is never an easy thing to have to deal with, especially when you have become used to their comfort and love, and the process for grieving for a lost pet is often a painful one to bear, but did you know that in most cases, it is completely illegal to bury your pet in your own yard if you do not own the property yourself? Many people do not know this, and it can cause some serious problems if the land owner decides that they are not comfortable with you having buried your pet on their property. So what do you need to know about making sure that you have the legal ability to inter your beloved animal friend? Here are a few key points to keep in mind if you have the unfortunate task of finding a final resting place for your pet. 

Read More

Tips for purchasing Headstones for Graves

  • Check your local cemetery regulations, about the gravestone size, dimension, and the gravestones they do not allow. For example, some cemeteries only allow granite and bronze headstones.
  • Decide the material, design, and inscriptionthat you want on the marker. You can go through various samples and choose the shape, style, and design of the gravestone you want, depending upon the nature and interests of the deceased.

    Furthermore, you can personalize the tombstone by getting a meaningful symbol or photograph etched on it. Besides, you can buy a pre-need monument for yourself. **Make sure you check and re-check your design for any errors, because once it is engraved on the gravestone its forever!**

Read More

Telling a child in college about the death of a family member is never easy, especially when the student is miles away from home or in the middle of midterms. In addition to the emotional upheaval devastating news of a loved one’s passing can create, campus life and classroom obligations can bring undue pressure and a conflict of commitments. Your student may feel torn between the obligation to complete important assignments and tests that could impact their future and the need to rally around family during their time of loss.

Read More

After a loved one has passed, it can be difficult to determine where to spread their ashes when it's time to say goodbye. Many family members or friends are often left to question the best location due to a lack of specifications that were made by the deceased individual.

For those who are looking for a place that will honor their loved one, there are a few factors to consider during the process and to have proper closure.

Read More