One cannot under estimate how people feel when they lose a pet. They are, to real pet lovers part of the family. Often people have and care for cats, dogs and horses for many years.
I had one cat (runt of the litter) who lived to eighteen and a half and I always maintain a house isn’t a home without a pet.
For children often the loss of a pet may be their first introduction into bereavement and the loss and sadness that brings and can prepare them slightly for understanding the concept of death. Not only can keeping a pet introduce a child into taking responsibility for something other than themselves it teaches them about love and celebrating the experience of owning a pet.
It is a good idea to involve the children in perhaps a small burying ceremony and prayers to say goodbye. Most of us have seen the film ‘Marley and Me’ and this was expressed sensitively but heart-wrenching!
Remember: For the elderly and those that live a lone their pet may be their main companion and therefore the loss will be greater.