I have a 5-year-old daughter who is very attached to my 12-year-old Rottweiler. The dog is sick and the vet says she may die and needs to be put to sleep soon. How do I explain to my daughter that the dog needs to be put to sleep? Should I get another dog immediately? What do I say to my daughter when the dog dies? I wanted to have the dog put to sleep at the vet's office. Should I take my daughter with me and the dog when I have her put to sleep? My mind is flooded with questions surrounding this matter. Got any advice?
There are many superb children's books that help kids your daughter's age move through the loss of a family pet. Ask your children's librarian and your vet for their recommendations. Books by Alan Wolfelt and Earl Grollman are good resources for these discussions. Encourage your daughter to express her sadness and confusion, while not being afraid to express your own sadness and sense of loss.