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How do you tell your 4 yr old son his dog has to be put to sleep?

I am divorced and he lives with me 50% of the time so his yellow lab will be gone one day that he comes home. How should I handle this?

 
kdwiegandt

Asked by kdwiegandt at 12:46 PM on Jun. 1, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 20 (9,555 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • Tell him that Jesus wanted a pet doggy, and God thought your dog was the best dog in the world.
    Funerary

    Answer by Funerary at 7:04 AM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Just tell him that his dog died and is in Heaven. 4 is kind of an iffy age to understand putting a dog to sleep. It's easier to just say that the dog was old and sick and went to heaven
    Zakysmommy

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 12:48 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • i agree with pp. my dd's puppy died this morning and i told her he is in heaven (if that's what you believe in) she cried for about an hour but she's okay now
    josiesmommy00

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 12:55 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I would tell him that his dog was sick and had to go to Heaven to be with Jesus. And for those who don't believe animals go to Heaven, in the book of Revelations, Jesus comes back riding a white horse, if there are no animals in Heaven, where did he get the horse?
    JLS2388

    Answer by JLS2388 at 7:33 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Just be honest and let him know that the dog was old and is now in heaven. Then just love on him as he cries.
    daughteroftruth

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 12:59 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • When our cat was nearing the end of its life and we decided to put her down, we just told my daughter (who was 4 at the time) that the kitty was too sick to live with us anymore and that the vet needed to help her. Simple to her age. She knew the cat was not coming back, but I think at her age that was enough detail.
    Mom-2-3-Girlz

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 1:13 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • We told our kids (10-4) that our poor old dog was old and sick and wasn't going to live much longer, and then when he'd been put down we told the kids he died. We didn't discuss that he'd been put to sleep. They were sad but got over it quickly.
    riotgrrl

    Answer by riotgrrl at 3:30 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I would be honest. Tell the child the dog isn't well, and the vet will be putting it to sleep. I think it depends on the child on how they take in the information and how it affects them. My 3 year old was fine when we had to put our cat to sleep. I let her know that when Daddy took the cat to the vet, the cat wasn't coming home, so say goodbye. She did.
    MeandMyBabes

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 4:03 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • My friend's kids were not very old when they lost their great grandmother and a few months later they lost their dog. Mom and Dad just explained that the dog when to live with grandma and they understood as well as children less than 9 can.
    coala

    Answer by coala at 1:49 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Love this one!
    kdwiegandt

    Comment by kdwiegandt (original poster) at 8:37 AM on Jun. 2, 2011

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