Dogs

Dogs

GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A PET

 

The death of a cherished pet creates a sense of loss and produces a predictable series of emotions. The stages of grief are typically denial, sadness, depression, guilt, anger, and relief (or recovery). The effect on children vary widely depending upon their age and maturity level. 

The basis for their reaction is their ability to understand death. Young children typically have no understanding of death, and often consider it a form of sleep. They should be told that their pet has died and will not return. Older children (7-9) begin to understand the irreversibility of death. They may become very curious about death and its implications. 

Parents should be ready to respond frankly and honestly to questions that may arise. Adolescents generally understand death as natural, inevitable, and universal but may exhibit various forms of denial which usually takes the form of a lack of emotional display.  Consequently, these young people may be experiencing sincere grief without any outward manifestations. Several brief discussions with your children are generally more productive than one or two prolonged sessions. It is important not to underestimate the effect of the loss of a pet on your child’s life.

 

Please phone the staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital for any assistance. 6372 2105

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