Author: Mike Nicholson, Dog Friends
When a pet dies and you’re left with a four-legged hole in your heart, it’s tempting to fill it right away. But how soon is too soon to adopt a new pet?
Harrell Funeral Homes understands how scary it can be to open your heart and home again after a loss. While a new pet can ease the pain of losing a long-time companion, adopting a new pet too soon may also bring up feelings of guilt or lead to choices you regret.
How soon is too soon for a new pet?
A cherished pet can never be replaced. However, a new pet can provide comfort and fill the void left by a deceased dog or cat.
The right time to adopt a new pet is different for everyone. Give yourself (and your pets) time to grieve and process the loss, but don’t shy away from pet ownership for fear of getting your heart broken again. While it hurts to lose a pet, the joy pets bring to our lives is immeasurable.
If you want to commemorate your pet but aren’t ready for a new one, donate to an animal shelter instead. Giving back helps homeless pets and eases your own pain at the same time. You can also visit an animal shelter, pet sit, or spend time with a friend’s pets to gauge your readiness for a new pet.
Choosing the right pet for your family
One big risk of rushing into pet adoption is getting the wrong pet for your household. Your family has most likely changed since the last time you brought a dog or cat home. Don’t assume the pet you’ve loved in the past is the right choice for your family today.
Consider these factors when choosing your next pet:
- Size of your home and yard.
- Exercise and training needs.
Need help picking your next pet? Check out Best Friends Animal Society’s guide to learn the pros and cons of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other popular pets.
Affording your new pet
Saying goodbye to a family pet can leave a hole in your wallet as well as your heart. After paying for end-of-life care, including vet bills and pet cremation, you may be wondering if you can even afford a new pet.
Every pet owner should be prepared for the long-term costs of pet ownership. However, there’s a lot you can do to save on the initial costs of adding a pet to the family:
- Adopt, don’t shop. Not only is it cheaper to adopt a pet, but many rescue animals are already spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. This adds up to big savings for pet owners.
- Buy pet supplies online so you can shop for deals. In addition to sales, online shoppers can find promo codes, coupons, and cashback offers to save more on popular sites like Overstock.
- Shop around for a veterinarian. You may find lower prices, more current technology, or greater expertise in a new pet’s needs at a different practice. Even if you like your vet, it’s worth seeing what’s out there.
Welcoming a new pet into the family
When you do bring a new pet home, let go of expectations and comparisons. A rambunctious new pet might not measure up to your longtime companion right away, but that special relationship didn’t develop overnight. It took time for your old pet to mature into the companion you cherished, and it will take time for your new pet to truly feel like part of the family. But with time, training, and most of all, love, it won’t be long before you can’t imagine life without your pet.
Has the loss of the pet caused you to think about your own legacy? Pets can’t express their final wishes, but you can. Learn about the benefits of planning ahead and learn how you can get started with funeral planning at Harrell Funeral Homes.
Image Courtesy of Justin Aiken Unsplash
Additional Pet Grief Resources
Coping with Pet Loss: How to Grieve a Pet’s Death in a Healthy Way
9 tips to help your pet deal with the loss of another one
How to Help Your Child Cope with the Loss of a Pet
11 Ways To Honor Your Dog’s Memory When They Pass