How Long Should You Wait After the Loss of a Pet to Get a New One?

How Long Should You Wait After the Loss of a Pet to Get a New One?

Last update: 16 May, 2018

Some believe that as soon as your dog or cat passes away, you should get another one. They say it will help you get over the grief. Others think that you need to mourn the loss of a pet fully before adopting a new one. What is the right amount of time to wait after the loss of your pet to add another member to the family? 

After the loss of a pet, how long should you wait?

This is a very common question among pet owners. The death of such an important part of your life is not to be taken lightly, and there will be a lot of grief and suffering. Therefore, many recommend waiting awhile.

The grieving process after the loss of a pet is not the same for every person. There are many factors. You should know that it’s not possible to replace a pet with another. Each one that finds a place into our hearts is unique and incomparable.

German shepherd.

For example, when there are small children at home, some parents try to help them forget about the loss by bringing home a new pet. But even though you may think this is good for the children’s mental health, it could actually cause even more trauma. The new dog or cat will evoke memories of the deceased, causing more crying than laughter, at least at the beginning.

Therefore, it’s better to first accept the loss of a pet before adopting another. The feeling of sadness that invades us when our furry friend passes away can be as deep as what we experience when a loved one dies.

It’s essential to give ourselves time to express our sorrow, cry if we feel like it, and go through grief in our own way. Nobody can take the memories you have with your pet out of your mind or heart; they were a true member of the family.

The anguish is understandable. Giving yourself time before adopting a new furry friend is smart because it will enable you to take care of them as they deserve and not drag your past pain into it.

After the loss of a pet, there are no replacements

Bringing a new pet home is not a decision that you should make when you’re feeling sad and upset about the loss. Think about it and analyze the pros and cons. After all, your new pet will be a part of your family for the rest of their life.

Grieving the loss of a pet: a German Shepherd.

It’s not uncommon to adopt a pet similar to the one that died. Why? Because we wish they could come back to us, or we’re looking for some relief from the loss. But this new pet will only resemble them physically, and that could depress us even more.

You should never try to replace a dog or cat. Don’t expect them to act the same way or have the same personality and habits. Each animal, just like each person, is unique, irreplaceable, and incomparable.

Once you have gone through the pain and grief, the next step is to start looking at adopting. There are all kinds of organizations where you can adopt abandoned dogs. It’s easy to find shelters, and they will welcome you with open arms if you come with the intention of taking a dog home.

If you decide after the loss of a pet to not have any more pets, you can help by donating to these organizations. You could even foster dogs or cats at home for a few weeks until they get better or find a home.

Specialists in adoption say that this could be like therapy for you to get over the loss. Being in contact with animals again can be good. You realize that the one who looks down at you from heaven would be happy that you’re giving an opportunity to a fellow animal who needs it.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.