Tahmoor Clinic

02 4683 1918

Caring Country Vets

Thirlmere Clinic

02 4681 8470



We are often asked when is a good time to get another pet and we speak to clients who are worried about dishonoring the memory of a deceased animal by replacing it too soon with another one.

Perhaps the best answer to these questions is that there is no correct time to get another animal. What is disturbing to many pet owners is the pressure from family and friends to fill the empty place in their home and their life as quickly as possible, to get over it and to find a new pet.

Grief is a process of physical, emotional, social and cognitive reaction to
loss. An individual's recovery from loss is intrinsic to the person themselves and their relationship with their pet. Some people feel they should get another pet as soon as possible. If so, this is done out of love to the previous pet and the joy that a new puppy or kitten can bring and should not be tinged with guilt for having done so quickly. For others, years may pass before the time feels right to get a new animal. The loss may have been so overwhelming, that finding the emotional space for another pet seems almost impossible.

When considering a new pet, be sure you are prepared for the time and emotions needed. No animal could ever hope to replace the special relationship that was shared with a former pet, expecting this is simply unrealistic. However, every animal brings their uniqueness to a new home.


Contact a registered breeder or perhaps go to a pet shop or animal shelter as this may be the best way to go about acquiring a new pet. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, or brings up too many bad memories, then stop and wait. When the time is right, you will know, or a new animal will find you.


If you have another animal, they may act strangely after the death of their mate. Signs of grief include restlessness, anxiety and sometimes destructive behaviour. Your other pet may want to stay closer to you than normal, or alternatively, may withdraw and hide. Other signs of grieving may include changed eating habits or disinterest in activities that are usually enjoyed. Some pets may search the house or property for the other pet or for their scent.

The best way to help your animal through this time, which may be as difficult for them as it is for us, is simply to give them time and affection.

Spending extra time with your other animal will be as good for you as it is for them: playing games with them, giving them special treats, going for walks, grooming them often or simply playing in the garden.

In cases of severe grieving, if an animal stops eating, self-mutilates or seems extremely stressed - medication can help relieve anxiety associated with the loss. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

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