Time to move on?
When is the right time to get a new pet? If your previous pet has recently died, there is no right answer to this question. Some may say “right away” as the emptiness left behind only makes the grieving process worse but others however need time as they may feel resentful to a pet acquired too quickly. There are several things worth considering:
Don’t make a hasty decision and give yourself time to think. Rushing into or being pressurised into a decision may not be right for you or your pet.
Your new pet is not a replacement, you are embarking on a new relationship so try and find a pet that is different in some way to your last; a different breed, sex or colour. You may only be disappointed if your new pet does not act or behave in the same way as your old pet.
Research your choice of breed carefully; making certain the breed, size, sex, behaviour, and needs of your new pet are appropriate for your lifestyle. Size, temperament and activity levels are essential considerations in a new dog. Rescue centres are full of animals that either “did not fit in” or “were not what we were expecting”.
Do involve all family members in the decision to get a new pet. In particular, consider the needs and feelings of your children. Are they ready or will they feel disloyal to their old pets by getting a new one? Make sure everyone in the family is in agreement – a surprise puppy to cheer everyone up may not be the right approach.
Remember that if you get a new puppy or kitten, they will not yet be trained; indeed older animals may not yet be trained to your standards! Puppies especially can be destructive, disobedient, need toilet training and may be restless and noisy at night. You may not remember this with your previous pet but this ‘phase’ will pass in time.
Do consider the needs of your surviving pets. Will they welcome or resent a newcomer? Remember that most cats and dogs are territorial by nature, and that it will take them time to adapt to a new pet. Once you have introduced a new pet into the household, make sure your existing pets receive lots of attention.
There is no ideal time for a new pet, the decision is personal but with a little careful thought and consideration, you should know when the time is right. Remember we are always available to help guide you through these sometimes difficult and confusing times, so please feel free to contact us at either of our surgeries for advice.
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