Are You Ready For a New Pet After a Bereavement?

New pet, new start… too soon or just right? Ah, we know those bittersweet feelings when the thought of getting a new pet crosses your mind after losing one.

  • Are you being disloyal to your deceased pet if you’re looking for a new one?
  • Are you really ready to make yet another pet friend?
  • What’s the correct time frame to buy a new pet after bereavement?

All these questions in your head might make you a little overwhelmed and can stop you from moving on with your life. However, finding the answers to these questions can help you in your healing process. Let’s dive deep and see if you are still in the mourning phase or possibly is it time to welcome a new furry friend. 

Are you being disloyal to your deceased pet if you're looking for a new one?

NO! But you have to overcome your pet loss properly so that you aren’t resentful towards your new pet.

Losing a pet is painful and this question comes as one of the biggest threats to your own thought of sharing your love to a new pet. You might feel affectionate to many stray animals while passing down the street, or towards your gf’s or best friend’s pet while still coping with the pet loss. But it doesn’t mean petting these animals or loving on them after your pet loss would make you a disloyal pet-parent. 

The same applies to getting a new pet. Your deceased pet is irreplaceable and there is no debate about it. But let us tell you from the experience of many pet loss grief counselors, there is great healing value is having an outlet for the love in your heart towards animals. 

Having said that, it is also important you take enough time to heal from your pet loss so that you don’t experience a sudden resentment towards your new pet friend or not be able to give them all the love they need.

Here is a great article to read while you are in this journey:

 4 Practical Steps For Dealing With Pet Loss

Signs You Are Still Not Ready To Buy Another Pet Friend

  • You still have vague feelings and guilt about this decision.
  • The memories with your pet adds onto your grief.
  • You aren’t healed enough to talk about it with anyone.
  • You could be thinking of giving the new pet the name of the deceased one and expecting the new pet will be the same as your old one. It could be unintentional but your brain might be looking for such a replacement and expects the new pet to behave like the old one, which is disrespectful to your new friend and a false hope to yourself. 
  • You don’t see yourself caressing or interacting with any other animal as an impulse of being loyal to your deceased pet.

Signs You Are Ready To Buy Another Pet... If

  • All the family members living together are comfortable with this decision, especially the older ones in your home. 
  • You have given other surviving pets in your home enough time to heal from this loss.
  • You remember your deceased pet and live the memories with a sense of love and gratitude.
  • You don’t take it as replacing your old pet even if the new pet is a spitting image of the old one.
  • You understand that the new pet has its own energy profile and character and you don’t expect it to match with your new one.
  • You understand that a new pet also needs time to settle with you and you are willing to do that apart from training it.
  • You are emotionally available for the attachment with a new pet. 

What’s The Correct Time Frame To Buy a New Pet After Bereavement?

That’s completely a personal decision. The time frame might vary with;

  • The age. A young child tends to mourn the loss for a very little time and be ready to invite another pet into their lives. Contrarily, losing a pet later on in life means losing a friend/companion which can slow down the recovery period and ultimately takes longer for them to make this decision.
  • How your pet died. The sudden death of your pet is worse than anything on this earth. However, a death in which a pet goes through a prolonged illness before dying, may give you enough time to anticipate the coming situation and patience to handle it.

Nonetheless, these two cases could still be invalid to you, as said before, there is no such thing as a correct time frame to buy a new pet after losing one. The correct time is whenever you are emotionally available to accept a new pet with its distinct personality and not as a living substitute of your deceased pet.

Final Thoughts About Getting a New Pet After a Post-Loss

It could be a messy transition for some while others might take a few weeks to recover from it, while it’s still challenging. But you should be careful with your own feelings when choosing a new pet after a loss. Give yourself enough time to grieve about it so that a new pet and you could enjoy the fresh start together. 


You can also consider taking advice from a pet loss grief counselor to help you cope with the pet loss and choosing a new pet after it. However, there are no hard and fast rules about the right time to buy a new pet. It’s just about how soon you can accept reality and open your heart to a new bundle of love. 

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