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losing a pet, how did you tell your kids

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I think we will be putting our dog to sleep soon, within the next few months anyway.  Not sure about when because I'm not ready and I keep putting it off.  I started trying to talk to my son about it and he just bawled.  He's 9 years old and he understands death--we had a bad year last year, three family members died.  Once he started crying I just hugged him and didn't talk about it any more.  How did you tell your kids about a beloved pet dying?

by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 4:08 AM
Replies (11-16):
by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 8:26 AM
When we had to put our cat down my kid were young enough not to be super upset. We also ha another cat already though. Sorry for your situation, losing a pet is hard :(
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by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

This is very hard and I'm sorry you have to go through it. We had the same problem at the beginning of the year. Our Camile had a large tumor growing out of her shoulder (Ligament Cancer). We kept putting it off and putting it off, in the end we knew we were just making her suffer. She seemed comfortable, but I really think she was doing it for us. I had several talks with my kids, ages 12, 9, 3 (and baby). My oldest was the closest with her, she took it really hard. But having her know that Camile would no longer be in pain and would be with the family members and friends that we'd already lost, helped put her at ease. There are times now that she still gets sad but she does well with it. I found a few pictures that were just her and Camile, along with the other kids, and framed them for them. That way they could still have her close by. It was really hard but over time it starts to get a little easier. I wish  you the best of luck, and try to keep explaining to your son that your pet will be at ease and not in pain anymore. Let him spend quality time with your dog, so he can have his own special memories.

by Silver Member on Aug. 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM
We lost our puppy to Lymphoma last year, it was very difficult but we explained that he was in a lot of pain and was suffering. It was rough for a long time. We had him privately cremated and we took a lot of pictures his last week and made a memory photo book for him. It really helped all of us with closure and we can get the book out now and remember without tears our big guy and what a great dog he was. He was our first family dog and we only had him for 4 months but we loved him so much.

It will be difficult but lots of love, hugs and cuddles will help.
by Platinum Member on Aug. 5, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Loosing our dog was probably the worst thing to ever happen to my dd.  she was extremly close to her.  the dog had been her best friend since my dd's  birth.  They were inseperable.  I tried to break it to her slowly that it was going to happen.  Tiny had been sick for a long while. (she was actually born with problems) and the vet visits were becoming much more frequent. I really thought we were going to have to put her down eventually. But tiny ended up passing on in her sleep, right next to my daughter. Which is where she always slept.  My dd was 8 at the time and she's the one who found tiny in the morning.   I just told her tiny was in heaven with grandma and tiny was happy and not sick anymore.

by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 9:49 AM

We've lost sveral pets over the years - some the kids were able to say good-bye to first, others they could not.  When we need to break the news - we try to be straight forward and tel the kids it is ok to cry (often we are crying as well).

by Gold Member on Aug. 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM
We had to put our dog to sleep about 3 years ago. If you have seen Marley and me, our dog had the same problem. We actually watched that movie a couple of months before we had to put our dog down. Dd who was 5 at the time watched it with us, so that helped.
Anyway, our dog had been acting funny in the evening and dh decided to take her to the vet ER. Well he made the decision to put her down and took her body to my in laws (FILs best friend cremates animals). By the time dh got home it was after midnight and we decided to wake dd up and tell her. We started out by asking her about the movie and then explained how our dog had the same problem and had to put her to sleep. Dd cried and we got pictures of the dog and talked to her about all the good times we had with the dog. The dog was about 12 when she died.

Dd is 8 now and will go into our room (we have the dogs ashes on Dhs side table in a nice box) and will look at the ashes. She will also out of the blue say how she misses our dog.
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