Posted on: 6th July 2023

In a heartwarming trend across the United Kingdom, small pet ownership has witnessed an astounding 50% surge, as Britons embrace the joy and companionship offered by furry friends.

From cuddly hamsters to adorable rabbits, a wide range of small pets have found their way into the homes and hearts of the British population.

According to a recent study conducted by the Pet Owners Association of the United Kingdom (POAUK), the number of households that have welcomed small pets as family members has skyrocketed over the past year. The study analysed data from various pet stores, breeders, and rescue centres across the country, providing valuable insights into this remarkable trend.

The reasons behind this surge in small pet ownership can be attributed to various factors. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have played a significant role in the increased desire for companionship and emotional support, with many individuals seeking solace and comfort from their newfound furry friends.

One of the most popular small pets gaining Embracing a New Chapter: Guidance on the best way to adopt or buy a new pet after bereavement

Losing a beloved pet is an experience that can leave a deep void in our lives. The bond we share with our furry companions is precious, and when they depart, it feels as if a part of us is missing. 

However, as time passes, the opportunity to open our hearts to a new pet emerges. Buying or adopting a new furry friend not only brings joy but also provides a chance to honour the memory of our departed companions. 

As you begin to explore your options, we thought we’d help you with some guidance on the responsible way to buy or adopt a new pet, particularly for those who have recently experienced the loss of a beloved pet.


Allow Yourself Time to Grieve

Losing a pet can be an emotionally challenging experience. It is important to give yourself time to grieve and heal before considering adopting a new pet. Take the necessary space and allow yourself to process the loss. Each person's grieving process is unique, so listen to your heart and determine when you are ready to welcome a new furry companion into your life.

Reflect on the Previous Pet-Owner Bond

Before diving into the adoption process, take a moment to reflect on the bond you shared with your previous pet. Cherish the memories and lessons you learned from that relationship. Consider the traits, personality, and needs of your departed pet. These reflections can guide you in selecting a new pet whose characteristics align with your lifestyle and preferences.


Research and Choose the Right Pet

When the time feels right to bring a new pet into your life, thorough research is crucial. Consider factors such as the pet's breed, size, temperament, exercise needs, and compatibility with your living situation. Each breed and species has its own distinct characteristics, so it's essential to choose a pet that will complement your lifestyle and provide a fulfilling companionship.

If you’re considering buying a puppy and kitten, here are some particularly good pointers for making the right choice and following the right process, courtesy of the Blue Cross.


Before you contact the seller

•Check that the animal is older than eight weeks

•Be careful if the pet is advertised with a ‘passport'

•Search the seller’s name and details online

•Check whether your new pet will be vaccinated and socialised before you take them home


When you contact the seller

•Always ring before you visit

•Don't feel under pressure

•Ask about medical history and microchips

•Ask about the pet's behaviour and the environment the litter and their parents are living in - is your potential new pet able to do all the things a young puppy or kitten should enjoy?


When you visit the seller

•Don’t buy your new pet on your first visit

•Only agree to meet in the puppy or kitten’s home

•Make sure the mother and the rest of the litter are present

•Check for health or behavioural issues

•Ask for a copy of their medical records

•If you are buying a pedigree pet, ask for proof of pedigree


As the UK Government guides too

•buy your animal from a reputable supplier such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder – advice is available from Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, PAAG and RSPCA

•use the puppy contract or the kitten checklist


There is more good advice about the laws around buying puppies and kittens on the UK Government website at


Visit Shelters and Rescue Organisations

Shelters and rescue organisations are ideal places to find your new furry friend. These institutions provide a second chance to animals in need, giving you the opportunity to make a positive impact while finding a loving companion. Visit local shelters, spend time interacting with the animals, and ask the staff for guidance in selecting a pet that matches your preferences and circumstances.


Consider Adult and Senior Pets

While kittens and puppies are undeniably adorable, adult and senior pets often face greater difficulty in finding homes. These animals have unique charms and can bring immense joy to your life. Consider the rewards of adopting an older pet, such as their calm demeanour, established habits, and reduced training needs. By offering a mature animal a loving home, you can experience the joy of giving them a second chance.


Prepare Your Home

Before bringing your new pet home, create a safe and welcoming environment. Pet-proof your living space by removing hazards, securing wires, and providing appropriate toys and bedding. Consider creating a designated space where your new pet can feel secure as they adjust to their new surroundings.


Patience and Training

Every pet requires time to adjust to their new home and build a bond with their new family. Be patient and understanding as they settle in. Establish a routine and provide consistent training to ensure their well-being and integration into your family dynamic. Remember, the journey of building a strong bond with your new pet takes time and effort from both sides.


Buying or adopting a new pet after the loss of a beloved companion can be a transformative experience. It allows us to honour the memories of our departed pets while opening our hearts to new joys and companionship. 


By taking the responsible approach of allowing yourself time to heal, reflecting on the previous pet-owner bond, and researching and choosing the right pet, you can ensure a warm and fulfilling partnership. 


Embrace the opportunity to provide a loving home to an animal in need and embark on a new chapter of love and companionship.


popularity in the UK is the humble hamster. These tiny rodents have become beloved companions due to their compact size, low maintenance requirements, and playful nature. Hamsters are often favoured by apartment dwellers and those with limited living space. Their small size allows them to thrive in cosy environments while still providing endless entertainment for their owners.

Another small pet that has witnessed a surge in popularity is the lovable guinea pig. These social creatures are adored for their gentle nature and their ability to form strong bonds with their owners.

Guinea pigs are particularly popular among families with children, as they provide an excellent opportunity to teach responsibility and empathy while offering endless cuddles and squeaks of delight.

Additionally, rabbits have also seen a substantial increase in adoption rates. Known for their fluffy fur and inquisitive personalities, rabbits have captured the hearts of many UK residents. These small herbivores require ample space and regular exercise, making them a great fit for individuals with larger homes and access to outdoor enclosures or gardens.

While hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits have experienced a notable surge in popularity, other small pets like gerbils, mice, and even small reptiles have also found their way into British households.

Each of these small pets offers unique qualities and can cater to different lifestyles and preferences, ensuring there is a perfect furry or scaly companion for everyone.

The increase in small pet ownership has also given rise to a growing market for pet supplies, such as bedding, food, toys, and specialised habitats. Pet stores and online retailers have reported a substantial uptick in sales, as owners strive to provide the best possible care for their newfound companions.

The rise in small pet ownership not only brings joy to individuals and families but also offers a boost to animal welfare organisations and rescue centres. Many pet enthusiasts have chosen to adopt small pets from these facilities, contributing to the alleviation of overcrowding and providing loving homes for animals in need.

As the trend continues to grow, experts advise potential small pet owners to conduct thorough research and ensure they have the necessary time, resources, and knowledge to meet the needs of their chosen pet.

Owning a small pet comes with responsibilities, including proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care. 

The surge in small pet ownership across the UK signifies a heartening shift in the way Britons view and prioritise companionship. With furry friends by their side, individuals and families find solace, joy, and unwavering support in their small pets, fostering a stronger bond between humans and animals in the country.

Embracing a New Chapter: Guidance on the best way to adopt or buy a new pet after bereavement