Losing a furry family member is never easy. It takes time to heal such a deep wound, but at some point, you may be thinking about extending your love to a new pet. This decision can be deeply personal and the timing will be different for everyone. But there are a few steps you can take to ease the transition for your family and your new companion.
These suggestions from New York Dog Nanny can help guide you through the process.
Take Some Time for Self-Care
Our pets have grown to be such a huge part of our lives. This is why losing one can be painful and difficult to process. Author and therapist Stephanie A. Sarkis likes to remind bereaved pet parents that their experience is 100% valid. Just as with the death of a human family member, there is no right or wrong way to work through the pain.
There is also no right answer as to when you should bring a new pet into your home. Some people find comfort in adding a new furry family member right away. While others need more time to find closure before they can do so. You just need to do what feels best for your family.
Think About Any Resident Pets
The Huffington Post explains that both dogs and cats form strong bonds with their pack members. It’s normal for other animals to show signs of bereavement, like sleeping more or losing their appetite. To help these pets feel less lonely, try to maintain their normal routine, and give them plenty of extra snuggles.
When your resident animals are grieving, you may wonder if getting a new brother or sister will help them heal. The most important part of this decision is to make sure you are ready to accept and care for a new companion. If possible, you should also bring your current pets along to meet any potential additions, so that you can gauge whether they will get along.
If you rent a house or apartment, you may consider making upgrades to meet your new companion’s needs. Another option is to move to a more spacious place or one that’s closer to a park or has plenty of green spaces. This may be necessary if you’re getting a dog that is larger or more active than your current or past pet. There are plenty of rentals in the Stamford area; in fact, 265 units are available now. Check ahead of time to see whether the property allows pets, and what breeds are accepted.
Be Prepared to Welcome a New Pet
If you decide that the time is right, you’ll want to make sure your home and your routine are both ready to welcome your family member. To prepare your home, make a list of essentials your pet will need and then shop online to save on those pet supplies. It’s easy to find coupons, promo codes, and cashback offers online to help you do so.
It’s also important to stock up on special supplies that are specific to the type of pet you’re getting. For example, if you plan to groom your dog at home instead of handling them off to a professional, you’ll need a few things to help you along. A good dog hair dryer is almost essential, though you should read up on the different makes and models to ensure you’re getting one that’s up to the task.
You’ll also need to take a walk around your home to spot any potential pet hazards. While your older pets may know to leave things like plants, cleaners, and people food alone, a new animal may not, which is why it’s best to remove these temptations before it causes a serious issue.
Be Patient With Training and Bonding
Pet-proofing your home can help a new furry family member feel safe. But it can still take time for your new pet to adjust and feel completely at home. For rescue dogs, Reader’s Digest suggests keeping the 3-3-3 rule in mind to help you manage expectations. Remember, it may take months for your new dog to pick up new routines, get used to your family, and begin to settle into your home. Many dog owners choose to hire a qualified professional for training, like New York Dog Nanny, who offers a full range of services including holistic dog training, potty training, crate training, basic commands, and more.
When resident pets are involved, proper introductions can also help to smoothen the transition. That initial meet and greet is crucial, but you may also need to take your time before allowing everyone to mingle freely. Watch carefully for any signs of aggression or dominance.
Only you will know when it’s time for a new pet. Until then, be gentle with yourself as you process this loss. Eventually, you may find that your heart is healed enough to love another furry family member. When you’re ready for that next step, you’ll have this guide to help you welcome your new companion and prepare your family for a new chapter.
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