How can I explain to my kids their dog passed?

How can I tell my kids that their dog passed away? They were visiting their father this past week and their 10-year-old passed away peacefully in his sleep. They are only 3 years old and 5 years old so I do not even know if they will fully understand so I want to be as gentle with this as a possibly can in a way they will. Please help me!


Look up Rainbow Bridge poem it can help and its sweet


There is a book what helps with passing of animals for young kids called rainbow Bridge x

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Our daughter was 5 when our dog who was 14 passed. She was at school when it happened. We were honest with her. We explained Kara (the dog) was really old and she passed away and went to heaven. We listed some other people that were heaven and just her Kara was now with them and they would take care of her.


Just don’t say anything like he fell asleep and didn’t wake up, cause they may refuse to sleep thinking they won’t wake up, I was always told that my pets went to pet heaven, and that they are playing up there with all the other pets and they’re happy. Just like I was told people that passed wemt to heaven.


When my son was young and we had a dog pass. We told him that Mia (the dog) was sick, and she went to live with Jesus and now she’s not sick anymore. That one day when he gets older he’ll understand it a lot more. She’s no longer hurting but instead up, playing with other dogs and kids and she’s happy.

My 4 year old has an idea of death as daddy is a video game player. Her favorite to watch him play is dead by daylight lol. It wasn’t hard for her to pick up is what I’m getting at though kids are very clever. Explain it in soft correct terms

We had our 12 year old and our 10 year old both have to be put down due to cancer within 2 months of each other earlier this year. I have a 4 year old and we were just honest with her that they went to heaven and they’re not hurting anymore. She still talks about them every day and says she misses them. My mom had a picture blanket made of one and we had a picture pillowcase made of the other one and it has really helped her. She loves her blanket and pillow so much and cuddles with them all the time.


I used the peanut butter passed while she was sleeping she’s now up in heaven with memare and they are all taking care of each other and no longer in pain or suffering

When we had a miscarriage, I explained it to my 4 & 6 year old like this.
We as people have a body. Our bodies are born from our moms. Our body is like a car. And we, the person inside our body is like the driver. Our driver or soul can not live in a broken car or body. So when our body breaks down, our driver goes to heaven.


We have been through this numerous times with our children and then our grandchildren. Just be honest and don’t make too much of it. They will be fine.

Thankfully I’ve never had to explain the passing of an animal. We are Christian and my daughter is all about Jesus. Has been since she was around 11 months. She was 2 when my grandfather’s cancer came back. There was nothing that could be done, he signed a DNR and finished his will. We explained to her that “great pawpaw” was going to live with Jesus soon. He wouldn’t be in any pain and he’d be with all of his loved ones who already lived with Jesus. We let her attend his funeral and she stood beside him telling everyone that it’s ok because he lives with Jesus now and isn’t sick anymore. I’m sorry I am no help and I realize that not everyone believes in Jesus, but this is what helped my daughter with death.

My 4 year old has fish and when one her fish dies we just tell her they have gone to fish heaven. She cries and gets sad but doesn’t fully understand but shes ok with them going to fish heaven

Most children handle death better than we do. Be honest and tell them the dog was old and not feeling well.


Let them help plan the “memorial” and do something special

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Awww I’m sorry to hear that. I won’t be much help though I’m a blunt straight to the point kind of mom and let’s just say not eveyones cup of tea. I hope it works out maybe do a honoring thing for the dog so they can give flowers

I said , Dog went to the farm for a vacation.

Just tell them dog gone.

I told my 4 year old that our dog went to heaven so he could chase cows and so that he would be made better (he was rather poorly and old)
She now waves at the sky when there’s an aeroplane clouding) as says its our dog chasing cows.

Our fish died (I didn’t mention it)
She told me a few days later that she had 3 fish and now she has 2 because one moved out :joy:

My father died when my son was 3 granted he(my father) was sick and in hospice care for a little before he passed then at the funeral he asked if grandpa was sleeping and if so when will he get up… death is a part of life?

It’s better to be honest in these situation; simply talk to them about the dogs age and that he/she was very tired and went to sleep but couldn’t wake up. Have photos if possible and talk about how much love it had shared with them and how they helped to make the dog happy saying it will always be in their heart and memories; share their grief as a family & be a mum. It’s never easy for any of you but have a goodbye talk about the happier times, I hope you find a way; they won’t understand fully but time does heal.

we told our kids that our dog died and went to heaven to take care of grandma and grandpa bc now they needed her❣ i told them if they ever wanted to say anything to her, she would always here them

We lost our dog in October 2019… we had him for almost 8 years. My kids basically grew up with him. He got hit by a car :sob::sob:. It was the hardest thing ever to tell my son. I didn’t want to tell him that he got hit by a car but being truthful about it is the best thing. Just be there for them. I’m sorry for your loss

Depending on your beliefs… I would just let them know that their dog was tired and she is so happy in heaven now watching over them.

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We have always been honest with our daughter. Unfortunately she was 2.5 when she was faced with death. We just told her that they went to heaven and would always be with her. I know that seems young but she randomly brings up that person and how they will always be with her. She is now 7. We did the same thing 2 years ago when we had to have our dog put down. We explained that he was very sick and we tried everything but he wasn’t getting any better and he went to heaven with her grand mom. That helped!

I would tell them the truth, that doggie was old and fell asleep and didn’t wake up because it was his time to go to doggie heaven!

He went to doggy heaven to be with Jesus :two_hearts:

honestly at that age kids are resilient and will talk about their pet from time to time but seem to get over it more quickly than older kids

You’ve got to be honest. Death is apart of life.

dont tell them they went to sleep

We just lost my 15yr cat few weeks ago. My 3yr old wakes up screaming for him every other night. Its so sad. Just gotta get though it

Be honest. Our cat passed away last January he was 9, and it was completely unexpected. I had to explain to my 2, 4 and 7 year old what had happened to their ‘big brother’. It was very difficult, but I had them sit down and we talked about what happened and that he was always with us. We have his ashes, paw print and the sympathy card from the vets office in our living room. They still cry when we talk about him, but they love reliving our memories of him.

Unfortunately, we can’t shield our children from death and experiencing the death of a pet in early childhood can actually help us prepare for when we lose a close human being. I think books are a great resource for this. The Goodbye Book and The Invisible String are great. It’s not going to be one conversation and then they grasp it and it’s done. They will digest and then have questions as they process. It will be an ongoing conversation as they grow and develop more abstract thought. The best thing you can do is model and discuss ways to deal with grief. And let them see you grieve. It will be okay.

Say, Your dog is taking a forever nap.

There is a wonderful children’s book entitled, “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf” by Leo Buscaglia that does a masterful and loving job of helping children accept and cope with a loved one’s death. I am certain you can buy it on

You need to be real. Say he died in his sleep. They’ll have questions and just be honest. They’ll ask if they’ll die in their sleep and you will tell them, No, because you are healthy." You can explain that the dog was as old as a great-great grandfather (go older than their oldest relative), and his body just decided it was time.
I can’t express how incredibly important it is to be real and open. Losing a pet is harder for a child than losing a person, because the dog was always there. But if you have the kids have a memorial service to tell stories about their dog, or will help.

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Following… my son is 4.5 years old and still asks for his dog who passed away April 15th and I still can’t figure out how to explain to him other than saying she was sick and couldn’t come home from the Vets…

When my kids were that young and we had a dog that had passed I jus told them that he had to go to a doggy home in heaven for old dogs so that he could be close to god in his old age but that he loved them and left them his favorite balnket/toy to remember him by


If you can find the movie All Dogs Go To Heaven helps. That’s how my 5 yr old daughter and 5yr old great niece explained the passing of Grammy.

Tell them the truth,children nned to learn about life and death


Our dog died while my littles were in school. Literally just before I had to go get them. I told them once I picked them up that she was in doggy heaven. They knew she was old so it helped. My littles were 5 and 3. They took it quite well. Just be honest, they are stronger than us parents think! If they do get upset just remind them of happy moments and say it’s ok to miss their dog!