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The Loss Of A Family Pet

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Paw print heart shape

Books for children who have lost a beloved pet

We have been researching for the best books that offer comfort when a pet dies. For children - and very useful for adults too!

When a family pet dies, it is devastating. Children as well as adults find it emotionally challenging.

When a pet dies

It is truly heartbreaking. It's hard for us to accept that death is just a natural part of life. We must learn that it is nothing to be feared - It is very hard to accept. Children find it difficult to understand.

When a beloved pet dies, we need to acknowledge a child's sadness and pain - we can offer comfort by snuggling down and talking. Read a book together that has been specially written to reassure a child that this is a natural process. Their beloved companion lives on in their heart and through beautiful memories.

You may feel devastated now, but many happy times will follow. 'Time is a great healer'.

It's important to still talk about people and pets that have passed - remember the good times and feel the warmth of having known that person or pet. Have their photo in a special place.

If your child is really suffering from the loss of a pet, maybe consider getting a loving pet memorial ornament or pawprint kit.

You will also find our recommendations for these items near the end of this Blog Post.

If you need books about a specific Loss, then you can visit our other Blog Posts for books that deal with:

Here are our 6 top-selling book recommendations that help comfort children who have lost a beloved family pet.

Each recommendation has a short description

Books for animal lovers who have lost a much-loved family pet.

1. I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. Loss of a pet dog.

By Hans Wilhelm.

For ages 3 - 7 approximately.

A simple story about a boy and his dog called Elfie who have grown up together. Told as an honest and compassionate story.

It's for people who are struggling with their child coping with the passing of their beloved family pet. It's also a great book to consider purchasing before a pet has actually died as it prepares a child in advance.

Many children find it hard to understand what has happened to their pet. This is great support. The only criticism that this book has, is that the boy in the story told his dog that he loved him every day, and his siblings did not do this.

Good to know that...

  • Some parents said that this will give their own child the sense of deep guilt because they did not tell their pet that they loved it daily.

  • Other readers say that this issue has not been a problem for their child.

2. THE INVISIBLE LEASH - Losing a pet dog

By Patrice Karst. Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Ages 4 - 8

A very touching book for children dealing with the loss of a pet. It delivers a meaningful message that is easy for young children to grasp. The author actually suffered the loss of her own dog while writing this heartwarming story.

Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant are two books that can help you to find comfort when you have suffered the loss of your cat or dog. We decided to explore them in a bit more depth.


A comforting book by Cynthia Rylantz

You don't have to be religious to find soothing comfort in this wonderful book called Dog Heaven

A must-have book for anyone who is suffering the loss of a cherished doggie.

'Dog Heaven' mentions God a lot more than the follow-up book 'Cat Heaven'. 'God made all dogs' is one such sentence that non-religious people will need to skip over. Even if you are not religious, you may still find great comfort in this book, or if you have a child that is affected by the loss of a dear pet. This book will help nicely.

‘Dog Heaven’ is for those of you who would love to imagine the wonderful time your fantastic doggy is having after it has to sadly depart from your side. The reassuring illustrations in this loving book will show you that man and woman's best friend is having the time of his/her life.

In Dog Heaven, your best companion will be running over many green fields. He/she will be enjoying being teased by lakes filled with honking geese. God is busy making funny-shaped biscuits for the dogs. There are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits as well as ice-cream ones, and not forgetting ham-sandwich biscuits! Clouds are turned into fluffy beds, and the dogs turn round and round on them until they get comfy.

All dogs will have yards and porches to chill out in. They will have couches to lie on and tables to sit under.

Sometimes the dogs get taken back to Earth by angels. Once there, he/she can invisibly visit their neighbourhood and go and investigate a few cats.

Your furry friend will get petted by angels and told how good he/she is all day long. And don't worry, your pet will happily be waiting for old friends to show up in Dog Heaven to be reunited once more.

Wonderful books to help with those grieving the loss of a beloved cat...


A comforting book by Cynthia Rylantz

You don't have to be religious to find soothing comfort in this wonderful book called Cat Heaven

A must-have book for kids or adults, who are suffering the loss of a much-loved kitty cat.

'Cat Heaven' mentions God, but do not worry if you are not religious - it is not 'preachy' in any way. This book will be a great comfort to you, and especially if you have children that are affected by the loss of a dear pet.

'Cat Heaven' is for those of you who would love to imagine the wonderful time your kitty is having after it's ninth life has sadly been used up. The reassuring illustrations and nice rhyming verses in this loving book will show you that your fur-baby is having the time of his/her afterlife.

Your feline friend will receive a kiss, and a bowl of milk as it arrives at heaven's big yellow door. No more getting stuck in trees - the cats can just fly down. There'll be no shortage of cat toys, because, in Cat Heaven, there are thousands and thousands of them, including catnip in the sky! Your kitty can sit on the laps of the angels and get its ears and nose rubbed endlessly. The cats can look down from Cat Heaven and still watch the house where they once lived, and see the people that loved them inside.


You may already know all the 'Mog' the cat books by the author Judith Kerr?

'Goodbye Mog' is a farewell to 'Mog'!

By Judith Kerr. Ages 3 - 7

Mog finally grows old and just wants to rest forever. Yes, we have to accept the fact that beautiful Mog dies.

The Thomas family miss her dearly. A new kitten is brought into The Thomas's

home. It is very afraid and jumpy. Mog decides to give a lending 'paw' from

beyond. The kitten gets settled, so now it's time for Mog to fly up towards the

sun, forever.


'The Cat Who Went To Heaven' is not directly associated with the passing of a pet. It is a timeless fable by Elizabeth Coatsworth. Although it was written in 1930, it still comforts older children - and adults. Ages 8 - 12

The Cat Who Went Heaven

The story is set in ancient Japan and follows the tale of a white cat. A struggling artist doesn't take delight in having an extra mouth to feed when his housekeeper brings this little white cat into his home. Compassion is shown, and the artist ends up including the cat in a commissioned painting of the Buddha. The plot starts to unfold as it seems that the cat, now named 'Good Fortune', has been denied the Buddha's blessing.

A gentle story that tugs at the heartstrings.

'The Cat Who Went To Heaven' includes a short telling of the Buddha's life as well as his past lives as various animals.

This version has been re-illustrated in black and white by the artist Raoul Vitale.

By Elizabeth Coatsworth.

By Liz Eastwood

Extremely high-rated! - More for grown-ups but we would still like to include it as it really is a great comfort. You could read it to help you, and choose which parts to relay to your child.

Memorial ideas for the loss of a pet:

If your household has suffered the loss of your pet, maybe consider getting a...

A lovely activity for all of the family to cherish.

Keep beautiful memories alive and in plain sight

Fill out this memory book with information about your pet, and by drawing pictures and sticking in photos.

Commemorate your pet with a beautiful memorial statue.

A pet is not just 'a pet' - It's a loyal family member

If you have gone through the loss of a pet, we send our deepest sympathies and hope that one of our recommendations was able to help your household, family member or a friend.

Heart shaped animal paw prints

If you need books about a specific Loss, then you can visit our other Blog Posts for books that deal with:

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