Books About Losing a Pet

Image Credits: Pixabay

Pets are a child’s best friends, and saying goodbye to one can be incredibly hard. But that’s the tide of life, and as parents, you’ll need to help your little one cope with this loss. One way to do this is by introducing them to pet-themed literary gems. The books in this list deal with the loss of a pet, and they can help your child grieve and cope with the pain.

  • Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant

Ages: 3-5

This beautiful and touching book about the death of a dog promises readers that there is life after death. With its bright and colourful pictures and uplifting lines, Dog Heaven assures young readers that although their dogs aren’t with them, they are at peace. They’re with God and they’re cared for with lots of biscuits and loads of hugs.

For those who have lost a cat, Rylant has written another title – Cat Heaven.

  • The Goodbye Book, by Todd Parr

Ages: 3-6

This book is perfect for those who’ve lost their aquarium friends. Narrated through the eyes of a wee fish whose just lost his tank-mate, The Goodbye Book explains the various stages of grieving, without directly referencing death. The author provides advice to cope with grief in a way that tiny tots can understand.

  • Paw Prints in the Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet, by Warren Hanson

Ages: 5 & above

This book is a real gem. A journal and short story combined, Paw Prints in the Stars, allow your child to paste favorite pictures and collar tags of their pets in the book. As the story progresses, you can reconstruct your happy memories with your pet by adding cherished keepsakes. The best part about this book is that it never specifies a particular animal. You can use it to preserve beautiful memories of all your furry and non-furry friends.

  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst and Erik Blegvad

Ages: 6-9

Extremely tender and soulful, The Tenth Good Thing About Barney is a book that will leave anyone – children & grownups – teary-eyed. But this is a good thing. Narrated as a series of conversations between a boy who lost his beloved cat and his father, the book explores the realistic side of death and how to move on, even in the midst of crippling grief.

  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, by Bryan Mellonie, illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Ages: For all ages

This is the only book in this list that’s written like non-fiction. But it’s just as gentle and just as powerful in helping little ones cope with the heartbreak of losing a pet. Written in a poetic format, Lifetimes explains how plants, insects, birds, animals and humans live. Using short and simple sentences, the book explains three stages of life – birth, living and death. The stunning graphics, combined with the comforting lyrics, make the book very calming to read. This is the perfect book if you’d like to introduce your child to the reality of death gently. 

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