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How long should one wait to get another pet after their old pet dies?

Updated on November 10, 2011

Let me tell you something. everyone handles the death of a beloved pet differently. Its been a while since I have lost a pet as our current dogs are ten years old now, but it does not mean I have forgotten the day that we had to put our previous German Shepard mix (Candy) down at the age of fifteen.

My Story

As long as I can remember, I have always lived with dogs so I have gone through the loss of a beloved pet at least a couple times. The first time I was faced with the death of a dog, I was only five and obviously at the time I had no understanding of the loss of a dog but the last time I was faced with the death of a dog was when I was twenty, which I still remember that like it was only yesturday. You see Candy in a sense grew up with me as I was only five years old when she was brought home. I don't even remember how long it was between the loss of the previous dog and when Candy came to join our household but all I do remember is how she put a mark on our life and how important she was for us.

Candy was a German Shepherd/Collie Mix and as a puppy she was a handful. I may have been only five but I do remember her tearing up the kitchen carpeting but she was only a puppy.

What made Candy so special. I really can't say other than she was always a motherhen. As long as I could remember is that she was a motherhen. Growing up we had two other dogs but they didn't leave the mark that she did and they didn't last as long as she did. In addition to Candy we had two cocker spaniels. One was blond and the other was red (Sandy and Happy). Sandy shared the same birthday as Candy and Happy was two years younger than them.

Candy was the ring leader of all the dogs in the house. When it was food time, she made sure the others knew that it was food time.

Growing up, Candy looked over me to the point that if I was running in the house, she used to chase me because to her it was unacceptable.

So How Soon is to Soon to Get Another Pet?

It really is up to each individual. Everyone deals with the death of a pet differently. We had my dog Lucky only two weeks before Candy was put down. I would not have changed those two week as he did keep her spirits up. You see Candy at this point could not walk. I mean she could walk, but we had to help her up so that she could walk. The two weeks before we did get Lucky, she hardly barked or did anything, but once Lucky was in the house, we actually did hear her barking. Basically when Candy left the world, he took her place by watching over us. We didn't stop at just having Lucky. A month later we ended up with another German Shepherd mix. Between the two dogs, they filled the void that Candy had left and when the time that we loose these two, they will leave a mark in our life like Candy had done previously to us.  No matter how much they drive me nuts at times, I would not change either one for the world.

Reasons to get one right Away

I know I have said that its based on individual basis, but let me point out some good things about getting one right away. Yes you miss your previous dog, but l let me tell you one thing; no matter how long your beloved pet is gone, you will always miss them.

So what are the benefits of getting one right away? The main reason is that they will fill the void that your previous pet left.They won't replace them but they will fill that hole that you may be feeling. They will help keep your mind off the loss, but you will always remember that pet as that is a given.

They will give you a reason to live and to love them.

If you feel that you are not ready for a new pet, don't get them as you will end up bringing the pet back. So to conclude, there is no real answer but you have to go with what you feel best. Nobody can make the decision for you but yourself.Go with your feelings.


Submit a Comment

  • MarkMAllen15 profile image


    7 years ago

    Cool article.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    To all who read this-- I adopted two older cats from the Humane Society in 1996. When I moved to Germany in 2000, I asked my mother to take care of them and she was never willing to give them back. Because of this, I adopted two more rescues in 2001 when I returned to the States.

    Of the two that my mom adopted, the elder died a few years ago and the second had to be put to sleep due to serious health problems only two days ago. Even though I've not had her for years, I'd seen her less than a month ago and knew it was only a matter of time before she'd leave us. I still cried when I heard.

    All I can say is that, even though no one can replace a loved one who has died, even if they are feline or canine, do consider giving another in need a home. After my mom adopted my "former"' cats, I adopted two more from a humane society. They add so much to my life and I can't imagine not having them around. I'm sure others will be added to my household as the years go by and this will never mean that I've forgotten those who have left earlier.

  • lakeerieartists profile image

    Paula Atwell 

    10 years ago from Cleveland, OH

    My cat died this year. It was very hard on our family.

  • Trekkiemelissa profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Illinois

    Not a problem. Its my pleasure to write this one. You will never ever get over a pet like you will never get over a loved one. People who don't have pets, have no understanding of that.

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 

    10 years ago

    Thank you for answering my request.. yes, pets are special and i still haven't gotten over my beloved cat after 2.6 years.


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