Should I Get Another Pet?

Things To Consider When Deciding About Getting a New Pet

The death of a companion pet can by a devastating loss, especially when euthanasia is involved. Some people feel they will never want another pet. A new pet may help others get over the loss more quickly. Although the pet you lost can never be replaced, many people are eventually ready to have a new pet share their lives.

Just as grief is a personal experience, the decision of when, if ever, to bring a new pet into your home is also a personal one. Bringing a new pet into the home before family members have resolved their grief may be a diminishment of the relationship they shared. Family members should come to an agreement about the appropriate time to welcome a new pet into the family. Being ready for a new pet varies with everyone, and only you can answer the question of when you should get a new pet. Here are some things to consider as you ponder this important decision:

Have you and your family worked through your grief?

Of course you will continue to be sad about the loss of your beloved pet. Are you ready to create a new relationship? Some people are ready for a new pet within days to weeks, and a new pet helps them overcome a void left by the pet they lost. For others it may take months or years before they are ready to open their hearts again. Some feel as if they are betraying their old pet by getting another pet. Love is not like a pie, and giving your heart to a new pet can be a comforting reminder of the bond you had with the pet you lost.

This will be a NEW pet – Is your family ready for this?

Some people rush out to get a new pet because they dislike the void left by their deceased pet. This can result in shock when despite looking like or being the same breed, the new pet is quite unique from the old one. Some family members may come to resent the new pet because they are not like the previous pet. It is also common for people to replace their beloved older dog or cat with a new puppy or kitten, forgetting the work and energy it takes to acclimate a new baby into the family.

When making this decision, ask yourself if you feel you are at a point in your grief that you can take on the responsibility and open your heart to experiences with a NEW pet. Although you can never replace the pet you lost, a new pet companion can remind you how rewarding it is to share your life if, and when, you are ready.

Consider other pets in the home.

When welcoming a new pet, especially if the deceased and another pet wer
very close, do not expect your existing pet to automatically accept the new
pet. Pets are like people-they have different personalities. No matter
how much like your old pet a new pet is, it will not be the same for
either you or your current pet. Be patient when introducing a new pet. It may
take other pets a while to get used to the new addition.