When a cherished animal friend goes through senior years, many owners consider getting a new pet to keep their older pet company in their final days. Whilst it can be a great idea, it may not be for everyone. Is it fair for both pets? Is it really the best thing for you and your family?
Factors To Consider In Getting a New Pet Before My Senior Pet Passes Away
Does my senior pet like other pets?
Since you have been caring for your old dog for a long time, you know their temperament towards other animals. If they have a jealous streak, you may have to rethink adopting a new pet. In addition, the fact that they would have to live together may cause your senior pet to become territorial and act out.
On the other hand, if they are fond of being around other animals, having a new pet can give them a delightful companion and be positive for their mental and physical well-being.
How is my old pet’s overall health?
Having a new puppy or kitten can encourage your old pet to get more exercise and do more fun activities. However, if your senior pet suffers from illnesses such as arthritis, kidney or heart disease or other common “old age” health issues, it can affect their quality of life. They may feel uncomfortable and pain in their body. Other illnesses can even cause cognitive dysfunction.
As a pet parent, your responsibility is to make this stage in their lives as peaceful and stress-free as possible, so consider your pet’s health before getting a new energetic furball.
Would I have enough time to care for both of them?
Young and old pets have different needs. For example, puppies need more exercise, training, and mental stimulation. On the other hand, your older dog needs one-on-one time with you, so they don’t feel left out. Inevitably, they also will manifest the signs of ageing, such as vision loss, where they would need extra care and understanding.
How does my family feel about it?
Whilst having a new animal companion is exciting, it may not feel the same for everyone in your family, especially if it seems like you’re replacing your senior pet. Have open communication with everyone and listen to how they feel about it. They must also understand their responsibilities in the event everyone’s on board.
Getting a New Pet Before a Senior Pet Crosses over The Rainbow Bridge
Bringing a young animal friend into your home as your older pet is going through senior years seems like a kind and compassionate thing to do. However, it’s important to consider the potential implications before taking such a step. A new furry friend could bring comfort and joy to your senior pet during their final days, or it could cause undue stress, even to you and your family. Ultimately, adopting a new pet while you have an older pet depends on how well you and your family can handle the situation.