Kids Book to Help Deal with Pet Death...

Updated on August 04, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
12 answers

Are there any really good children's books anyone can recommend to help a child overcome their grief of the death of a beloved pet? Ages 4-6... or whatever's good is appreciated ;)

BTW, does anyone else's kid have a really, really hard time getting over the death of a pet? What did you do to help them move past the grief and into smiling at loving memories of the pet?


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So What Happened?

@Jess, LOL THANKS!! I just searched it and I won't even tell you what came up... it was NOT child appropriate. My search words must have been... not worded properly ;)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This is a GREAT book about life and death:

Lifetimes: The beautiful way to explain death to children
Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen
Bantam Books

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Antonio on

I haven't read them, but found these:

Up In Heaven by Emma C Clark. Summary: When Arthur's dog Daisy dies, she watches over him from heaven and eventually helps him find a new puppy.

All God's Creatures Go To HEaven by Amy Nolfo-Wheeler. Summary: A child angel discovers that the special purpose of children in Heaven is to care for pets until they are reunited with their human companions.

The Berenstein Bears Lose a Friend by Jan & Stan Berenstein. Summary: Sister Bear loves taking care of her pet goldfish, Goldie. Sister feeds Goldie every morning and evening, cleans out her tank, and even gets her a beautiful fishbowl castle! But when Papa and M. find Goldie floating belly-up in her tank, they worry about how Sister will feel. How will the Bear family cope with the loss of Goldie, the best goldfish in the world?

A Dog like Jack by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. Summary: After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days

Angel Cat by Michael Garland. (No summary, sorry!)

No Dogs Allowed by Bill Wallace. Summary: Twelve-year-old Kristina, still struggling to come to terms with the death of her beloved horse, finds it difficult to accept the new dog she receives for her birthday.

The Bug Cemetery by Francis Hill. Summary: Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet.

(I did all this research JUST for you, R.. B/c you're so much fun and always sweet.) BTW - my 11 yr old Boxer will have to be put down soon. I am glad to do this pre-emptive research. I am not quite sure how my 3yr old will react. Our dog is living at my parents, so it may be easier on him since the dog is out of sight/out of mind most of the time. All the books I found for you listed above are at my local library btw.

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answers from New York on

My son (at five) like Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant she also wrote Cat Heaven. It's very sweet (if your family believes in Heaven and God) I love the unconventional representation of God. He liked the simple adorable explanation of how cool dog heaven was. full of bones and balls and children to play with.

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answers from Austin on

Cat Heaven or Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant

To this day, it causes a little ache that I don't even know where either of my childhood pets are buried. (We lived on a large, heavily wooded lot; it was easy to cover the spot with pine needles and leave it). Consider giving your son the option of at least knowing.

I'm sorry for the loss of your pet.

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answers from Washington DC on

Oh gosh. My parents had to put down the family dog we had had since I was 13 when I was 24...she was a yellow lab and the sweetest thing in the world. Iwas pregnant with my 3rd and my oldest, at the time was 3, she LOVED Chelsea like crazy. She is 8 now and she still cries for her. I hate it. I think us just getting puppies has helped a lot because she is building the bond with them now. But we always just told her Chelsea was old and it was her time to go to God...not sure if she understood when she was 3, but she knows now. So I don't have any good books, but I think getting another one is a help - not to replace, but to build a new bond.

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't have a book but we let balloons go up into space and send them to Brutus so he can play.
I bought my daughter a stuffed black lab.
We waited over a year to get a dog and we did not get a black lab, we got a lab mix, but she looks like a shepherd.
Let her have this time to grieve. As soon as school starts she will be busy and not have as much time to think about her pet. Also get her involved in soccer or something physical, so she can run off her grief.

My kids have a soft spot for black labs. And anytime they see one they are all over it, my hubby too. Brutus was 12 1/2 when he died suddenly of pancreatic failure.

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answers from Chicago on

We lost our cat last week. My older girls took it very hard. My 3 yr old thinks I need to go to the doctor to bring her home. She even knows the name of the vet place even though I did not mention the name when we took her there (she had died at home). They gave me a poem called "Rainbow Bridge". One of my older girls put it in a scrapbook about the cat. It helped a little bit and I don't think it is out of age range for your little ones. I am sure if you google "rainbow Bridge" +death of pet, it would come up.

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answers from Albany on

Bleck, we will be putting our 11 year old Golden down, probably next week. I have talked at length (in between sobs) with all three kids. They don't remember a time WITHOUT her. But then they're teenagers, and have had experience with death already, pets and people. Sigh.

I think the next few weeks will be a big ole sob fest in my house. I think it's normal, healthy, and necessary to mourn freely. I think the best way to 'move past grief' as you put it, is to let the grief run it's course.

We still talk about Doggy Heaven, on an older child kind of scale. She'll have no pain, no confusion, she'll have peace.....

I'm sorry for whatever pet in your life you're losing, that sucks.


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answers from Washington DC on

I can't see the other answers, but you've probably already been told about "The Ten Best Things about Barney" - or something like that.



answers from Washington DC on

So, so, hard. We're a total dog family. When my husband and I were dating we discussed and agreed upon what kind and how many dogs before we ever got around to the kid discussion.

Dog Heaven is wonderful, but will make you really cry - in a sort of good way. Our vet gave it to us when one of ours died.

About getting over it - kinda funny story. When I was pregnant with my youngest, our old Lab was really showing his age and the older two just kept asking him to hold on so he could meet the baby. Well, he made it until just before the baby's first birthday. Flash forward many years - youngest is in 2nd grade, pulls out the old photo albums and is sad that he can't remember Gus - so lots of talking and story telling and tears.

Pick him up from school the next day and his teacher tells me it's been a really, really rough day and he couldn't stop crying and Hey! by the way - mom, wish you had emailed me and given me a heads up that his dog just died! She was SO peeved to find out the dog died years ago and my little guy was re-living what he couldn't remember - and of course she couldn't get mad at him.

As to helping - lots of photos and stories. We all took off the day after they died and went to the zoo and talked about the wonder of all animals. But sometimes all we could do was acknowledge the sad part.

The grief thing can come and go... we still really miss our first two and as I type this our current two sit snoring at my feet - 14 1/2 and 12 1/2 - dread what's coming.




answers from Washington DC on

I don’t have any books other than the ones that have already been mentioned, but I have had to employ 2 different things to help children get over the loss of a pet. For my youngest this year, it was a stuffed animal that looks like the pet & for my oldest it was to get a kitten after her cat died 2 years ago.

It was our 2nd pet loss in 2 years and we explained the Rainbow Bridge and pets waiting in Heaven again, but my youngest (3 ½) took it the hardest – I think because he was not old enough to remember the previous pet who died when he was only 2. He kept asking for his Allie (the dog’s name). I took him to no less than 4 stores looking for the perfect stuffed animal. He wanted one that looked like Allie and that was hard to find. When we finally did find it, he knew right away! He slept with it and took it everywhere.

That was March and he still carries it around and sleeps with it, but not as obsessively as before. He still says he misses her and we talk about it and he knows that he will see her again, but in the meantime, she is happy with Granddad (her original owner who passed away last year) and her brother (who died several years ago).

When we lost my daughter’s cat suddenly 3 weeks before Christmas, she cried herself to sleep for days and could not sleep in her room. She was 7 at the time and the best thing for her was to get a new kitten. Eventually she started laughing at the things the kitten did that were similar to her old cat.

So sorry for your loss. ((HUGS))


answers from Washington DC on

I don't have a book.....sorry...

Greg and Nick were 8 and 5 when Obi died...we had pictures (still do) and let them cry and laugh at memories...

I'm sorry you guys lost your puppy-dog!!

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