Allow your child ample time to grieve. Don't hide your grief or tears from your child. You are an example for them about how to grieve. Some will cry and be sad. Some will seem to move on easily with their normal routine and experience grief and loss at a later time. Let your child lead the process. When they want to talk, listen with your full attention to their feelings. When your pet dies there is a loss in your life that is unique to each person. Sometimes this loss can seem to be overwhelming. Sadness, anger, guilt, or depression can all play a role in this experience. Allow yourself time and patience to grieve.
There is no set amount of time to recover, everyone's experience is different. Listen to yourself and take the time to heal. Your other pets will vary in how they experience the loss of their playmate. Some might not seem effected. Others seem to experience deep, emotional loss. Some pets may search throughout your home for the missing pet. Others may sit or lie in the other pet's favorite spots. Sometimes a pet may become depressed and not eat or play. If this behavior persists, your pet may need to be seen by your veterinarian. To ease the stress on your remaining pets: Let them smell the deceased pet if possible, or have them be present with your family while you grieve. Spend extra time with your remaining pets, go for longer walks, comfort them with gentle bruising. Be aware of these signs in your other pets, be a comfort to them and let them be a comfort to you.
Veterinary Schools that offer Grief Support
Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
607-253-3932. Monday and Thursday from 5:30-9:30pm EST
Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
517-432-2696. Tuesday and Thursday 6:30-9:30pm EST
Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
866-266-8635. Monday- Thursday 7-9pm and Saturdays 1-3pm
Additional Websites for Grief Support