Death and loss are not easy things for a child to understand. They have a hard time grasping the concept that when something dies, it is gone forever. It is a sad topic and one that parents don’t like to broach with their children.
This means that a child’s first experience with loss may likely be the loss of their pet. This is something that mom thinks about when deciding to get a pet. That it can be a “learning moment” for her child since pets do not live longer than humans.
However, when the family pet has gone, mom may realize that she is still not able to help her child work through grief and the process of loss. She may look to resources, like books, to help her child understand what has happened, and how they can cope with their feelings. We have found 12 books that can help children cope with the loss of their pets.
12 The Goodbye Book
According to Pop Sugar, this is a great book for preschoolers, and it is a simple book about how to deal with grief, loss, and more importantly, how to find happiness again. It has colorful pictures to help entertain children.
11 Koko’s Kitten
This book is special because it is a true story, and it tells the tale of a gorilla and the special bond it creates when it meets a kitten. It is fun, and it can help children understand grief.
10 When A Pet Dies
According to Read Brightly, this book (written by Mr. Rogers himself), not only helps children understand what death means, but it can also help them work through their feelings. It is a book that parents can trust to be honest and age-appropriate.
9 Cat Heaven/Dog Heaven
This author has a book for cat lovers and dog lovers, and it takes a different avenue with its tale. It talks about where our pets go when they die, and it may be great for families who believe in pet heaven, and it can bring comfort to children who wonder where their pets are now.
This book is greater for an older audience, and it tells the story of not just loss, but also the importance of friendship, and even talks about bullying. It is a great chance to get children to remember the good times they had with their pets.
7 Love That Dog
This is a book for children over the age of 8, and it is about a boy who has lost his dog and has found comfort in writing poems about what he is experiencing. It can be relatable to an audience who needs a friend.
6 The Rainbow Bridge
According to Barnes and Noble, this is another book that focuses on where our pets go when they die. It tells the story of a sheepdog who passes over the bridge, all the adventures it has, and how much it misses its humans, and how he checks on them.
5 Alfie And The Birthday Surprise
Judging by the name of this book, it may seem like it is on the wrong list, but it belongs here. This book centers on a character who loses their beloved cat but then gets a new one. It can help children understand that they may be sad now, but everything will be better eventually.
4 Saying Goodbye to Lulu
This book talks about the process of losing a dog, and when a family has to make a decision to put them to sleep. This is a great book for older children who may be ready to understand this concept, and it can help them heal and accept it.
3 I’ll Always Love You
This is a great book for a family who lost an older dog, and it talks about the boy in the family and how he has to get through his grief and welcome a new pet later on, but he will always remember how much he loved his first dog.
2 The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
This is a great book for a family who has lost their pet cat, and it talks about a little boy who has to cope with this loss. It is an honest, and sensitive book that can help children everywhere cope with loss.
1 Paw Prints In The Stars
This is the best book for children, and that is because it is completely interactive. It is both a book to help them cope with their loss and a journal for them to write their feelings down and work through their grief. This is great for an older child or a tween who has to work through some things now that they have lost their pet.
Sources: Pop Sugar, Read Brightly, Barnes and Noble