Should You Replace a Pet That Has Died?

by on 14/01/11 at 8:32 am

The loss of a loved one is perhaps one of the toughest experiences a person must face. For those with four-footed family members, it may be especially difficult when you consider the love and affection a dog or cat brings into the home. While those who do not own pets may not understand the grief involved in losing an animal, for everybody else the pain is no less real. It is the eventuality of death, too, that may dissuade some from ever adopting a pet, knowing they too will see such a day.

Some argue as well the appropriateness of getting, or even suggesting, a new dog or cat to fill the hole left behind. If you have a friend or loved one who has recently lost a furry friend, you might wonder what you can do to help. Making yourself available in this time, and offering your condolences, is a good start. Even if you feel unable to empathize, showing that you care and are there for them can be a great comfort.

If you are the one who has lost a beloved pet, there is no shame in mourning. As companions, dogs and cats enjoy a special bond with their humans, and no doubt you will want to hold onto the happier memories. In time, too, you may consider adopting another, but that question remains in the back of your mind: do I really want to get attached to another pet, knowing I will likely outlive him?

The life spans of dogs and cats are significantly shorter than humans, yet even if one pet lives past twenty years the passing is no less painful. If you have considered finding a new dog or cat for companionship, you may wish to weigh the pros and cons. In the back of your mind, you may feel a new addition to the home is a replacement for a loved friend, and you may not wish to put a living being through constant comparison to an older pet. On the other hand, if you feel you have love to give to another animal in need of a good home, you can bond with another dog and cat without feeling guilty.

Bringing home a new pet following such a loss will take time to discern. Weigh the pros and cons of adopting again – do you want the companionship, but fear losing another loved one – and let your heart decide. Know that if you do find another pet, your happiness may continue in a different direction.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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