When Is It OK To Get Another Dog | Is It Too Soon

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Our family sadly lost both our precious boys just over 3 months ago.  The pain we have is still so raw and deep. Everyday I get up it takes me a minute to realize that our boys aren’t here anymore.  It’s kind of like for that moment I almost forget.  But we wonder when is it OK to get another dog, is it too soon.  How long should we wait.dog death

That morning routine of getting up, letting them outside and of course some cuddling is no more.  Everything that we do now is without them.  Sure is hard to even muster doing our day to day activities some days.  We miss them so much, our hearts are broken.

The thought of mending our hearts by getting another dog is something we certainly think about daily.

The loss

Nobody knows what it feels like to feel the loss of their pet until it happens to them.  Watching our boys take their last breath was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do in my life.  I literally see that imagine in my mind regularly.

I know that it has only been like 3 months, but I sure feel like it has been longer.

dog angel

We all know that grieving process goes through 5 steps: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly acceptance. Right now, I would say I am probably in the depression stage toppled with some anger.

At times, I feel completely sad and angry.  Then I think about how my boys were suffering and I guess you could say I feel some acceptance with the fact that they are no longer in pain.

Still, the loss hits deep and the thought of quickly filling that void with a new puppy is strong.  How easy it would be to just get a new puppy and be so busy with them, that their is no time to think about our lost puppies.

The real problem with that is then we are never really and truly feeling that loss.  We need to go through the heart ache to properly deal with our grief, before moving on.  I feel like we owe them that much.

Getting a dog to soon, also would not be fair to the new dog.  They deserve your full attention.  There is also the worry that you would compare that new dog to the old one and take out your pain out on them.

dog dieing

The family

A dog that is truly part of your family means that everyone in the family is going to be going through the same feelings.  Unfortunately everyone grieves at different paces.  That means just because you are at one stage on the grief chart, doesn’t mean your other family members are there too.

This makes deciding to get a new dog when you feel ready, not necessarily great timing for everyone else.  The entire family really needs to be on the exact same page.  It just wouldn’t be fair to the new dog to have the complete family on board for their arrival.dog heart

Have a family meeting when you think that you are truly ready to start talking about getting a new puppy.  Sitting down and letting everyone have their say is important.  This will make everyone feel like their feelings and voices are being heard.

Families need to make decisions together, especially when it comes to getting a new dog.  Dogs are a huge responsibility and it really does take a village, so everyone needs to be excited and happy about a new dog.

Other pets

When considering getting a new dog after your loss, you also strongly need to consider if you have other pets in the house.  Just like us, our other pets will feel the loss of their friend and family member too.

They can act oddly or erratically.  I have seen other pets react in a very depressing way.  Many will mope around, sleep more or even develop separation anxiety.  They can stop eating or have no energy at all.

dog and puppy

Family dogs grow up together and while we are work stay home alone together.  A strong bond develops and having a friend with them through their journey in everyday life bring them support.

That being said, bringing a new dog home quickly could cause your existing dog severe stress.  Watch your dog as they will show you how they are feeling.  You will see improvements to their activity level, appetite and overall mood.

When this change happens, that is when your dog would be OK with you bringing in a new dog.  Your dog will essentially tell you when they are ready.

Your needs

Figuring out where you are at with your life, is also important.  Are you planning any long vacations or time away from home that would take you away from your new puppy.

How is your work schedule looking?  Will it get in the way of having a new dog.  Are you about to switch jobs. As we know dogs are a huge responsibility that will require you to be home on a regular schedule.  Dogs have big time needs especially when they are first brought home to your house.

Is your home still set up to handle a dog.  Are you planning things like home renovations.  These big projects, could potentially cause your new dog serious chaos.  Dogs need a stable and secure home to come home to.  It takes awhile for your new dog to settle into their new home, if it is in chaos, it could certainly create emotional issues for your new dog.

I like to tell people that they need to make a list of what things are coming up in their life before deciding the time is right to get a dog.  Puppies especially require your full attention and it something that needs a full comittment.   If your life is in turmoil, maybe wait til things slow down a bit.  Just food for thought!

Getting the next dog

After you have thought long and hard about the considerations that go into getting a new dog maybe you have decided that the time is right.  You now need to go through the process of picking out your next dog.  Take your time, and don’t just jump at the first dog that you see.

As I have said a 100 times, the dog breed that you pick, must fit with you and your families lifestyle.  There is nothing worse than getting the wrong dog and realizing it after it is too late.  Look at things like energy level, exercise requirements, personality and of course the size of the dog.

Being able to handle our emotions after we lose our dogs is so key to being ready to get a new dog.  There is no time limit and no right or wrong answer.  Your dog can never truly be replaced.

ready for a new dog

In the same breath going through the trauma of losing your dog can change some peoples mind to the point where they never want to get another dog.  They just can’t go through the heartbreak all over again.

I like to thing that our family will get another dog at some point, but for us right now, we just aren’t ready.  When we are ready we will welcome in our new baby with open arms. We certainly have enough love to give them and for that reason, we will be dog owners once again.  Already we are talking about it and what that dog will be, and we are both on the same page.  As to when that will be, only time will tell. We both love dogs and will offer a dog the best life possible.

I’ll keep you posted, when we are ready.  Best wishes to all you dog owners out there.  Please give your dog a hug for me.

10 thoughts on “When Is It OK To Get Another Dog | Is It Too Soon”

  1. My goodness! I can’t ever imagine losing my dog. he’s been with our family for over 14 years now. He’s part of us. However, I have to start thinking about his passing as I am fully aware that he will not live forever. Although he is still very healthy, I dread that day. Thank you for this article as it will prepare me for the undeniable. Best wishes to you. 

    Reply
    • Hi SJB,

      Wow you sound just like I did not that long ago.  It is scary how fast it can creep up, where does all the time go so quickly?  All you can do is love and hug them everyday you can.  Nothing will make it easier, when the worst happens, but we always have our memories and of course our pictures of them.

      Sharing your story with me, means alot, so thank you.  Wishing you the best of luck.

      Coralie

      Reply
  2. Hey thank you for the awesome post!  I remember when I lost my dog daisy a year ago.  It was heartbreaking, and I actually told my wife I would never buy another dog and have to experience that grief again.  However, here lately we have been considering getting a new dog.  It takes time in my experience.  You are basically going through the stages of grief and finally when you reach acceptance, you may be ready for a new dog.

    Reply
    • Hi Jessie,

      So sorry to hear about your Daisy. I am sending warm wishes your way.

      The wonderful thing that I have found about writing this post, is that I am by no means alone with the this topic. 

      I realize, just how many people have gone through what I am going through or just going through it. I am excited and hopeful hearing that your family maybe ready for a new dog.  Being able to say it out loud have a conversation about it, is a huge step in the right direction.

      I wish you the best of luck in the future, and thank you for sharing your story with me.  It really means alot.

      Cheers,

      Coralie 

      Reply
  3. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing about getting a new dog after an older one passes. This is something that I’ve been dealing with, about 6 months ago when my golden retriever died of old age of 13 years.

    The way you laid it out is very relatable, the dog was like a member of family, he was in our group pictures and hung out and got along with everybody. I might still be in one of the 5 stages of grief so getting a new dog probably won’t be in the cards for a while. But I think getting a new dog might help me move on.

    Reply
    • Son,

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your golden.  They are absolutely wonderful dogs and I am sure a huge loss to your family.

      To me it still feels like they will be coming back, so I also think I am still in one of the stages of grief.  They all take as long as they take I guess.  I am sending my warm thoughts to you wishing you well.

      There is always something new around the corner, so best of luck to you.

      Thank you

      Coralie 

      Reply
  4. Hey Coralie, Thank for sharing your puppy story. We remember each and every moment we shared with our puppy. our heart breaks and we don’t like anything at all. We only feel about the moment we spend with our little puppy. Bring in a new puppy when everyone say yes. The time will comes soon. 

    Thank you Parveen

    Reply
    • Parveen,

      I certainly take some comfort in the fact that although my dogs are gone, I have some absolutely amazing memories.  It is heartbreaking, but I think that just means that they were loved.

      Yes I am sure there will be a day down the road when the decision is easily made.  I think that it when the time will be right.

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my post.

      Coralie 

      Reply
  5. Your website is very informative. I liked how easy it is to read.

    It has been years since we had dogs, but I do remember the grieving process. We have had many cats and I readily see how the same grieving process is demonstrated when a cat looses a litter mate. Too often we just try to hide our grief. But when we do accept it  we can move on.

    Reply
    • Hello Dane,

      Thank you for your comments on my post.

      I love hearing that you enjoyed reading it. You are so right, that the grieving process is something we need to feel, but at the same time be able to move forward.  No matter the animal, a loss is still hard to accept.

      Cheers,

      Coralie 

      Reply

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