The death of a pet is often the first experience a child has with loss.  Children tend to grieve differently than adults do and they need lots of love, guidance and support. Parents often want to shelter children from death, which is understandable but honesty can be the best thing. Each child is unique and each age group and stage of development can have different reactions.  We’ve put together a list of links as well as books that will help you explain your pet’s death to your children and provide you with things you can do together to help them through their grief and begin to heal. 

Websites for Grieving Children

Websites with Activities to Help Grieving Children and Ideas to Memorialize Their Pet

Books to Help Grieving Children

  • Death of a Pet by Shirl and J.W. Potter, and George J. Koss

  • Being Brave for Bailey by Corey Gut, DVM

  • Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping by Marty Tousley

  • Stay: A Girl, A Dog, A Bucket List by Kate Klise

  • Remembering Baymore by Peter Gollub, DVM

  • When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers

  • Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

  • Healing A Child's Pet Loss Grief: A Guide for Parents by Wendy Van de Poll

  • I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst

  • Humphrey Was Here: A dog owner’s story of love, loss and letting go by Mark Asher

  • A Rainbow Bridge for Gus: A Story About the Loss of a Pet by Barbara Bareis Rigabar and Chris Sharp

  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Ryant

  • Cat Heaven by Cynthia Ryant

  • My Pet Died: A Coloring Book for Grieving Children by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia 

  • Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet: A Workbook for Kids and Guidelines for Adult Caregivers by Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD

  • Don’t Say Goodbye, Just Say See You! by Patricia A. Brill, PhD

  • Always Remember by Cece Meng

  • The Heaven of Animals by Nancy Tillman

  • The Next Place by Warren Hanson

  • Pet Loss and Children: A Guide for Parents by Mary T. Rochford Rose

Cats and Dogs Grieve Too

Pets grieve the loss of a companion animal or person in the home just like any other member of the family.  They may experience grief and depression just as people do. And no two pets grieve the same. You may start to see changes in their normal habits such as eating, sleeping and playtime.  Keeping to your pet’s routine and giving them extra love and support can help to get them through their mourning period.  The following links and books will help you to understand your pet’s grief and provide helpful suggestions to get them through this difficult time.

Website Resources


  • From Sad to Glad: Helping Your Dog Survive a Loss by Phoebe Lauren