There are many ways you can tell your child that a pet has died from using a soothing voice or finding a comfortable and familiar place to tell them but the most important thing is to be honest. Trying to protect them with vague and inaccurate explanations can create more anxiety, confusion and mistrust.
Children often have questions like:
Why did my pet die?
Is it my fault?
Where does my pet’s body go to? Will I ever see my pet again?
If I wish hard enough and am really good can I make my pet come back?
Does death last forever?
It is important to answer such questions simply, but honestly.
Your child may experience sadness, anger, fear, denial, and guilt when their pet dies or they may suddenly become jealous of friends who have pets.
Let your child know it’s perfectly normal to miss their pet after they die and encourage them to come to you with questions or for reassurance and comfort whenever they feel sad or overwhelmed.