The death of a beloved pet is heartbreaking, and the grief does not go away overnight. Unfortunately, there is no set way to know when the time is right to get a new dog. The situation is different for everyone. However, here are some guidelines that might help you make the decision that’s right for you.
take time to experience your grief. It’s normal to be sad, angry or lonely for a while. Don’t try to go out and immediately fill the void with a new dog when you have not processed your feelings over the loss of your last dog. You might end up projecting negative feelings onto your new dog or having unreasonable expectations. Wait until you feel a sense of peace about your previous dog’s death.
If you have any remaining pets, consider them before you add another dog to your home. Your dog or other pet may feel sad and lonely without his companion, but that doesn’t mean a new dog will help. In some cases, bringing a new dog in the home before your dog is ready can cause quite a disruption. Watch your remaining pets closely for the days to weeks following your previous dog’s death. Once you are confident they are back to their normal selves, only then should you consider adding a new dog to your home.
It’s better to make any lifestyle changes before adding a new dog to your life. Are there goals or plans that you put off because of the care your previous dog needed? Maybe now is the time to take that sabbatical or simply a long, exotic vacation. Does your home need repairs or renovations? Perhaps it’s a good time to revisit previous plans for going back to school, changing jobs or even relocating.
It will take time to help your new dog adjust to a new environment. You will likely need to work on some training as well. Your new dog may need more exercise than you are used to, especially if your previous dog was a senior. Once you feel that the time is right, you can begin the process of choosing the right dog. Don’t just run out and get the first dog you meet and like. Your beloved dog can never be replaced, but a new dog can be a beautiful way to share the love in your heart. By opening your life up to a new dog in need of a home, in a way you are honoring your dog’s memory.
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