Adopting a puppy after the death of your previous dog

adopt puppy tug on leash

Is it a good idea to adopt a puppy after the death of your previous dog? The death of a pet is a very traumatizing event that can be difficult to overcome. No matter the reason for the disappearance, the sadness and emptiness that you feel can be comparable to the way we feel when we lose a loved one. While some dog owners refuse to adopt another dog after this type of trauma, others are interested in adopting another puppy. If this applies to you, here are a few useful tips to ensure that you are adopting a puppy in the best conditions and for the right reasons.

Adopting a puppy after the death of your previous dog: a personal choice

Choosing to adopt a puppy after your dog passes is a personal decision. However, it’s also an important decision for those around you. If you live with your family, make sure to take your children, partner, and other family members’ opinion into account.

Oftentimes, people decide to adopt another puppy to fill the emptiness that was created after their previous dog passed. This is an understandable decision and justifiable as long as you are aware that the new puppy will not replace your previous dog. This puppy can, however, help you get through the grief of loss.

Other owners prefer waiting some time, even years, before adopting another dog. This is normal. It’s important to have enough time to grieve before envisioning adopting another pet. If you do decide to adopt another puppy after some time, do your best to avoid comparing them. Every dog has their own personality and their own story.

Another category of owners refuse to adopt another puppy after the death of their dog. If you feel this way, know that you are also right. Do not take into account the opinions of others who have not lived through the same experiences as you. Everyone’s way of grieving is different, so your decision is justifiable.

Take the time to grieve your previous dog

Grieving the loss of a dog, whatever the circumstances, is a painful experience. To come to terms with your loss, you may go through different phases, depending on your personality.

Allow yourself to be sad or angry

No matter the reason for the loss of your dog, don’t repress your emotions. It’s important to accept them. Do you feel sad? The externalization of your feelings will help you heal better. Don’t be afraid to cry because you will feel much lighter after.

Do you instead feel angry? It’s normal to have these types of feelings. You are allowed to handle your dog’s death in your own way. To help you cope, you can exercise or do sports. This might help you evacuate your anger. You could also seek the help of a professional. In addition, drawing, writing, sculpting, or painting are activities that can help you externalize how you are feeling.

Surround yourself by those you love and take time for yourself

Sometimes, the best way to grieve is to surround yourself by people who went through the same situation as you did or simply understand how you are feeling (pain, sadness). Let your loved ones help you. You can also participate in forums dedicated to people who have lost a pet. Speak with these owners, talk about your dog, about your memories, and seek support. Make the most of these precious and memorable moments. They will be very beneficial to you.

In some cases, the grieving process can take a lot of time to start. If you feel empty or do not feel anything, know that thisis normal. Once it starts to feel real, take the time you need to feel better. Some people prefer concentrating on work while others take some time off to feel better. No matter what you decide, it will be for the best.

Put away your previous dog’s things

Putting away the belongings of a lost loved one is one of the most painful parts of mourning. Some people wait a few days or weeks before putting away their dog’s belongings. Others decide to do it the day of their dog’s death. It’s a personal decision, so it’s best to do what you think is best for you. After picking up all of their belongings, you can consider donating them to a shelter or rescue. Don’t give everything away though. You can keep the objects that are really important to you and that make you think of your dog.

Say your goodbyes and create a new routine

Once your vet declares your dog’s death, they will explain the different options available to you for their funeral. Whether it be a private ceremony, a collective cremation, or an individual cremation; your vet will explain every solution.

After the funeral, try to replace your dog’s walks with outings with the family. Find activities that will help you replace the old routine with your dog.

adopt puppy after death of previous dog
Choosing to adopt a puppy after your dog passes is a personal decision.

Adopting a puppy after the death of your previous dog: it’s not about replacing them

Can I adopt a puppy after the death of my previous dog? The answer is yes! This doesn’t mean that you are replacing them. They will always live in your heart.

Avoid bringing your lost dog back to life through your new puppy

Adopting a puppy after the death of another dog should not be an obligation. No one should force you to make that decision. However, if you do decide to adopt a puppy, know that it isn’t a betrayal against your dog who has passed. Your loyalty to their memory should not influence the new puppy. Here are a few tips to help you avoid making your deceased dog relive through the new puppy:

  • avoid adopting a puppy that looks a lot like your previous dog,
  • if you prefer adopting the same breed, prioritize choosing a different color coat or a different gender,
  • avoid naming your puppy after your previous dog,
  • avoid placing all your sadness on your new puppy,
  • do not be too demanding of the puppy.

Spend time with your new puppy just as you did with your previous dog. They need time to adapt as well as love and attention. Don’t turn them into a sponge, or they’ll develop behavioral problems that will end up complicating your relationship.

If you are still emotionally unstable, it’s best to not adopt another pet. Listen to your heart and avoid rushing. This will help you avoid making comparisons that should not be made and and make your new puppy look like a carbon copy of your previous one.

Ask yourself the right questions

Adopting a puppy after the death of a dog is a perfectly legitimate decision. But are you sure that you’re still morally, emotionally and materially capable of taking another puppy in? To avoid making a decision you’ll regret in weeks to come, take time to ask yourself the right questions about your motivation.

Are you still as available as your were in the beginning? Perhaps you have a new job, have a vacation planned, or welcomed a new member to the family. All of these things need to be taken into account. If you have moved, is the new place well-situated and does it have enough space to welcome a puppy?

Are you still in good physical form and do you have the patience to adopt an energetic puppy? After the adoption, you should have the time and patience necessary to educate the young puppy and teach them how to socialize.

If you’re sure you’ve come to terms with your loss, and you’re aware of the new constraints, go for it. We wish you all the best!

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