Zip Code:
Provider Type:

          When Your Child’s First Pet Dies

          October 01, 2003

          Instead of protecting your child from the truth, Dr. Phil suggests that parents be honest and allow the child to learn valuable life lessons from the experience.

          Allow your child to cope.
          The research is very clear: People who learn to cope with loss the best and the earliest live much longer than people who don’t. If you are well into your life before you are allowed to wrestle with something like this, you can be absolutely devastated. The death of a pet is an opportunity for a child to experience some valuable self-observation. The child will see that he/she can experience loss, grieve and get through it.

          Honor the loss.
          One thing that is very important is that you honor the dog’s loss by having some sort of funeral or memorial service. As silly as that may sound, it really is a marker, psychologically and emotionally, to lay it to rest and get closure — even if it’s a hamster or parakeet. It’s preparation. When a child loses someone and there is a funeral, they’ve had some practice and observed themselves getting through the experience. Have the service to honor the pet and let him or her know you value life. That then becomes part of his or her value system.


          Phil in the Blanks – The Podcast

          Tell Us Your Story

          Be on the Show! Text “PHIL” to 88500

          Want to Be on the New Show “Face the Truth”?

          Want to be on “Face the Truth”, a new show by Stage 29 Productions (producer of “The Doctors”), hosted by Vivica A. Fox?

          Be on the Show

          Explosive Family Drama?

          Does everyone in your family have strong personalities and refuse to back down?

          Be on the Show

          Need Dr. Phil’s Help?

          Share your story for a chance to be on the show!

          Help & Resources

          Find Treatment Centers and Therapists!

          Check out the mental health treatment programs that have assisted Dr. Phil guests.

          Feeding America

          Learn how you can help feed a family struggling with hunger during the holidays.

          Be on the Show

          Have a Story Dr. Phil Won’t Believe?

          Want to appear on Dr. Phil? Text PHIL to 88500

          Simple Share Buttons
          Simple Share Buttons