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Are Your Heart and Home Ready for a New Pet? By Ryan Goodchild

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

T

he loss of a pet is a devastating event. Unfortunately, animals have much shorter lifespans than we do, and the majority of us will experience a pet’s death at least once. This can leave a hole in your heart and a silence in your home that is sometimes unbearable, but does this mean you should fill the gap immediately? Read on for answers to this question and more.


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How Long Should I Wait?


If you’re wondering how long you should wait before adopting a new pet, there is no real answer. Allow yourself time to experience grief before jumping headfirst into a new fur-filled relationship. When you do not wish to wait, make sure your home is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected if your pet died with (or of) an infectious disease, such as kennel cough, Parvovirus, Distemper.



A Clean Slate


One of the most important considerations before getting a new dog/cat is knowing whether you are ready to accept that your new pet will not be the same as your former companion. Animals all have different personalities, and they will react differently. For example, your Labrador may have been more of a lapdog and your new bulldog may be more content to sit at your feet while you watch TV. Because of this, it’s also a smart idea to invest in new gear, such as a bed, food bowls, and leash, so that you associate your new pet with their own identity.


Budget Considerations




Replacing everything can get expensive, but there are ways to save money when bringing home a new pet. One of these is to shop online at big-box stores, such as Kohl’s. Kohls.com often has a clearance section, and there are lots of other sites that will help you find promo codes, discounts, and special coupons to help you keep your pet-minded budget under control. Another great way to watch your dollars and cents is to adopt a pet from an animal shelter instead of buying from a breeder. As an added benefit, adopting is better for your local community and helps keep strays off the street.



Bonding


Bonding with a new pet while you’re still fixated on the loss of one is challenging. It is very easy to feel as though you are betraying the memory of an animal that you considered family. But, you are not. And you know that if your former animal companion were around and could speak, they would tell you they did not want you to be lonely and sad. Make a point to do lots of bonding activities, such as going for a walk and playing fetch, with your new pet. If it’s a cat, get down on the floor and let her come to you when ready. Eventually, you will get to know each other, and you will feel a connection begin to grow.





Ultimately, only you know when it’s time to move forward with a new furry companion. However, be honest with yourself and give it time. Grief is not an easy thing to get over, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you move too soon. You’ll also want to remember the practical aspects of bringing home a new companion, such as getting new gear and bonding to establish and grow your new relationship.


Written by one of our Contributors Ryan Goodchild

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