Losing a pet can be very difficult on families and other pets that live in your household. Here we offer some suggestions on memorializing the memory of your deceased pet and offering support to family members during this time.

To memorialize your pet:

  1. Create a paw print with ink or clay.
  2. Keep a clipping of fur.
  3. Release a balloon with your pets name on it.
  4. Get a garden stone memorial.
  5. Donate bedding, bowls, and food to a local animal rescue.
  6. Make a donation to an animal charity in your pet's name.
  7. Create a keepsake book.
  8. Plant a tree or bush.

To helping your child cope:

  1. Extend comfort and reassurance.
  2. Explain that it this is nobody's fault. Children will often think the pet got sick because of something they did or didn't do.
  3. Encourage your child to talk about it and express their feelings by crying, writing, or drawing.
  4. Inform your child's teacher so they can serve as an additional and very valuable resource.
  5. Answer any questions honestly, keeping in mind your child's level of understanding.
  6. Allow them to ask the veterinarian questions so they realize we are here to help.

Pet loss support websites will also provide you with books, counselors, and coping ideas. Recommended sites are:

  1. Petloss.com
  2. Pet-loss.net
  3. Lightning-strike.com
  4. WSU Pet Loss Hotline
  5. Tufts Pet Loss Hotline