What to do with your dogs when your family separates?
When you have a family pet dog, they are part of the family, an integral part of daily life. Life doesn’t always work out exactly as you planned and relationships can go wrong leading to the family splitting up. This is exactly what happened to me and my rescue dogs were my very first priority. When my family and I took on our first rescue dog and subsequently second rescue dog, it was always with the intention that we would look after them until they lived out their days.
Life didn’t go according to plan. And in the heat of the moment, I was away from the property for two weeks. This was difficult both for the family and for the dogs as I did not know when I would return at that time.
What to do first when your family separates?
It is really important to cover things like your basic needs, such as a roof over your head, shelter, food, income, internet, and a safe place to live before making any decisions. However, I appreciate that not every relationship that goes belly up allows this space and time. I am blessed that we were able to be mature about the dogs.
From my perspective, our family was our dogs and us humans. Both my dogs are used to having three people in their lives. Regardless of what I or my ex felt about them, I did not feel it was right to take the dogs away from their family and we were able to provide them with a safe and secure home. Meaning that we could share custody or access to both dogs.
To keep it simple, we decided and agreed on week on week off at each other’s respective homes and also agreed to keep things flexible should the other one require assistance with dog care.
Now as they are both rescue dogs, the rescue signed both of the dogs over to me. So from a paperwork perspective, the dogs belong to me. However, from a heart perspective, we belong to dogs.
One of the most important things that we both wanted to ensure was that the dogs had a safe place to live with minimum disruption to their lives. Once this was resolved, we worked on getting them into a routine, carried out Animal Communication with them, and gave them plenty of games, grooming, cuddles, and attention to help them adjust to the new life.
What if it doesn’t work out?
As we both adjusted to living apart there are many ways to approach the family splitting up and you may be in this position and not able to keep your dog due to your living arrangements changing. In this instance, it is really important that you keep communicating with your dog about what you are going to do.
Dumping your dog on the street is neither kind nor responsible, dropping your dog off at a rescue really ought to be a last resort as rescues are full and struggling to accommodate and rehome the dogs they have in the rescues.
Please also do not list your dog as free to a good home anywhere on Craigslist, or Facebook groups because there are people out there who look for dogs going for free to snap up and get into the illegal world of dog fighting. You do not want your beloved family pet to end up as a bait dog and be torn to pieces by your relationship breaking down.
What can you do to try and rehome your dog (if that IS the only option).?
- So take a moment and put a post out on Facebook, message your friends.
- Would anybody take your dog?
- Do you know anybody?
- Did you get your dog from a breeder or from a rescue – would they take the dog back?
- Have you got a relative that would look after your dog while you sort out your accommodation and can find a suitable home for you and your dog to live in.
While I understand that some situations when relationships break down mean that you have to leave immediately, and may not be in a position to go back. In this instance, do the very best you can for your dog with the time and space that you have.
If like me, you are able to take your time, a couple of weeks, finding somewhere to live, that is suitable for your dogs to come and stay with you. Then communicate via text or email so it avoids any emotion. It puts things in writing, and it keeps it very adult and mature.
Keeping the bond with your dogs.
Once you see your dogs, let them know what’s happened and what is happening give them time to adjust, offer them custom Bach Flower Remedies, a couple of drops of lavender oil in their environment, regular play and walks to stimulate and help relax them from what would have been a stressful time for them.
Keep communications between your ex and you very polite in front of your dogs at all times and actually keep them polite anyway, it’s nicer for everybody involved.
I’m sorry for you to have split up, the relationship didn’t work out. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a civil relationship with your ex for the sake of your dog’s sanity, health, and well-being. If you have rescue dogs, this is extra important as they may already feel, or experience insecurity on or separation anxiety on a different level.
Now with the changes in the home, the routine that you have may be different to what you had before. And you may be out of the home for long periods of time, which is not ideal for your dog.
Consider a dog walker, a pet sitter or negotiating with an ex that you are able to leave the dogs with them while you’re out if they are at home. Equally, if they need to go out and you’re at home you will cover the dogs too.
Staying sane through the process.
I’m not saying that this is easy to navigate and I’m more than happy to help you through this by providing custom Bach Flower Remedies, and energy healing for you and your dogs to navigate through the adjustments of this change. or an animal communication session to explain your viewpoint, situation and expectations and also to answer your dogs questions about the new life.
Remember, this too shall pass and it won’t always be as uncomfortable as it is right now. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes, they want to feel safe and secure just the same as you and they’ll be looking to you to provide that for them.
If you’d like to talk to Ruthy about Animal Communication, then book a free call to find out what’s best for you and your family.Link text