I also posted this on the pets board, but was wondering if you have any insight:
It has become clear to us that we need to put down one of our 14 year old labs. I have never had pets before him, and have never suffered a loss of a pet. I am not sure how to explain to our 3 year old boy.
Do we tell him beforehand? What do we tell him we are doing with the dog? How do we explain that Cobb is not coming home? Do we read books, have him draw pictures, say good-bye? Complicating matters, we are leaving on vacation in a week. Do we do it beforehand, or afterward? My husband says not to say anything, explain immediately afterward, and then go on vacation.
We have already been talking about how Cobb doesn't feel well anymore. We have talked about him being old and that his legs hurt. We have talked about how it makes him sad when he has accidents in the house.
We have another lab as well. They grew up as brothers. I am not sure the other lab will care too much because the only person/animal he seems to care about is my DH. It would be harder if the roles were reversed because the dog we need to put down is very attached to his buddy. However, what types of behaviors should I expect from our remaining dog?
Thanks for any advice