This is a very common question and something many people agonise over. Initially a common reaction after losing your pet may be 'I never want to have another pet', and this is often because you could never imagine having to go through this grief again especially when it is so raw. You need to take some time to process the loss of your pet and to get to a place where you are thinking of him/her with a smile and not just sadness and grief.

Your new pet will never be a replacement for your lost one and does deserve your full attention, the time taken to get to this place will vary significantly for many people. Your new pet will bring joy and laughter as you get to know him/her and for some people this will help alot with the sadness they are feeling after losing their last pet. It is best to give yourself at least a month to process the immense grief you are feeling, getting a new dog immediately may mean you have not processed your feelings enough and this may reflect in the way you feel about your new pet, often these feelings will not allow you to be able to bond fully with your new pet and this will not be fair on them.

If you have other pets it may not necessarily be the right thing to bring a new pet in, pets grieve over their lost companions as well. Watch your pets carefully in the weeks following your pets death, subtle changes in their habits, i.e feeding, exercise, changes in their personality may indicate they are not ready and will need some more time before bringing a new pet into the family.

Generally the decision will be a very personal one. You will know deep down inside as to whether you are ready. A good idea is to look after a friends dog for the day or a few days and this will help you to get a feel on whether your heart is fully ready to accept another pet. Research the type of pet that will compliment your lifestyle. Consider rehoming an older pet as often you may be saving a life in these circumstances and these animals have alot of love to give. Most of all understand that throughout our lives we may have to go through losing multiple loved pets, but then imagine what life would be without that loyal companion by your side.