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The Best Time to Get a Pet after Suffering a Loss

You’ve suffered a great loss – the loss of your pet. Or, you have a loved one who has lost his/her pet. Now, you wonder the right time to get another pet. The following can help you decide.

The Effects of a New Pet

Grieving the loss of a pet takes time. Someone who is in mourning often times do not want to think of getting another pet. He/She feels as though that would be a betrayal.

The tricky thing is that some people could never imagine having another pet after losing one, but when they find themselves with one, they are overjoyed and that new connections helps them recover from pet loss faster.

Other people can be quite devastated if they get a new dog before they have recovered from the loss of their pet. They may become angry, even sadder, and can even feel lonely because they feel like others don’t understand what they are going through.

How to Know When

It’s difficult to know when the right time is to get a new pet. The following are some of the signs you may want to look for in yourself or your loved one when considering giving a new pet.

  • The person doesn’t cry easily at the mention of their pet.
  • You wonder if it’s the right thing to do right now. Since you are considering it, there’s a part of you open to the idea, which means you may be okay with it.
  • The person is able to look at other pets and smile, play and cuddle without becoming upset.
  • You have a strong desire to take care of a pet.
  • The person talks a lot about wanting to own another pet in the future.

There’s no simple answer with this decision. Usually, people find out whether or not they are ready after they do it or a pet is given to them. Sometimes, people will test it out by borrowing someone else’s pet. If they are able to take care of that pet and not breakdown as much, it may be time for a new pet.

If that is not an option, it would be best to get a pet that is able to be returned if it doesn’t work out. That way you don’t have to feel bad about returning the pet because he/she will go back to something familiar.

Making the Decision

If you’re thinking about it, it’s probably the right time (if you’re the one who lost the pet). If you are trying to buy your loved one a pet, feel it out first. Ask questions, visit pet stores or shelters, and see how the person acts. You may even want to question right out if the person would like a new pet. You may receive a no, and you’ll have to respect that. Although, you can always borrow a pet to see how he/she would really react if you got one for real.

Good luck with your decision. Another pet would be lucky to have you or your loved one.

Image Courtesy of Jonathan Kriz.