When is it time to get a new pet?

Losing a family dog is difficult no matter how long they were with you, if the death was a surprise or long awaited.  Inevitably, the question of bringing another dog into the family will soon be brought up. 

It’s important to understand that everyone in the family will grieve the loss of a dog differently.  Some may be ready to immediately “replace” the previous dog with a new one and some may not even want to approach the subject.  It’s important to hear out all parties and understand each of their thoughts and concerns before any action is taken. 

There is no right or wrong way to handle this situation.  It is difficult and will be painful.  Here are some tips to ease the burden and make sure you think through the process:

  1. Hear out all parties- Everyone in the family will grieve in their own way.  Reach out to each person individually and see their thoughts and feelings towards the loss of your dog.  During that conversation lightly bring up the thought of another dog and see what they think. 
  2. No surprises- Everyone has seen the movies that a "hero" parent brings home a new puppy to surprise the kids.  Do not do that.  More times than not, this can be received poorly by children, resulting in resentment towards the parents and the new family puppy. 
  3. Take your time- There is no rush in this process.  If you want a few days, weeks, or months, there is no shame in that.  Be open to grieving and when the time is right for the entire family, approach the subject. 
  4. A new dog is not erasing a previous one- It’s important to know and to communicate with the family that getting a new dog is not forgetting about a previous one.  Those memories and great times will forever be with the family that are irreplaceable. 

There are many great support networks that can help a grieving family and give direction on handling specific situations.  Our friends at Pet Loss and Dog Sympathy have great advice.  Feel free to reach out to someone on our team to talk through the process too at