Should I Get Another Dog After Losing One? Find Out if You Are Ready

If you like to keep a dog as a pet, then losing it can be hard on you. It might take a few weeks to get over the death of your pet. Depending on how close you were, it might even take longer. Most people would be asking themselves, should I get another dog after losing one? There is no straight answer to this one as everyone has a different approach to the issue. Some might want to wait a bit longer, while others would jump into buying a new dog as soon as possible.

Give Yourself Enough Time to Grieve

Photo Credit: The Happy Dog Guide

There is no shame in grieving after the death of your dog. The duration of grieving depends on the situation and the person. It is advisable to go through the whole grieving process before getting a new dog as a pet. Rushing into getting a new dog might be unfair to the new pet. It might not get all the attention it deserves from its new owner.

During the grieving period, you have to pay attention to your feelings. Other than grief, you are likely to feel confusion, depression, and sometimes anger. The different feelings will depend on how you were raised, how the dog died, and personality. It does not matter whether it was just a dog as some people might have a problem processing death of any kind.

You still need to face the tough question of whether you are ready for another dog. The whole grieving process is different for every person. Some might even take months before getting over the death of their favorite canine. You should only start looking for a new dog only if you are ready to move on from your previous pet.

Decide the Type of Dog to get Next

After you feel it is now time to move on, there is the need to understand that the new dog should not be treated as a replacement. It is a common mistake that people do and end up expecting the new dog to behave similarly to the previous dog. Nothing will ever replace how the old dog made you feel. The new dog will come with new quirks and personality.

It can help a lot if you choose a different sex or breed for the new dog. At least it will help you to stop comparing the new dog to the old dog.

Does your apartment building allow pets?

Another thing you have to keep in mind is the current living conditions. A lot might change after the death of your dog. Maybe you got rid of the various dog toys and other amenities of your old dog. If that is the case, then you have to buy new stuff. You might have moved to a different apartment where they do not allow dogs. There is so much to consider before hoping to the next dog.

Evaluating your physical capabilities might also be the ideal way to go. Maybe your health might have changed since the last time you owned a dog. If you opt for a larger breed, just know it would need more physical activity and care than the smaller breeds. It is crucial to pick a dog that is compatible with your abilities right now.

Since there are multiple breeds of dogs, picking one might not be easy. It is best if you make a list of qualities you want in a dog before shopping around. The aim is to get a dog that you can take care of with ease and still have fun with it. Since you have owned a pet before, it should not be hard to think of various qualities of a dog that you want.

Picking a New Dog

Photo Credit Peta

If you are now looking to pick a new dog, then it means you are ready to move on from the death of your old dog. Here are some ideas of where you can get a new dog.


Animal shelters will have many dogs available for adoption. This is a great place to start looking for your next pet. Shelters are also known for having different breeds. If you are looking for a specific type of breed, then a shelter would give you a nice lead.

The staff at any animal shelter will have extensive knowledge about these dogs. They will help you pick the right one in case you are not sure where to start. Do not be discouraged if you do not get a new dog at your first shelter. There are several shelters you can check out in your area before making up your mind.


Sometimes you can go ahead to get your new dog directly from a breeder. Breeders have now listed their businesses online. It should make it easy for you to pick the right dog that works for you. When buying from a breeder, the chances are that it would be slightly expensive. The cost of a puppy from a breeder can cost from several hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If you want a full-grown dog, it might not be ideal to check out a breeder. Most breeders will only sell puppies. Always ask around to find out who is the best breeder so that you can get the right dog that you have always wanted.

Check out pet stores

You might be surprised by the variety of dogs you get at a pet store. Well, most will be puppies, but some tend to have older dogs too. Pet stores do not have as many dogs available for adoption as before. They are likely to refer you to a local adoption shelter. Once you have a dog, you can now go back to the pet store to get the right supplies for your new pet.

It does not matter where you get the dog, always ask about its behavior and temperament. Some dogs can easily snap and become your worst nightmare. This is especially when you have kids living in your house. It is best to settle for an outgoing and friendly dog.

The Dog Adoption Process  

As part of answering the question, should I get another dog after losing one, we need to understand the importance of adopting a new dog. First, adoption is necessary to save the dog’s life and give it a place to feel at home. It is estimated that there are over half a million dogs in shelters across America. These are dogs yearning to have a new home and you could provide one for them.

Another benefit of adoption is that it costs a lot less. Comparing to buying from a breeder, adoption is a cheaper option. Sometimes it can even be free depending on various factors. The best part is that such dogs would have been neutered, dewormed, microchipped, and vaccinated.

Some might find adoption as a humane way of keeping a dog. Surgical sterilization is common for dogs that end up in shelters. This is done to control the population of these homeless canines. Since there are many dogs than the homes available to take care of them, then sterilization is often considered by the shelter management.

Adoption is easy, you should try it.

Now that you are ready for adoption, here is what you can expect the adoption process to look like.

  • First, you will submit an application for adoption. This involves filling out a form to be considered as a caregiver to one of the dogs.
  • Next, an interview is conducted by the shelter’s counselor to see if you are fit to handle a dog. The last thing they want is to have the dog abused by its new owner. This is the stage you also meet the dogs in the shelter.
  • Once you pass the interview part, you will choose the right dog to take home depending on your needs. A small adoption fee might be required before leaving with the dog.

Welcome the Dog to its New Home

Photo Credit: Boredpanda

Each dog might need a different environment to feel at home. It is why you must prepare to welcome the dog to its new home. Start by dog-proofing your house once again. You might have relaxed a bit since the last time you owned a dog. Some of the measures you can take include keeping the electrical cords inaccessible, move the breakable objects away from the dog’s path, and much more.

Next, get all the essential items that are required to keep the dog happy. Such essentials include food, treats, and sometimes grooming tools. Depending on the dog’s behavior, a leash or carrier might be necessary. Feel free to reuse whatever your old dog had used before. It can help a lot to save money in the process.

As much as you might want to reuse most of the things, keep in mind the nutritional needs of your new dog. Some might have a different nutritional need. Talk to a veterinarian to understand more about nutrition and supplements you can give to your new dog.

Come up with a schedule for taking care of the new dog. The last thing you want is for your dog to feel just as lonely as it was at the shelter. If you are a family, then you should consider taking turns caring for the dog. A schedule can still be great to train the dog to know when to expect food and playtime.

Always try to make the dog feel at home. It will include providing it with enough food, blankets, and enough room for it to play and relax. Sometimes you just have to let the dog relax and enjoy its privacy.

Tips to Help the Dog Adjust to its New Home

Just like any other pet, your dog might need time to adjust to its new home. Here is how you can help with the transition.

Give your dog time to decompress

The dog would need time to decompress after separating it from its friends at the adoption shelter. It is best if you can give it time to relax and know more about its new surroundings before introducing things such as games. It is recommended not to overstimulate the dog in the first few days. You will notice that it might be withdrawn, but that can change over the following days.

Let it have its own space

Your new dog still needs space just to mind its own business. You can do this by providing a comfortable area where it can rest. When the dog feels comfortable enough around its new owners, it will start to interact and show the feeling that it wants to play games. It is best to give it extra time to chill in its personal space.

The dog might have stomach issues

It is common to find newly adopted dogs having diarrhea. This is mostly because of the sudden change in diet or stress. It is best to ask the shelter about the dog’s diet before taking it home. Before getting home, pick the recommended diet from a pet store. Even if you make the diet changes, it should be done gradually not in a day. After the first few weeks, the diarrhea will stop as the dog settles into its new environment and diet.

It might lose its appetite

Still on stress, being in a new environment might make your dog lose its appetite. If you have brought home a shy dog, then you might notice that it does not eat as expected. It is recommended that you give it high value food, which might include chicken and ham. Dogs love this type of food even if they have an issue with their appetite.

Come up with a routine

Anyone who owns a dog knows that it will thrive on routine. To help it get used to its new environment draft a routine that is easy to follow. The routine will include things such as feeding time, going out for potty breaks, a daily walk, and going to bed. Always make sure that the routine is in line with your availability.


By now, you understand a few things on how to move on after losing a dog. You should not be afraid about getting a new dog. It is worth stating that only get a new pet if you are ready for it. It is best to take your time to grieve your old dog so that when you get a new dog, it will have your full attention. Visit different animal shelters to find the right dog. Picking a pet should not be something that you get to rush.