Five Tips For Handling The Death Of A Pet With A Toddler

The death of a pet is definitely an emotional time in one's life, but even more so when you have a toddler to care for. After all, you have to decide if it's something you want to talk about with your toddler and how you are going to handle it. Here are five tips for doing this:

  1. Explain Doggy Heaven: One of the best ways to explain where your pet has gone is explaining that there's a doggy heaven or a fish heaven or a cat heaven. This eases your toddler's mind a bit and usually helps to cease the questions of where the pet has disappeared to. It also provides comfort if your toddler is a bit more understanding of death since you can explain that this heaven is a place where dogs or cats or fishes are happy and get to play with each other in the clouds. 
  2. Don't be Afraid to Cry: If this is a pet you were close to, which is typical with cats and dogs, don't be afraid to cry in front of your toddler. It shows your toddler a way to handle emotions and grief and it's okay. 
  3. Keep Your Toddler at Home: If you are going to be going to the vet to put your pet down, it's best to leave your toddler at home. While explaining death is fine, you probably don't want your toddler there with you, especially since it could stress your dog or cat out. 
  4. Answer Their Questions: Remember that at this stage in life, your child is extremely curious, which means lots of questions. Be sure that you answer these honestly and with thought. This is going to make the situation a whole lot easier on you. 
  5. Prepare Your Child: If your pet is still healthy, consider taking your child with you to the vet appointments. This teaches your child the importance of keeping the pets you love healthy and helps them better understand what can happen if your pet gets sick. Just be sure that you have a helping hand with you so that your pet doesn't become too stressed about the situation and you are able to comfort them when they need it. 

With these five tips in mind, life with pets and a toddler can be made much easier, especially when it comes to handling the death of a loved pet, which is an emotional and sensitive time for everyone. 

Contact an animal hospital like Acequia Animal Hospital for more information and assistance.