Coping with Pet Loss: How Long to Wait for the Next Pet

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Most pets have shorter lifespans than human beings do that is why it is inevitable that you will outlive your beloved pet. Although the loss of our pets is inevitable, this does not lessen the pain of losing a furry friend. But when that happens, how soon should you wait before you get another one?

Most grieving pet owners should say “right away!” but this might not be the best advice. Before getting a new pet, you should give yourself enough time to work through your grief. To avoid resentment of getting a new pet too soon and build a relationship with a new pet, keep these tips in mind:

Give Yourself Time

Give yourself time to think if you need another pet. Do not rush into a decision or be pressured into making a choice that’s not right for you at this point. The last thing you want is to resent your new pet because you made a hasty decision. You have to be emotionally ready before adopting a new furry companion!

Build NEW Relationships

Do not think that a new pet can replace your previous pet. Just like human beings, pets have their own unique traits and personalities.  You simply cannot expect a new beagle to act or behave the same way as your old beagle despite the similar breed. Do not be disappointed if a new pet fails to act or behave similarly to your old pet. New pets should never be regarded as an extension of your old relationship. If you can, choose a new pet with different breed from the pet you lost. Form a NEW relationship and build new memories and experiences with your new pet.

Choosing a Pet

If you are considering getting a pet, you have to research your choice carefully. The reason why animal shelters are inundated with rejected pets is hasty, unwise decision. Do not make the same mistake. Choose the right pet that suits your lifestyle. Do not adopt the first pet you see just to “fill the void.” You have to select the right breed, size, and behavior that suit your preference.

Ask for Help

If say, you are ready to get a new pet, let the whole family help you find the perfect pet. Make sure the pet is suitable for all children. Children build intense attachments to pets and may need more time to work through their feelings as they grieve for the old pet. Talk to every member of the family and discuss what kind of pet to get. If possible, let the kids help you find a new pet.

Avoid Comparing the New Pet with the Old One

Again, do not expect your new pet to be just like the one you lost, even if they belong to the same breed and bears the same markings. Older cats and dogs are not as noisy or destructive as kittens and puppies. However, the younglings will grow out of their difficult stage, just you wait!

Instead of comparing their behaviors, enjoy your time with your new pet. Play with your new pet, discover his or her temperaments and watch how the animal develops his personality in time.

Introduce a New Pet before Losing the Old One

If you can, get a new pet as a companion to your aging pet. In many cases, the introduction of younglings revitalizes an older animal. Having another pet around also eases the grieving process. On top of that, you won’t have problems building a new relationship with a new pet because you already have another pet with you.