The advice that I would give to a family that just lost a pet is to take the time – the parents – to come together and decide how they are going to explain death to their children if they haven’t done so already. So they should use it as a time to really establish a plan for not only explaining the death of a pet but explaining death in a broader scope, because people are going to die to. And it’s something that they really should prepare their children for in advance.
I think it’s a really good idea for them to find some type of way to memorialize the pet and not focus so much on the actual death. So maybe you decide to put up pictures in remembrance or a cross out back or at the burial point.
With my son, we just let go a single balloon and I used it as a way to explain to him that sometimes you have things that are really close to you, but they go away. And when they go away, they go to a better place and he is left to imagine where that better place could be. You can even have them think of all of the great things that are going to be in that place, so that they feel like the pet has moved on to somewhere that is really better.
Another good idea is to get a book. There are lots of books from great experts that write on pet loss. And journaling isn’t a bad idea either.