How to Explain to a 2 and 3 Year Old??

Updated on January 21, 2008
J.M. asks from Fox River Grove, IL
4 answers

We have a great little dog who we have had for a year but we are going to give her to a new home. It sounds bad but it basically comes down to the fact that I had forgotten how much work it was to have a dog, as we have not had one in many years and it is causing me a lot of stress during the day. We have another baby on the way and I know it will just be too much. So, that being said, we have found her what seems like it will be a great home. My son (the 3 yr old) says he is fine with it and that he won't be sad but I am scared that once she is gone he will change his tune. My two year old straight out says she doesn't want her to go to a new home. I feel bad but for some reason that little dog stresses me out so much. How can I help my kids cope with their doggie leaving if they end up devastated over it??? Thanks!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Get a cat or fish, anything that requires less attention. Or if you don't want to have any pets at all you could buy stuffed animals that look similar to your dog.

When daughter was 4 our cat ran away. We had had him for 7 years. He got out in the middle of a move. She was sad about it but not devastated.

Your children are pretty young and I think they will get over it quickly. Your 2 year old probably won't "really" remember the dog in a year or two.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Kids are resiliant - they recover from disappointment much quicker than we as adults do. But, have you considered getting them a much smaller pet that they have to care for themselves? To show how much work a pet can be? Like a fish or a hampster or another inexpensive, low maintenance pet. They may be of the age where they will be able to understand how much work it is to care for a pet. I'm sure a pet store will take it back if the kids decide that other things are much more importnat than tending to a needy pet. It could be a learning thing for them and will help to explain your reason for wanting to give the little dog a new home. As I said, kids are resiliant - they'll bounce back. I think they recover from disappointment much quicker than we as adults do. Ultimately the decision is yours, cause your mommy and you know what you can handle, and if you're OK with the decision, they will be too. Good luck, Jamie.



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear Jamie:

Buck up! Good for you making the tough choice to send the animal to a new home if it is too much stress. Jaime might miss the dog, but perhaps he can visit sometimes, and bring it treats.

Make a decision. If it is a group decision then take a vote, but if not..just make the decision, and say "I am sad too, but we can remember him in our prayers and go to visit!" Or you can say... "Yes..the dog isn't here at our home, but he is so happy to be with his new family and here is a stuffed animal to play with".

If you feel guilty the kids will suss it out and feel bad and not even know why. Do what is right for you and all good things will follow. They will move on if you do.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hmmmmmm.... So sad you have to give away your dog, but at least you found it a good home. Could you get your kids another EASIER pet -- like FISH ????? That's about all I can think of. My kids have had to go through pets (cats) dying, and that was traumatic, but we usually eventually replaced the pet with a new kitten.

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