How soon should I adopt another pet?
Updated: Apr 30, 2019
Is there a "Right Time" to adopt another pet after losing one?
A pet’s death can be a traumatic, shocking event. You may feel deep, lingering grief and sadness that leave you absolutely certain you could never open your heart up again to risk a repeat of this tremendous loss. The thought of adopting a new pet means that inevitably, one day they will also pass, leaving you to feel this excruciating pain and grief again. Many pet parents struggle with the decision of whether or not to get a new pet.
How long should you wait before getting your next pet? Will you ever be ready to share your life with another pet?
There is no way to say for certain when the time is right to get a new pet. This is a very individual decision that often happens organically. Some people only wait a few days or weeks, possibly because they cannot bear to go long without a furry companion. Others need several months or even years before they are ready to bring a new friend into their lives. Some people even decide they no longer wish to have pets. The situation is different for everyone.
First of all, take time to experience your grief. It's normal to be sad, angry, or lonely for a while. It's also okay to feel relieved and sad at the same time, especially if your recently deceased pet suffered from a long or serious illness. Avoid trying to immediately fill the void with a new pet before you’ve had a chance to process your feelings over the loss of your last dog or cat. Wait until you feel a sense of peace about your previous pet's death.
Consider the other people living in your home. Your spouse, partner, significant other, children, roommates, and other family members should all have a voice. Are they ready to welcome a new pet into the home? Are they still grieving? The decision to get a new pet should be one you make as a group. Once you can all agree to get a new companion, you can then discuss details like what kind of animal to get and where to get the new pet. Choosing your new companion should also be a group process.
Once you feel that the time is right, you can begin the process of choosing the right pet. Before you start looking for a new pet, determine the age, personality, energy level, and size of your ideal pet. Many adoptable pets have been living in foster homes. The foster owners can usually give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from each pet.
Your beloved pet can never be replaced, but a new pet can be a beautiful way to share the love in your heart. At some point, most people realize that they want to continue sharing their lives with another pet. Opening your life up to a new animal in need of a home is a beautiful way to honor the memory of your dearly departed.