When is it time to get a new pet?

Julia Dicconson
Content Manager
September 26, 2023

Pets hold a special place in our hearts, becoming beloved members of our families. They provide us with happiness, companionship, and unwavering love. However, every journey has both a start and an end. And sometimes we want to squash down our grief by bringing in another furry friend to the family.

The question that often troubles us is, "When is the right time to welcome a new pet into our lives?" The answer to that question is incredibly complex and dependent on your circumstances, such as if you have kids, how you’ve dealt with the loss and whether or not you have other pets to consider. 

In this article, we'll explore the factors to consider when thinking about bringing a new pet into your life after the loss of a beloved furry friend.

Working through your grief.

Dealing with the loss of a pet can be an extremely emotional journey. The grieving process and the time it takes to mourn can differ greatly from one individual to another. It is essential to give yourself the necessary time and space to heal and pay tribute to the memory of your beloved pet. Making a hasty decision to get a new pet right after experiencing a loss may prevent you from achieving the emotional closure you require.

Are you emotionally prepared for a new pet?

When considering getting a new pet, it's important to assess your emotional state. Are you ready to dedicate time, love, and attention to another furry friend? Each pet is special and needs care and companionship. Make sure you are in a position to give the love and care that a new pet deserves, without only wanting to fill the hole your last pet left.

Lifestyle and commitment.

When it comes to getting a new pet, whether they're puppies, kittens, or older rescues, it's important to understand that they require a substantial commitment of both time and resources. 

The commitment of a new pet differs from one that’s been part of the family for years. Whilst there shouldn’t be any surprises, Make sure that you're able to provide the necessary care, exercise, and attention that your new companion will need. This could be working through their trauma or fears, spending more time with them to acclimate to their new home, or behaviour and toilet training.

Financial preparedness.

Owning a pet involves a range of costs, such as food, grooming, veterinary care, and unforeseen medical expenses. It is important to evaluate your financial circumstances to ensure that you can adequately meet the needs of a new pet without putting excessive strain on your budget. Particularly if the costs of your last pet's care or medical expenses were quite costly, do you have enough money aside in case your new pet will need emergency veterinary care?

Do’s and don'ts when choosing a new pet.


  • Consider the members of your household. When making a decision about getting a new pet, it's important to involve everyone who lives with you. After all, the new pet will also become a part of their lives. Have everyone talk about their grief and feelings about their lost pet, to make sure you are all ready to accept that new love in your life.
  • Research before making a decision. Research is crucial when deciding on a pet, whether you're staying with the same breed or considering a different species or breed. It's important to thoroughly understand the pet's needs, temperament, and potential health concerns, which can be different for each breed.
  • Consider adoption. There are many animals in shelters that are in need of loving homes. The great thing about adopting is that these animals often come already vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and health-checked. Some adoption centres will even wave fees when there are many pets in need of a loving home
  • Prepare your home. Prior to bringing a new pet into your home, it is important to make sure that your living space is safe and well-equipped with all the necessary supplies. You may also want to consider replacing some of your older pets' toys and furniture, as their scent may cover everything and confuse or put your new pet on edge. Also consider if you are getting a puppy after an older dog has passed away - their needs and behaviours are extremely different, such as needing to toilet train or move more precious items in case of being damaged for the time being. 


  • Don’t rush the process. Even if you're feeling lonely, it's important to avoid making hasty decisions. Make sure you're choosing a pet for the right reasons, not just to avoid your grief.
  • Don’t seek a replacement. Each pet is special and unique. It's not right to search for a "substitute" for your pet that has passed away.
  • Don't ignore the needs of existing pets. It is important to not overlook the needs of your current pets. Take into consideration how they may respond to a new addition. They may still be adapting to the loss as well, because pets grieve in their own way.
  • Don't isolate yourself. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who understand the pain of losing a pet. They can offer guidance, share their own experiences, and provide emotional support.
  • Don't overlook warning signs. When adopting or purchasing, be mindful of any indications of possible health or behavioural problems, as well as any concerns with the breeder or seller. 

Final thoughts on when is it time to get a new pet.

Deciding when to bring a new pet into your life is a deeply personal decision. It should be based on a sincere commitment to provide love, care, and a stable environment for the animal throughout its entire life. 

The right time will be when you have carefully considered your lifestyle, resources, and emotional readiness. It's not about filling a void or seeking a temporary solution; instead, it's about being ready to dedicate time, effort, and affection to a lifelong partnership. There is no definitive answer, and it's important to allow yourself the necessary time to heal and make the best choice for your family.

When the time comes, we’re here for you. Goodbye Good Boy provides a range of end-of-life services to make the difficult process of saying goodbye a little easier. 

We offer quality of life assessments from qualified vets, specialist grief counselling, at home euthanasia from dedicated end of life veterinarians, as well as cremation services and memorial options to help remember your pet for their unique character.

We are with you at every step of the journey.

To find out more, you can call our team of passionate pet lovers on 1800 953 619.