When is the Right Time to Get a New Pet?

When a beloved pet crosses the rainbow bridge, when is the right time to get another one? There is no one correct answer. For every person, it is different. Situations vary. While one person may be going home to an empty house, another may have other pets that will step up to fill a void. For pet lovers, it is never easy to lose a four footed buddy. Everybody grieves in their own way.

Over the years, I have heard clients say many times that they cannot go through the loss again, so will not get another pet. Many of these people are back after a time with a new cat or dog. I believe it is a compliment to the deceased pet to want another one. It is acknowledging that the joy and companionship that it brought into your life is missed.

While life may have been great when the last dog was a puppy, a new baby, job, relationship or illness may make it difficult to immediately get a new furry friend. Sometimes, it is best to wait a while until time is available to give the new pet a good start. People often forget, especially after losing an old pet, how needy and demanding a youngster can be. Even if adopting a mature animal, they need extra attention to bond and integrate into the household.

A friend of mine bred Labrador Retrievers for many years. He tells the story of a couple that bought a dog from him and loved it through old age. After that dog passed away, they got another dog from him that they again loved through a ripe old age. Then, they decided they wanted a third dog. But, you see, the people, too, had gotten older and while they had a lovely puppy, at this stage of their life, it was just too much for them. They returned the dog to the breeder after much deliberation. It was a difficult decision for them, but the right decision.

Getting a new pet NEVER replaces a previous one. That spot in the heart is permanent. The wonderful thing about loving a new pet is that there is always room! As to when the time is right, for some, it may be right away. For others, time to heal may be needed or time for life to make room for a new family member. One thing in my mind is certain, the  happiness and friendship a pet brings is well worth the sadness at the end.