Pets have a special way of providing happiness and comfort, and many people consider them beloved members of their family. If you are facing the loss of a pet, know that it is perfectly acceptable to grieve however you need to. It will likely take time to get used to life without your animal companion. Some people might not understand the value or depth of your relationship with your pet, but there are many, many pet owners who do. Seek out support from others who can relate.
Losing a pet can be especially challenging for children. They become accustomed to feeling unconditional love from what is often one of their closest friends, so the grief they experience is very real. It is important to be honest but also sensitive about the situation. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and give them plenty of time to heal before rushing to bring home a new pet. Reading a book about losing a pet will also help them understand what has happened and reassure them it is OK to be sad.
For children and adults alike, it can be helpful to have some sort of service or memorial, even if that means simply gathering the family together for a few minutes so that each person can choose a photo of the pet to frame. It encourages everyone to remember all of the good times spent with their pet and feel comfort in knowing those memories will always be held close to their hearts.