The passing of a pet can be an experience similar to losing another important member of the family. Even though the loss is inevitable, it can still be shocking when a pet passes away.

Upon the death of a pet, many pet owners need some time to mourn and grow accustomed to living without their pet. Though some might prefer to adopt a new pet shortly after a pet dies, others may need time to decide if this is the right decision. The following are some factors for pet owners to consider, courtesy of Vet Street, WebMD, Bark, and RainbowsBridge.com, as they try to decide what to do after losing a pet.

Home feels empty

Many previous dog owners feel their homes are empty or not complete without the presence of a four-legged friend. People who live alone and relied on a recently deceased pet for companionship or safety may consider adopting sooner than busy families or those who have roommates to keep them occupied.

Why get another pet?

Pet owners must ask themselves why they want another pet. If the main reason is to dull the pain of loss, it may be better to wait until something other than emotion is driving the decision.

Other pets/people

If there are other pets in the house, think about how they may react to having a new addition in the house. Just because one person is ready for the responsibility of a new pet doesn’t mean everyone is. All opinions and personalities should be considered and all voices heard before bringing a new pet into the home.

Is it time for a break?

Some pet lovers may need a break from the responsibility of pet ownership — especially if a recently deceased pet was difficult to care for in its final years.

Existing lifestyle

New pets may require a decade-plus commitment. While it may have been easy the first time around, those who are facing retirement and the possibility of travel or have children leaving the home may want to think about whether or not pets suit their current or future lifestyles.

The death of a pet is a difficult experience. Some pet owners may respond by immediately adopting a new animal, but it may be wise for pet owners to make time to grieve and decide if a new pet is a commitment they can make.


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