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Health Tip: When a Pet Dies

-- The death of a pet is a significant loss to every member of the family, but it can be particularly difficult for young children.

Here are suggestions to help your child deal with the loss of a pet, courtesy of the Nemours Foundation:

  • Explain to her that it's normal to feel sadness, anger, frustration and even guilt.
  • Let her see that you are sad and upset too, and that it's OK to cry -- don't hide your emotions from her.
  • Let her know that it's OK not to want to talk about it at first, but that you can talk openly about it whenever she is ready.
  • When she's ready, share happy memories and funny stories about the pet.
  • Encourage her to say goodbye, and offer to have a ceremony to remember the pet.
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Posted: July 2007