Nina Dobrev and Maverick. Picture: Nina Dobrev/Instagram

Nina Dobrev has admitted her new pet pooch Maverick "rescued" her because she was "so lost" following the passing of her pet cat Lynx.

The 28-year-old actress admits she felt "so lost" after her feline friend Lynx passed away, but she has had a new lease of life since adopting her beloved pet pooch Maverick - named after Tom Cruise's 'Top Gun' character - from a shelter a few months ago. 

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Nina said: "She rescued me as much as I rescued her. I was so lost after Lynx passed, but Maverick brought me back to life.

"I call her the world's chillest dog."

The former 'Vampire Diaries' star also left a void in some of her fans' lives when she quit the show after six seasons, but insists she always planned to leave to further her career, and the thought of being jobless made her more determined to work harder. 

She said: "That was the plan from the get-go. If anything, the fact that [leaving] terrified me drove me even more. 

"I needed to feel that fear of 'Oh, my God, what if I never get a job again?' That just made me want to work five times as hard to make sure that didn't happen.

"We didn't come from money. In the beginning, we lived with another family in a one-bedroom apartment. My parents had to work really hard."

When she isn't acting, Nina loves to indulge in extreme sports, such as bungee jumping, and the star once backpacked around Europe and east Asia while barely being recognised by any fans. 

Speaking to Harper's Bazaar's Harper magazine, she added: "My rule of thumb is, I'll try anything once. 

"I have a healthy -- or possibly unhealthy -- obsession with trying things for the first time.

"Nobody imagines me to be by myself backpacking, so they just think, 'It can't be her.' "