Losing a pet
Children and young people can become very attached to pets for a variety of reasons…
“She was the only one who understood when I was upset”
“I could tell him all my troubles, and he never got mad at me”
“He was the only thing I could count on when my parents split up”
When a pet dies, it may be a child or young person’s first experience of the death or loss of something close to them.
They may feel that they have lost their best friend, an important member of their family and they may feel very sad and lonely. Feelings of numbness, disbelief and denial may be common. Sometimes anger or guilt may also be felt for something they did or said that makes them think they contributed to the death. The way in which children, young people and those around them deal with pet loss may lay the foundation for how they cope with other losses later in their life.