4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
For many humans, this might be a sad, sensitive topic. Yet, breakups and divorces happen, and it’s important to think about how it will affect all members of your family. Many humans spend so much time focusing on kids, property, and belongings during a breakup that they forget that pets will be affected too. So, who should get a dog during a breakup? And will your pets understand what’s happening?
Who Gets the Dog in a Breakup?
According to Psychology Today, pets are considered property in breakups, so it’s not really a custody battle. Yet, anyone who has a dog knows that we are family. So, deciding who keeps the dog is much more important than picking who gets a couch or TV. If possible, try to discuss this situation while you’re on good terms, even if you plan to stay together forever. That way, the decision will be much easier if things ever go wrong (which hopefully they won’t).
First of all, if someone owned the dog before you got together, they will likely take the dog. I am certain that Molly would never give me up in a breakup because I was here first, so I hope other humans would be the same way. However, many couples adopt dogs together, which can make the situation much trickier. Also, if it’s a divorce, it’s a legal matter which may require a judge getting involved.
However, I think the answer of this question is simple. Where the dog ends up should be in the dog’s best interest. I’m sure both humans will be willing to fight for the dog, but this isn’t the type of argument you want to be petty about. Instead, think about what’s best for your furry friend.
If one person cared for most of the dog’s needs, they’ll probably be the best choice. Also, if one person is financially stable while the other is not, it makes sense for the dog to go somewhere where their vet bills can be paid. Of course, there are many other factors than just these, but they’re some things to think about. Overall, I think it’s important for exes to put their arguments and differences aside to focus on the dog’s future and well-being.
How Do Breakups Affect Dogs?
We might not know exactly what’s happening during a breakup, but most dogs can tell that something is wrong. Since we don’t speak human languages, we understand our humans based on body language and tones. When we hear our parents fighting, bickering, and acting different, we can tell that something is wrong. That’s why some dogs might be more comforting when you’re sad.
Even if your dog can sense a change coming, they might not understand it. It’s difficult for them to be around someone all the time and then suddenly never see them again. So, to make things easier on them, make the transition as seamless as possible. Continue their regular routine as closely as you can. If you need to move to a new place, bring plenty of supplies that remind them of their old home.
Your pet may be anxious and confused at first, but they’ll eventually adjust to their new routine. After all, they’ll be happy to have at least one familiar human with them. If your dog keeps displaying unusual behaviors without improvements, you might want to ask your vet for advice.
Be Careful When Adopting a Dog Together
The important thing to remember is that getting a dog is a big decision. It’s even bigger when more than one person is involved. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but also families whose kids will soon leave the house and roommates who want a dog together. Make sure you’re thinking clearly about the decision before rushing into it.
If you adopt a dog with someone else, make sure you discuss a potential breakup ahead of time. It’s an uncomfortable conversation that no one wants to have, but it’s the responsible thing to do, and it could make your relationship stronger. Then, your dog will never get caught in the middle of a nasty fight over who gets to keep the dog.
In most cases, getting a dog is clearly for one person in the family. For example, Molly’s family adopted me together, but I was always known as Molly’s dog, which is why I moved out with her. Having these expectations can help relieve your dog’s stress if a breakup ever occurs. No one wants to talk about breakups and divorce, but dogs are a part of the family, so they shouldn’t be forgotten during big life events like that.
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