Getting a New Pet
Timing is key
The recognition of a pet memorial is an important step after the loss of your pet. However, once a pet has passed you'll inevitably be asked when you're going to get another one. For a long time, people assumed that the best way of 'getting over' the loss of a pet was to immediately get another one. The problem with this idea is if you rush into getting a new pet before you've dealt with the pain and grief of losing your old one, you might inadvertently cause problems for the new pet and yourself.
There's no definite 'right time' to get a new pet. You might find that the absence of a pet in your home increases your grief. There's a certain atmosphere to a home where animals live, and you might miss that feeling just as much as you miss your pet.
On the other hand, you might not be prepared to go through the process of obtaining a new pet, soon after losing one so special to you. If this is the case, you might find yourself feeling anger and resentment towards the new pet. You should only get a new pet when you feel you're ready - remember, there's no concrete timeline for when this will happen.
Bringing Home a New Pet
While you'll never forget the pet you've lost you may find that a new pet can help heal the hurt. After you've decided to get a new pet, there are some things you can do to help ensure that it's a positive experience:
- Don't think of the new pet as a replacement. This is a new friend and a new relationship. It'll never take over what you had with the pet you lost, but it can offer you something new.
- Don't get a new pet that's identical to the one you lost. Look for different types of pets or different breeds. You're not replacing your other pet, and no new pet ever could. So why not try something completely new?
- Give your new pet a different name. Again, you're not replacing the pet you lost. You'll want to establish new memories and a new relationship that isn't based on the fact that you suffered a loss.
- Give consideration to surviving pets. If you have other animals, you'll find that they're reacting to the loss of the deceased pet as well. They might not welcome a new pet into the home.