In their process of healing, some pet owners decide to get a new pet, thinking it may help heal their grief. In reality, a new pet should not be introduced until a pet owner is ready to move on. Allow yourself to go through the stages of grief before considering a new animal. Pet owners who do not let themselves heal before getting a new pet are more likely to place the pet in a shelter at a later date.
The following guidelines are intended to help you choose your new pet:
- Avoid comparing your new pet to the pet you lost. They will never be the same and you are only adding grief and stress for your new pet.
- Consider purchasing a new pet before you lose your elderly pet; this may cause your older pet to hang on longer and prevents you from having to get acquainted with a new pet while still mourning the loss of another.
- Do not give your new pet the same name or a nickname of your pet that has passed.
- Do not purchase a pet as a replacement for your pet that has passed away.
- Look for a pet that is different from your last pet, either in breed, species, or personality.
- Take time to think about what kind of pet you want and what sort of pet fits in with your lifestyle.