When the Going Gets Tough: Explaining Pet Cancer to Kids

cancer in petsFinding out their pet has cancer is something that no pet owner wants to hear. Having to deliver this message to a child adds another layer of complexity to an already overwhelming experience.

Explaining pet cancer to kids can be tricky. The child’s age, cognitive ability, and connection to the family pet will all play a role. At Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center, we’re here to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Setting the Stage

When it comes to discussing your pet’s cancer with younger members of the family, it’s important to consider the emotional and cognitive development of the children involved. Use simple, concise, age-appropriate words to help them understand that your pet is ill. Younger children may need reassurance that a pet’s illness is not their fault; older kids may want to learn more about cancer or find ways they can help. Continue…

Supporting Your Children After the Death of a Pet

pet lossFrom teaching your child to ride a bike to readying them for the first day of school, and so much in between, the death of a pet is by far one of the hardest situations for parents to explain to their children.

The loss of a pet is sometimes a child’s first introduction to death. Not only is it interwoven with deep sadness and grief, but also confusion – What is death? Where did my pet go? When can I see them again? This turmoil can also be complicated by your own distress and grief, and whether the death was sudden or after a lengthy illness.

To support you in this difficult time, your friends at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center have some recommendations for helping your children through this difficult time.