10 Common Reasons Owners Give Up Their Dogs

When bringing a dog into your home, most people don’t anticipate that they would one day need to give up their furry friend.

Mar 15, 2023By Devin Flaherty
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There are circumstances however that sometimes require families to consider rehoming their pet. While this is a difficult decision for people to make, it is often a decision that is made in the best interest of the dog. Here are 10 of the reasons that sometimes force families to make that dreaded decision to rehome their dogs.

1. Financial Reasons

counting money

Dogs are a big financial commitment. Even though a family may budget for the addition of a dog when they first buy or adopt, circumstances can change as time goes on. Some may find that their income has been reduced or that the economy has had a negative effect on how far money goes. In order to give our dogs the lives that they deserve, some families choose to seek out a new home for their pup so that it may live out its years getting the care that it deserves.

2. Veterinary Care is Expensive

dog at the vet

Related to finances, some people find themselves in a tricky predicament when a dog requires

unexpected medical care. Vet care is extremely expensive and despite our best efforts to keep our pets healthy, accidents can happen. Rather than allowing the dog to suffer after an unexpected ailment, some owners will make the difficult decision to find their dog a new home to get proper medical care. This is a choice a family must sometimes makes so that the dog may increase its quality of life.

3. Owners Health Concerns

changing health

It is impossible to know what the future holds, and unfortunately that goes for our health as well. After years of pet ownership, sometimes people find themselves with deteriorating health, leading them to not have the same time to dedicate to their beloved pet. In these circumstances, when aspects of dogs’ life such as exercise and enrichment opportunities are diminished, people make the decision to find their dog a new home.

4. The Addition of New Family Members

dog and baby

Although typically a joyous time in a family’s life, the addition of a new baby to the house can

lead to increased stress for the growing family. Sometimes, regardless of how a family tries to prepare and train a dog for a new baby sibling, it can be a difficult transition for both family and dog alike. In addition, dogs are a huge commitment. They require consistent care. When a family feels as though they can no longer provide this to the dog, they may choose to rehome the pup.

5. Conflict with Other Pets

dog conflict

Much like people, some animals just simply don’t get along. When introducing new pets into

the home, it is important to make sure that you properly introduce the animals, following a trainer’s advice. Alternatively, some families decide to keep the animals separate. But training and separation can be overwhelming, and positive outcomes aren’t guaranteed. Many families may find it difficult to keep up these routines long-term. In these situations, owners may choose to rehome one of the pets to ensure the happiness and safety of both the humans and animals in the house.

6. Unwanted Behaviors

dog training

Training is expensive. While there is certain training that can be done by owners at

home without a professional trainer present, there are also some behaviors that dogs present that might be too difficult for owners to tackle on their own. Or maybe, an owner has tried training and their dog’s behavior has simply not changed. In these situations, an owner might determine that their dog would be a better fit in another environment.

7. Energy Levels are Too High

energetic dog

Some dogs are extremely energetic. It is in some breeds’ nature, and owners may find that despite providing their dog with a lot of exercise and enrichment, those efforts hardly impact the dogs’ energy level. Owners may bring a puppy home, to later find that the dog is extremely active and hyper, even past the puppy stage. Overwhelmed, some dog owners opt to find another home for their dog, in order for them to be as active as their new owners will be.

8. Dog Reactivity and Aggression

mad dog

There are, unfortunately, some dogs that are reactive to certain situations both inside and outside of their homes. Training can help a family work through these triggers with their dog, but it’s not a guaranteed “cure” for the dog presenting reactive, aggressive behaviors. For some families, the reactivity is concerning and can be scary. When the situation seems like too much to handle, families may try to find a less fearful owner.

9. New Job and Shifting Family Dynamics

new job

Another common situation that causes shifts in family dynamics is a change in job or career. Ultimately, people must do what is best for their family and the family’s finances, which can cause people to take on greater amounts of responsibility. When this happens, a family might decide to rehome their dog. Most dog owners make this choice when they feel as though their pet will have a more fulfilling life elsewhere. 

10. Moving to a New House

new house

Moving is something that happens, for most people, several times throughout their lifetime. It’s great when a family can find the perfect home that fits all of their needs, but this isn’t always possible. Sometimes families need to move quickly, and they are limited in their housing options. Many landlords won’t consider certain dog breeds (commonly restricted dog breeds are Bully breeds) or dogs that are above a certain size. Also, many landlords won’t welcome a dog tenant at all. In emergency situations, it is common for families to need to leave their furry friends in the care of someone else to ultimately find stable housing.

Devin Flaherty
By Devin Flaherty

Devin is an animal lover with a particular affinity for dogs, primarily Golden Retrievers. She has been a lifelong dog and cat owner. Devin enjoys training her Golden Retriever puppy, Roberta, reading, and exploring her community in her free time.