The loss of a pet hits deeply. Pets are like family and losing one of them feels like losing a beloved family member. Initially, it may feel impossible that you could ever love another furry, scaly, or feathery friend again the same way you loved your best friend.
However, there are benefits to adopting a new pet into your family after the loss of a beloved companion. Though each pet is unique, and no other pet could take the place of your deceased pet, bringing a new pet into your home can help fill the void they left behind. Read below for tips on adopting a new pet after the loss of a pet.
Deciding when to get a new pet after the loss of another pet isn’t an easy decision. There are many factors that may play into your decision. You must decide if you are both mentally and physically ready for another pet in your household. Sometimes adopting a new pet right away may help immensely with your grieving process. Other times, it can make your situation more chaotic and won’t give you time to process your grief properly. How do you know when you are ready to get another pet?
Try to remember when you first brought home your beloved pet. There was likely a learning curve involved as far as how to take care of them. If you adopted a puppy or kitten, you’ll remember how much energy they had. Puppies and kittens take a lot of time and attention to care for and train.
If your most recent pet lived a long, fulfilling life, then you were much younger when you first brought them home. You must consider your age and energy levels now and decide if you’re up for training a new pet.
You may also have other things going on in your life now that you did not then. Not every person's schedule allows for the commitment it takes to care for a new pet. If you travel often or have young children to care for, a new pet may be more of an inconvenience. Think carefully about whether a new pet will fit in with your current lifestyle before you make the decision to adopt.
Pets bring joy and comfort into our lives. Though we cannot verbally communicate with them, we are able to communicate with them on a much deeper level. Any pet owner will tell you that their pet understands them differently than anyone else. For this reason, pets make wonderful companions. When you lose a pet, you lose that companionship.
It feels strange and lonely being in your home without them. This is especially true if you live alone. You may consider adopting a new pet sooner if you are having difficulty dealing with your loneliness. It’s understandable that you would miss having a pet around and want company. Adopting a new pet will help you cope better with being alone.
If you’re still unsure if you’re ready for a new pet, spend time with other pets first. Volunteer at your local animal shelter to get one-on-one time with adoptable, furry companions. You will get to cuddle and take care of multiple furry, scaly, or feathery animals.
Doing so will help you to see how well you do around them. If you love the time you spend with them, it could mean you’re ready for a new pet. If it’s too difficult for you, it may mean you need more time before you consider adoption.
You might also consider being a foster parent to an adoptable pet. Fostering a pet means you take care of a pet in your home until they are adopted by another family. Fostering will allow you to see how it feels to have another pet in your home to decide if you’re up for taking care of another pet. If you do fall in love with your foster pet, you have the option of adopting them yourselves.
Moving on after losing a pet is different for everyone. There is no set time allowance for when it’s acceptable to adopt a new pet after the loss of your previous one. Each person grieves differently and has different life situations.
Some people may take longer to process their grief while others deal with it much sooner. Adopting a new pet right away does not necessarily mean you have forgotten your old one. It means you are ready and willing to create new memories with another loving animal who needs a home.
If you’re not ready to adopt right away, that’s fine too. Take as long as you need to grieve properly before making the decision to adopt again. For some, it may take years before they decide to welcome another animal into their home. Every person is different and has different circumstances. You should do what is best for you and your family.
Adopting a new pet is a decision that you should make between yourself and any person living in your household. If you have a spouse, children, or roommates, speak with them first about your decision. Although the new pet may only belong to you, their presence in the house will affect anyone living with you. Talk to your housemates about your plans to adopt a new pet and make sure they are on board.
You should also consider any animals or pets that are currently living in your home. While these pets may have been fine with your other pet, it doesn’t mean they will be okay with a new one. If you have a shy cat for example, a new puppy could cause your cat stress and anxiety.
It would not be fair to jeopardize the health and comfort of the pets who are currently living in your household. In this case, fostering a pet first would be a good way to see how your current pets do with other animals.
Adopting a new animal may bring about a mix of different feelings. The most common and difficult feeling to cope with is guilt. You may feel guilty for wanting a new pet because you feel that it is in some way disrespecting your other pet. No animal could replace the love you had for your other pet, but you worry that adopting will somehow erase their memory.
It’s not unusual to feel guilty but know that feeling guilt is not necessary. You loved your pet, and they loved you just as much. They know you would have done anything to keep them there longer if you could. Bringing a new pet home does not erase their memory and they would not judge you for your decision.
There are a lot of different things to consider when bringing home a new pet. You may feel stressed out over the different factors that go into adopting a pet. You will need to consider how well the new pet will get along with your family and current pets in your household. If they don’t get along, what will you do about it?
You may also stress about how well the new pet will be able to train. All pets are different and learn on their own time. You’ll have to consider how much time you have to dedicate to their training if they take longer than usual. Bringing home a new pet will inevitably cause some amount of stress. You need to decide how much stress you can handle and if it’s worth it for you at this time.
Below is a list of tips and hints to keep in mind when trying to decide about adopting a new pet.
Make sure you take time to process the death of your pet before you adopt a new one. Every person experiences grief after pet loss in their own way. Some take longer than others, and that’s okay. Make sure you are giving yourself adequate time to resolve your feelings of loss and grief. Having a new pet while grieving can direct your pain and sadness towards your new pet. It would not be fair for a new pet to enter your household and not get the attention and care they deserve.
There are healthy ways for coping with the loss of a pet that may be helpful to try should you need additional assistance. Talking to a trusted friend, coworker, or family member may help you to open up more about your feelings.
Expressing your feelings or sadness helps to relieve some of your internal burden. You may also consider talking to a professional therapist or counselor who is trained in helping others through the grieving process. Both options may be helpful for you if you are having a difficult time with your grief.
Take your time and do plenty of research before you make the decision to bring a new pet home. Don’t let others pressure you one way or the other when it comes to adopting a new animal. Pets are a big responsibility and adopting isn’t right for everyone.
Consider carefully how you will care for your new pet and whether it is feasible for you right now. If you think it will be hard on you to take care of a pet, it will be hard on the pet as well. Pets are very insightful creatures.
They can tell when you are stressed, angry, or sad. They will not want to live in a stressful household where they can’t be appreciated properly. Spend time considering all your options before you decide. If possible, foster a pet or offer to take care of a friend's pet for a weekend to see how you handle the responsibility. There is no rush when it comes to adopting a new family member. There are plenty of loving pets who need to find homes and always will be.
The pet adoption process is a little bit different depending on where you adopt from. If you want to adopt a rescue animal, check with your local animal shelter or sanctuary. Animal shelters only have animals that are brought to them or rescued from the streets.
Some animal shelters only house certain types of animals while others house all rescue animals. Most adoption shelters charge an adoption fee that helps them take care of the animals they rescue. They may also ask you to fill out a questionnaire to ensure you are a proper fit to be a pet owner.
You can also check online for pet adoption agencies that will find a pet in their database to fit your needs. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Next Door are also great places to look for adoptable pets.
There may be people in your circle of friends who are looking to rehome a pet or know of someone who is. Adopting a new pet directly from the owner will likely not cost a fee and may be an easier process than adopting from a rescue shelter.
Pets cost money. You will not only have to buy their food, treats, and toys, but you must be ready for unexpected vet bills. Depending on the age and circumstances around your new pet, they may need vaccines, booster shots, flea and tick medication, etc.
These medical bills add up and can be draining on your finances. If you are in a tight spot with money, a new pet may be difficult to budget.
There are ways you can save on pet care and pet accessories. Check online for a low-cost veterinarian that provides basic services like booster shots and vaccinations. Some vets will work with you on a no interest payment plan to repay costs for your pet’s medical care. You should also consider shopping at thrift stores and Goodwill for pet accessories such as pet beds, leashes, and toys. Buying secondhand goods will be cheaper than buying them new.
Getting a new pet could turn your world upside down for a while, especially if you are adopting a puppy. Pets require a certain amount of space to play, exercise, and rest. They can also be messy, will likely have bathroom accidents, and get into things they’re not supposed to. If your pet was older when they died, you may have forgotten how much work they were when they were younger.
Make sure your home is set up to accommodate a new pet full of vibrant, untrained energy. You may need to invest in things like pet friendly furniture, rugs, tamper proof food storage containers if you don’t have them already.
If you have expensive home decor or valuable items you don’t want ruined, make sure those are properly safeguarded or stored before bringing a new pet home.
Adopting a larger pet, particularly a larger dog, has many benefits. Larger dogs are fun to play with. They typically have more stamina and athleticism than smaller pups, meaning they make great running buddies.
They are also less fragile, making playing or roughhousing with them more possible. Larger dogs can also offer protection or act as a deterrent to other animals or people trying to cause harm.
However, a larger dog will need more exercise and eat more food than their smaller counterparts. If you don’t have a large backyard for your new dog to run around in, you’ll need to take them for longer walks. Consider whether you have the time to do so before adopting a large dog. You must also think about your budget. Larger dogs require more food, meaning you’ll be spending more money on dog food and snacks. Don’t get a large dog unless you are sure you can handle them.
Should you choose to choose a different breed or type of pet than your previous pet, know what to expect. All animals are different, their personalities even differ by breed. In dogs and cats for example, some breeds are more energetic, loud, playful, or more aggressive than others. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you adopt a new pet. If you’re not familiar with the type of pet you want, do some research.
Learn about their behaviors, temperament, and if they require any special grooming or care. Make sure the animal you want to adopt fits in with your lifestyle.
If you are not a very active person, for example, then a hyperactive Siberian husky isn’t the best fit. You’d be much better suited to a dog that doesn’t require as much energy, like a pug. Don’t bring a new pet home unless you are sure they will work with your lifestyle.
Adopting a new pet unfortunately comes with its challenges. When you adopt an animal that came from a previous home, there is a chance they suffered abuse or trauma. There are terrible owners who abuse, mistreat, and raise pets to be aggressive.
When a pet has been subjected to such treatment, it can damage them both physically and emotionally. Abused animals may be more skittish, have separation anxiety, or show signs of aggression. It’s important to learn as much about your new pet’s history before you adopt them.
It’s especially important to consider if you have young children at home. Aggressive pets, specifically dogs, can be a threat to younger children as well as yourself. Before you bring a new pet home, you should consider their history. If they have come from an abusive household, there’s a chance they could show signs of aggression towards you or your children. While it’s heartbreaking to learn of an abused animal, they may not be the best pet for your household.
Check with the animal shelter or person you’re adopting from if the new pet you want has any medical history you should know about. Medical problems may be more common with older pets, but younger pets could have pre-existing conditions as well. It’s important to know whether your new pet has any medical conditions for you to determine if you are adequately prepared to care for them.
Vet bills, medication, and physical therapy for pets can be expensive. If you don’t have the funds, caring for them will be a challenge. Additionally, they may require more care and attention.
Be sure you are prepared to deal with whatever medical conditions your new pet has, should you decide to adopt them anyway. It would be better to choose another pet than risk having to re-home your new pet if you can’t take care of them later down the road.
The age of the pet you want to adopt should be a factor in your pet adoption process. There are both advantages and disadvantages to adopting younger and older pets. Younger pets, such as puppies or kittens, are tiny, cute, and come to you with a fresh slate.
A puppy or kitten has not had time to bond with other humans yet, meaning they will bond with you more strongly. You also do not have to worry about behavioral issues brought about by the mistreatment of previous owners. However, younger pets will require more care and attention. They have a lot of energy to burn and will require training.
Older pets require less care and attention in some ways because they don’t need training. They will also be much calmer and easier to manage. Older pets don’t require as much exercise and are not as likely to run off or get into things. But older pets have lived a life with other owners, meaning they may have picked up behaviors or habits that are hard to change.
Like older humans, older pets can get set in their ways. They may also have health problems related to their age that you’ll have to consider. Both young and old pets make great companions, but which one is right for you depends on your circumstances.
Like humans, every animal has their own personality. Don’t adopt a new pet thinking they will be just like the pet you lost. Each animal is unique and will have their own likes and dislikes. Don’t adopt a new pet with the hopes that they will replace your old pet, that won’t happen.
A new pet will never feel the same as your old one, but they can be just as special. Your new pet may not like to do the same things with you as your other pet, but they will bond with you in a different way.
They will still provide you with the companionship you seek and together you can make new memories. Enjoy your new pet for who they are and never compare them to your pet before.
Moving to a new place is scary sometimes, especially for your pets. Some pets are sensitive to their surroundings and are scared of change. Pets don’t understand what is happening when they are being rehomed. For them, moving to a new place is stressful.
Give your new pet time to adjust to their new home. Be patient with them while they are taking in their surroundings and becoming comfortable with their new home.
A stressed pet may show behavioral changes such as not eating or drinking, having bathroom accidents, or hiding/being less social. Understand that these behavioral changes will usually correct themselves once your pet is more adjusted.
To help them feel more comfortable, do what you can to help them adjust. Give them a quiet space to relax in when they want to be alone. Don’t have too many people or other animals in your home at once. Above all, be sure to shower them with love and attention.
Bringing a new pet home can be difficult for other pets in your household. Consider how the pets you have at home currently will react to a new animal in their household. Like humans, animals take time to get to know one another. Not all pets will get along and some need more time than others to adjust to one another.
Your current pets might also feel jealous of the attention your new pet is getting. To avoid them getting their feelings hurt, make sure you shower them with plenty of love and attention. They need the reassurance from you that everything is going to be okay, especially if they are still missing your other pet.
Once you’ve adopted your pet, you’ll want to get them checked out by a veterinarian to ensure they are up to date on their shots. If you don’t have a preferred vet already, do some research for a good vet in your area. You want to make sure the vet you choose is professional and responsible.
A good vet will want to make sure that both you and your pet are comfortable. They should care about the health and wellbeing of your pet and treat them with care and kindness.
Check out veterinarians online and read reviews on their practice. Reviews from other pet owners should be able to give you an idea of what their bedside manner is like as well as the cleanliness of their establishment. Once you’ve decided on a vet, make an appointment right away. The sooner you take care of your new pet’s health, the happier they will be.
The adoption process can be stressful for both you and your pets. But once you have your new pet safe and sound in your home, give yourself a moment to breathe. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you are figuring out how to take care of another pet. Caring for a new pet might be stressful at first, but it is almost always worth it.
Pets bring such joy and love into our lives that the messes they make or shoes they chew don’t matter in the end. Give yourself time to sit back, relax, and enjoy being a new pet owner. You and your new pet are about to embark on a new adventure together, and that’s something to be celebrated.
There are many reasons to adopt a pet, forgetting your deceased pet is not one of them. Welcoming a new pet into your home does not erase the memory of your beloved deceased pet. You can move on from the death of a pet without forgetting them. Below are some ideas for how to memorialize your deceased pet and keep their memory alive.
Photo engraved pet jewelry allows you to always keep precious photo moments of you and your pet with you. Choose from various styles of pet photo jewelry and keepsakes that memorialize your pet in a color or black and white image.
Choose your favorite photo of your pet or one of you both together. The photo can be engraved onto your jewelry or keepsake along with a special message such as their name, dates they were alive, or your special nickname for them.
Pet cremation jewelry is jewelry made with pet ashes. Choose from different style jewelry pendants that can be filled with a small portion of your pet’s ashes. In this way, you can carry with you a part of your pet wherever you go. Pet cremation jewelry is a personal way to remember your beloved pet and keep them in your heart forever.
If you plan on cremating your pet, consider purchasing a special pet urn. A decorative pet urn will be a beautiful way to display their ashes and honor their memory. A small pet urn is ideal for smaller pets while larger pets will require larger urns. Creative or customizable pet urns allow you to show off your pet’s personality even after they’ve passed.
Consider having a memorial service for your deceased pet. Invite friends and family over to your home or a place your pet frequented often, like their favorite park. Hold a small ceremony where you and friends and family take turns saying a few kind words about your beloved pet.
You can light candles, sing songs, and even place a pet memorial stone or rock in a chosen special spot. Have the stone or rock engraved with your pet’s name and dates or paint it on yourself for a special DIY pet memorial stone. Make sure to take pictures of your pet memorial so you can remember the service for years to come.
There is no right or wrong amount of time to adopt a new pet after the loss of another pet. When you should adopt a new pet depends on how quickly you process your grief from the death of your other pet, whether you are ready to take on the responsibility of another pet, and whether or not you want to. Every person grieves differently and has different needs. The right time to adopt a new pet is when you feel you are ready to.
You move forward after losing a pet by taking the time you need to heal. Sometimes taking time for yourself to process your grief is very helpful. It can also be helpful to talk to someone about the feelings you are experiencing. When you think you are ready, adopting a new pet can help you move on from the death of your other pet. Having a new animal to care for will take your mind off your pain. You will never forget your deceased animal friend but having a new pet will allow you to create new, happy memories.
No one can take the place of your deceased pet, not even a new pet. If you think you are ready to welcome another pet into your home, you should. Adopting a new pet may help you heal from your loss and process your grief. Your deceased pet would want you to be happy and would understand. There are plenty of ways you can honor your deceased pet and keep their memory alive after adopting a new pet.
Check with your vet to guide you towards local animal shelters or rescues that house adoptable pets. You can also check with your local pet stores. Some pet stores host adoption events where adoptable pets are showcased. If you can’t find a pet at a shelter or through an adoption event, search online. Ask friends on your social media accounts if they know of someone looking to rehome a pet or a new litter of puppies or kittens.
Coping with the loss of a pet is difficult. Be patient with yourself and give yourself plenty of time, rest, and care. Understand that every person and pet have their time, it’s an unavoidable part of life. If you are having a difficult time coping with your pet’s loss, consider speaking to a professional therapist. They may have better suggestions for how you should process your grief in a healthy manner.
How long it takes for you to adjust to a new pet depends on your circumstances. If you need to train your pet, expect the process to take a few weeks or more. You will likely need to adjust your personal schedule to ensure your pet gets the proper training and care they need. Having a pet is a big responsibility, so make sure you’re ready to take on the challenge.
Nobody wants to say goodbye to their best friend. Pets provide us with so much love, attention, and joy. They are pure souls that deserve only the best from us. Adopting a new pet after the loss of another pet is a big decision. But with careful planning, you can have a successful pet adoption that will benefit you and your new pet.
August 30, 2022 by Frances Kay