Helping a Child Deal with the Loss of a Dog

When a child loses a dog, they often lose a best friend. Many times it is their first experience with death. Learning to understand how to grieve while remembering the good memories is an important part of growing up.  A dog is a child’s playmate and comforter. A child and their dog form a special bond that is a vital part of their life. When their dog dies, it leaves a huge void in their lives. Establishing a memorial or having a ceremony to remember their pet can help them close this chapter on a high note, and cherish the memories that they formed. 

There are a lot of way to help children deal with the loss of a pet. Simply letting them talk, having a funeral service, scattering the pet’s ashes, or growing a tree. Whatever you choose it will make a lasting impression on your child. It will help them understand how to deal with loss and to manage future life changes.

Talk to them

child dog memorial

Talking to your child is the most important tool in helping navigate feelings. What was their favorite memory? What was their dog’s personality? Was he/she hyper? Was he or she a playful dog? What were their favorite games?

Have your child tell you their favorite story about their dog. Consider writing it down or recording it for them as they talk. It will give them something to look back on when they grow up and remember the pet as an important part of their lives.

Host a service

Having a memorial service for a child’s dog helps them say good-bye. It gives them a chance to talk about their favorite memories and voice any concerns they have about death. This doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated and there are many ways to help your child remember their favorite dog. If burying a dog is important, a burial urn is a good way to accomplish this. A burial pod can be buried almost anywhere without impacting the environment.  

With a burial pod, a dog can be buried at a pet cemetery, in your back yard, or many other places. If this is on private land owned by someone else, be sure to get their permission first. Children can invite friends and family and share their favorite memories.  Remember to take lots of pictures. Children love to look through pictures and talk about what they remember.

Create a slide show or online memorial

Do you have lots of picture or home videos? Create a slide show of your child and dog together. Not only is this something your child can watch over and over, it will be something that you and your child will both appreciate when they are grown. Likewise, home videos can easily be turned into a video that will be a lasting memory.

Create new life

If you are looking for a unique way to memorialize your dog, there are several different options.    Instead of simply planting a tree in memory, you can easily have your dog cremated and the ashes turned into a tree. A cremation tree will grow with your child creating a lifelong memory tree to aid in grieving their lost pet, now and for years to come.                

If you move often or live in a place with very limited yard space, an indoor plant might be a better idea. An indoor pet urn can be a beautiful memorial as well as a pretty decoration for your home.  You and your child can water and take care of the tree/plant while talking about their beloved dog. 

Memory chest

Creating a memory chest is a great way to remember a cherished dog. Children can collect their dog’s favorite toys, bowl, collar, leash, among many other items. They can then store them in a special chest or box. The chest will also give them a way of returning to the memorabilia during those times when they want to revisit and remember the wonderful times and things they had with their dog.

Scattering ashes

Scattering a dog’s ashes is another good way to remember your pet. Did they love hiking or camping? Take one last hike and scatter their remains. Talking about your pet on the way up makes this an incredibly special time for your child. Ashes can be easily spread near a trail or at another special place. They will never forget the time you took to remember their furry friend.

Taking children camping is always a memorable adventure. This can easily be turned into a way to remember their dog. Set a time aside to spread your dog’s ashes and talk about your favorite memories over a campfire.

Was your favorite memory of your dog at the beach or spending time on a lake or at the ocean? After having your dog cremated, a water urn is a beautiful way to have a memorial. Simply take the water urn out with you to the ocean and set your pet free on the water.

No matter how you decide to help your child deal with the loss of a pet, it will be something they never forget. How you help them handle the loss of a pet, will set the tone for how your child will deal with grief in the future. They will know it is okay to be sad for a time and then to be happy that they have so many wonderful memories with their dog.