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I Can’t Take Care Of My Dog Anymore: What To Do Next

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Tim Rhodes

Typically, dogs make for effervescent and loyal pets, but what should you do when you can’t take care of your dog anymore?

While felines may be more popular online, the internet is brimming with videos showing just how wonderful our canine companions are.

Ask any dog owner and they will enthuse how their dog has formed a strong bond with them.

In fact, a study conducted by Harvard University concluded that if you own a dog, it is beneficial for your health!

Unlike other domestic animals, the relationship between a human and a dog can be a two-sided love affair.

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What To Do When You Can’t Take Care Of Your Dog Anymore

However, not all stories have a happy ending, and sometimes you can’t take care of your dog anymore.

In the likelihood that owners are no longer able to cater to their dogs, there is a proper way to find them a new home.

Signs That You Need To Give Your Dog Away

Giving your dog away can be a heartbreaking scenario, which is why there is generally a legitimate reason why dog owners take such a step.

They may feel compelled to part ways with their dogs for any number of reasons.

Let’s look at some of the possible situations that may lead to such an outcome.

Health Related Concerns

One of the main reasons owners are forced to give up their dogs is because their presence may be affecting someone’s health.

It could be a newborn who is having an allergic reaction or it could be an elderly member of the household who is reacting adversely.

There are solutions for such an issue: HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filters can help dog owners cope.

Likewise, so can prohibiting your dog from entering certain parts of the house.

Despite such measures, it may still not be possible to keep your dog around, especially if the person suffering is vulnerable, like the aforementioned newborns and elderly individuals.

Failure To Feed Your Dog

There are undoubtedly plenty of dog owners who lead busy lives.

Whether they have long hours at work or vibrant social lives, it may result in them ignoring their dogs.

One of the outcomes could be that they simply forget to feed their dogs!

This can apply to other pets too, such as cats and fishes.

All dog owners must ensure that their pets are well fed and not doing so can be tough for both owners and especially the dogs.

For instance, dogs may begin to shed weight and behave erratically because they are undernourished.

If it happens once in a blue moon, then owners can overlook it.

However, if it becomes a frequent occurrence, then it may be time to look for a new home for your dog.

Dogs May Be Misbehaving

Well behaved dogs can be a delight to be around.

They can lift the mood of their owners with their infectious energy.

On the other hand, their misbehavior can be quite unsettling for everyone at home.

It is important to comprehend the level of misbehavior in case it becomes frequent.

It must be severe enough for owners to consider giving their dogs away.

This may also depend on the breed of the dog.

A breed like Chihuahua may simply bark profusely.

Bigger dogs like Rottweilers may become aggressive, which could prove too difficult to manage.

There may be instances where the dog may pose a threat to the children for example.

Since parents can ill afford such scenarios, they may opt for giving the dog away.

Ultimately, this may be the best case for both the family and the dog as well.

Affordability Issues

Making a painful decision like giving your dog away may simply boil down to the fact that you can no longer afford to keep a pet.

There can be myriad reasons why such a situation may arise.

For instance, dog owners may find that taking their dog to the veterinarian is proving too costly.

This may ring true especially if the dog is unwell at one point or another.

Besides exorbitant vet charges, the cost of grooming dogs may be quite a lot as well.

It could even be that the food they consume is expensive.

The owners themselves may be experience change, like losing their job or expecting a child.

In any of these cases, owners may decide that they can no longer keep their dogs around.

Newborn Child

Speaking of expecting a child, some parents may choose to find their dogs a new home for the wellbeing of their newborn.

Although there are innumerable households where families with dogs welcome newborns and they coexist with ease, not all parents are likely to see it that way.

In cases where the latter is true, parents will move their dog elsewhere and focus entirely on their newborn.

Accommodation Problems

Where dog owners live may also influence their decision to keep their pets.

For example, if they reside in a large mansion, then there should be ample space for their dog.

On the other hand, if they live in a tight space like a small apartment, then there may be cause for concern.

This may lead to issues like neighbors complaining about the noise coming from the dog.

In order to deal with nuisance complaints from neighbors, owners may be left with no choice but to give their dogs away.

Lack Of Cleanliness

Yet another complication dog owners may face is that their dog may not be clean enough for them.

Generally, puppies should be trained so they are not shabby.

Also, dog owners must groom them adequately so they look proper.

In case either of these is not done properly, the dog may begin to look untidy.

This may result in cases where the dog passes urine or stool at various spots inside the house.

They may also have ticks because they are not washed regularly.

In such cases, dog owners may be coerced into giving their dogs away.

What Not To Do When You Can’t Keep Your Dog

Once dog owners have assessed the situation and are certain that they can no longer keep their dog, there are factors they must consider before taking the next step.

In the ideal circumstance, it must be a logical one.

Cruel Abandonment

For instance, there are countless cases of heartless owners leaving their dogs on the side of the road when they can no longer keep them.

What’s worse is that in many of these videos, the dog is left chasing the car until is it beyond them.

Such inhumane actions should be avoided at all costs.

This is why it is imperative for dog owners to seek proper help when it comes to finding a new home for their dogs.

Why Shelters Are a Bad Idea

Besides the side of the road, a lot of owners dump their dogs at shelters.

It is a common occurrence for dog owners to ditch their dogs at shelters and never look back.

Sadly, this kind of behavior is not just limited to dogs.

Leaving your dog at shelters is not the ideal scenario though.

This is because shelters can be a far cry from the comfort of your home and the dog may be disturbed by a drastic change of surroundings.

Also, animal shelters are generally filled with pets who no longer have homes.

To go from a loving household where they get attention to a densely populated shelter where workers may not be able to give them time could be detrimental for dogs.

How It Affects Dogs

This can even lead to the dog suffering from depression.

It may seem unusual but dogs have feelings just like humans.

Therefore, turning your back on your dog may well lead to them feeling distressed.

They may exhibit such behavior by not eating or interacting with those around them.

In severe cases, it may eventually lead to their demise as well.

It goes without saying that by giving their dogs away, dog owners must show compassion and follow the correct procedures.

Being selfish and discarding your dog on the side of the road or outside shelters is a horrible decision when there are better ways to deal with them.

It is certainly traumatizing for the dog to be given up so recklessly.

How To Proceed When Finding Your Dog a New Home

If dog owners are absolutely certain they can no longer tend to their dog, then there are various other ways owners can find a better setting for them.

Ideally, they should consider how the dog was kept at their home and find a similar environment if possible.

For example, is the dog accustomed to having the love and attention of the entire family?

Alternatively, does the dog live with just its owner?

Dogs tend to adapt well to new surroundings, assuming those surroundings are not the side of the road or animal shelters.

There are many cases of dogs adapting extremely well with new owners.

Dogs are friendly by nature which means they are able to form bonds quickly.

If their owners are careful and show empathy, they are more than likely to find a good new home for their dogs.

There are various organizations and charitable endeavors which provide assistance for dogs.

This could even be of the financial variety.

They may also offer temporary accommodation for dogs until the time comes when their owners can take care of them again.

If dog owners want a permanent new abode for their dogs, then there is a proper way to go about that.

This brings us to what the best practices are when dog owners want to move their dog somewhere else.

Family And Friends

When the need arises, dog owners should reach out to those closest to them, first and foremost.

For example, it would be great if dog owners could give their dogs to someone they know well.

Such an instance would be beneficial for the dog.

It would also give the previous owners peace of mind, knowing that their dog is in a safe place and with people they trust.

The best way to achieve this would be to ask family and friends if anyone is interested in adopting a dog.

It could a cousin of yours or a colleague who is looking for a new pet.

In fact, even a mere acquaintance of yours could end up accepting your dog.

Perhaps your neighbor has been seeking a new pet or a contact from the gym who wants a furry friend.

It could even be someone who has dealt with your dog before.

The vet may be fond of your dog and may wish to adopt them.

The dog’s trainer may want to take them on in case the current owners are giving them up for adoption.

As long as the person has a genuine interest, it is viable to give your dog to them.

Even in the worst-case scenario, if none of the owner’s family or friends want to adopt their dog, then they can at least help in reaching out to others.

If they are familiar with the dog, they may know someone who is keen and would do a good job keeping them as well.

In any of these cases, word of mouth should do the trick.

Embrace The Power Of Social Media

As is the case so often on the internet, you and your loved ones could post pictures and details of your dog in a bid to attract interested parties.

Social media is an effective tool to get the word out and can be quite helpful in such a case.

All it takes is a few posts on Facebook groups or your Instagram feed and you are able to reach hundreds and thousands of people online.

Designing a creative ad can really help.

Dog owners can also try posting ads on websites like Craigslist.

All the aforementioned channels are free and users can reach people far and wide.

Another worthwhile exercise when dog owners are seeking a new home for their dog is to print posters of their canines and hang these in public places like grocery stores, gymnasiums and local parks.

A traditional method of spreading the word is featuring an ad in the local newspaper, although that will have a cost attached to it.

In any case, utilizing social networking or disseminating ads in person can enable dog owners to reach thousands of people.

There’s every chance that one of these people may represent a new home for their dog.

It is important to note that when dog owners are sharing such information, they should be honest.

For example, it could be that your dog has a disability.

If true, you should divulge such details.

Besides health-related concerns, if the dog has prominent habits, then those should be disclosed as well.

This is imperative because it gives viewers a chance to understand what they may be getting into if they adopt your dog.

For all we know, someone online may fall in love with your dog after reading about their disability or personality quirks.

Meeting Prospective Adopters

Once dog owners have utilized the measures mentioned above, they could even meet potential adopters once they have identified them.

For starters, knowing where your dog may end up and seeing it for yourself will give dog owners much needed peace of mind.

Also, getting to know the family that will ultimately adopt your dog will make the transition smoother.

If we examine the possible scenario we mentioned earlier regarding a disability, then it may prove valuable to meet and discuss such a concern.

Dog owners could ask potential adopters about their experiences of dealing with pets, assuming they’ve kept pets in the past.

Otherwise, probing them about their plans for your dog will also be quite beneficial.

In case dog owners are not entirely sure about the people they meet, they can always back out.

It could be that they get an uncomfortable vibe from potential adopters.

This is vital because plenty of people adopt dogs and other animals so they can sell them forward for nefarious purposes, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Similar to creating ads online, dog owners should always be transparent from their end when giving their dogs away.

Sharing your dog’s likes and dislikes can be extremely important, for example.

Likewise, so can tell them about your dog’s medical history like vaccinations administered.

This is significant because it allows the adopter to make an informed decision, which is favorable for both parties.


In the extraordinary circumstance that none of the above pans out, dog owners can consult other parties as well.

This includes wherever they got the dog from in the first place.

Some dog owners may have acquired their dog from a breeder.

As the title suggests, dog breeders are people who mate male and female dogs so they can maintain certain traits.

Such individuals are always interested in obtaining different breeds of dogs.

Therefore, it is worth a shot if a dog owner is looking to give up their canine.

Breeders are well versed in the care of dogs, which is why this will almost always be a feasible idea.

The only instance where this is not recommended is if the breeder was not a reputed one to begin with.

Similar to animal shelters, breeders may face issues like overcrowding and lackluster conditions.

In such a case, dog owners should find another home for their dogs.

Rescue Groups

Rescue groups can be useful when it comes to finding a new home for dogs.

Quite often, such organizations help by posting ads of dogs on their website as a favor.

This may be done without rehoming your dog to a new facility.

This is a win-win scenario because your message gets across to people who may be interested and you get to keep your dog a little while longer until you can find the best new home for them.

Also, some dog owners may be fortunate enough to find a rescue facility that is serviceable.

There are some that provide medical care for dogs in their possession, which owners aren’t always able to do.

The best rescue groups may also have teams that work on a dog’s behavior.

Trained professionals can positively influence dogs in a number of ways.

For instance, their demeanor may change and they behave better as a result.

This may in turn improve their chances of being adopted.

This is one of the advantages of adopting from a respectable rescue group.

Others include the fact the dogs inhabiting such shelters may be up to date on all their shots.

In other cases, they may be spayed or neutered, which may suit potential adopters.

Having worked with dedicated trainers, they may also be more adaptable than other dogs.

Naturally, dogs adopted from rescue groups come with a number of distinct benefits that other dogs simply do not have.

Therefore, if all else fails, dog owners can locate a thriving rescue group.

This means their dog has an excellent chance of being looked after and relocated sooner rather than later.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the safety and wellbeing of your dog are paramount and must always be at the forefront when making a wholesale change like relocating them.

We mentioned a number of reasons why owners can’t take care of their dogs anymore.

In such cases, there is no harm in seeking the help of others, because it will benefit your dog in the long run.

Asking those closest to you for help, putting captivating ads online, or seeking well regarded breeders or rescue groups are all effective ways to find the best possible home for your dog.

These are all useful techniques that also ensure that your dog’s needs are met.

Whatever the reason for giving up the dog, it is important to utilize the aforementioned tips.

At any given time, there are innumerable dogs that require a new home and dog owners must ensure that they do their best to find a caring home for their dogs so that they’re not displaced like other animals.

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