Kid Appropriate Books Re Pets Dying

Updated on November 17, 2015
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
10 answers

Had to put the family dog down today. Advanced pancreatic cancer. The dog lived at my parents where DS goes daily after school. We've told him and he seems to understand but even so, anyone have any ideas for videos or books that are appropriate for a 5 year old?

Thanks and love to your four legged family too.
F. B.

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answers from Austin on

Just wanted to say that I'm sorry. This week marks one year since my dd lost her beloved companion dog. The dog was 15. My dd is grieving this week, and it's really hard for her.

I'm sorry, I don't know of any books. There are resources online. I know that it's really important to never use the term "put to sleep", but to use honest words, and to let your child know that it's ok to talk about the pet and to listen to your child if he wants to talk or ask questions.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If your son's doing alright with the news, there's no need to belabor the point.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm so sorry. We lost one of our dogs in August. It's heartbreaking.

I used the book All Dogs Go to Heaven when daughter was younger.

Thinking of you.

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answers from Washington DC on

i'm sorry, sweetie. that's always tough.
i'd suggest you drop by the library and get your neighborhood librarian to help you.
but if he's taking it well so far, i'd be leery of over-helping him, KWIM? you might be better off to let it be, and let him just bring you questions or comments as they arise. and that way you'll have a better in to know how he's processing it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If he is Ok, let it be.

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answers from Portland on

We had to put our beloved pet down and my youngest was around that age. She was very close to pet and was ok within a day or so. If he's ok, I would say let it go - mine needed to move on at that age rather than question it (like where do they go, etc.). Sounds like a good book (below from TF Allen) though if he has hard time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I'll Always Love You.



answers from Denver on

I went through something similar when my son was 3 years old and had found that such a young age, even 5 years old, children do not know how to identify what they are feeling. (Heck, most adults can't sort out their feelings.)
So, not discounting the comments about if your 'son seems fine' but young kids don't usually have the vocabulary and the full understanding of what is going on in their daily life.
When my mom's dog, 'Woof,' passed away my mom asked us not to say anything to our son and that she would handle it. A week later my son came to me and asked if 'Woof' had made grandma angry and if that is why they had gotten rid of 'Woof.' My son also asked me repeatedly when 'Woof,' was coming back.

Anyway, back to our dog, I talked to MANY people; child psychologists, teachers, regular parents, etc, when our dog was sick. Your child is just grasping that other's exist outside of his immediate awareness.
This was my son's first experience with death and honestly it will help set the framework for how he is able to deal for the rest of his life. (I know how that might sound but what happens to us as children truly creates who we become.)
Some books that were great, and we still have them in my son's bookshelf so that he can look at them even now.

"I'll Always Love You" by Hans Wilhelm (Awesome)
"Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children" by Bryan Mellonie & Robert Ingpen
"When Dinosaurs Die; A Guide to Understanding Death" by Laurie Krasny Brown
"The Tenth Good Thing About Barney" by Judith Viorst.
"When a Pet Dies" by Fred Rogers (i.e. Mr Rogers Neighborbood)

Good Luck



answers from Phoenix on

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. We lost one of ours a few months back, it's so hard. Sending big hugs to you and your family!!



answers from Chicago on

Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

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