Managing Heartbreak When Your Pet Dies

Dealing With Your Pet's Cancer Diagnosis

Maybe you've heard, the Greensboro Grasshoppers have some sad news. Their dog, Miss Babe Ruth, has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. In August, the Hoppers lost their other dog to cancer, Master Yogi Berra. And both dogs mean a lot to the team. It's a difficult time for the folks who work there. And if you've ever lost a pet, you know how hard it is. 

And what can be especially tough is learning that that member of the family won't make it through a diagnosed sickness just like the Hoppers' Miss Babe Ruth. 

Hearing the news will be devastating. You want find yourself questioning the diagnosis if your pet seems fine. You'll experience a range of emotions from denial to anger to sadness. As you cope with the intense emotions, talk to the vet about treatment options and what to expect for your pet's remaining days.

Continue to show your love and affection for your pet. Keep in mind that your interactions could and should change depending on their health, pain and energy level. Watch their body language for cues as to how they're feeling. 

Telling your kids that your pet is going to die can be incredibly difficult and emotional. As difficult as it is, be direct. Explaining what death means based on their developmental level. Be specific so your child knows that your pet will no longer live. And this means that they won't be able to see, heart, eat, walk, run, play, bark, meow, etc. Death is permanent. If you're not specific then your child might think that their pet will come back at some point. 

Share your thoughts with me. You can find me on my Facebook page, on Twitter @blancacobb. Or, email me at bcobb@wfmy.com

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