General Dog

What to do When you can no Longer Afford your Dog

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Life happens. It just does. You get a job, you lose a job. You get married, you get divorced. You are well and then you are no longer well. Life’s ups are what we stick around for and life’s downs, well, we hope they are not too bad or last too long. But what happens if they do last longer then expected? You can only tighten your belt so much before sacrifices have to be made and your cost of living has to dramatically change.

The family pooch is usually the last sacrifice any of us want to give up when the financial speed bump begins to look more like a washed out road. However, dogs do require a monthly budget and if you cannot afford the kibble for the table, what happens if a hospital visit is required? Is it fair that your pet suffers because of a little bad luck? What can you do when you can no longer afford your dog?

What if you only need a little Help Paying for your Dog?

Most rescue and animal welfare organizations understand that everyone goes through the odd financial hiccup and are there to help and no one wants to put a much loved dog into the system if there are any other options.

Need a bag of dog food to see you through a month? Expired food is often given to rescue agencies, sent back to the manufacturer, or thrown away so ask your veterinarian, local shelter, or pet store if there is an extra bag you could have to see you through.

Is your pet on medication? Often unused medications are returned to the vet and kept for cases of financial hardship. Ask your vet if there are any expired or returned meds you could have until you are back on your feet. If not, ask your vet to speak to the company representative and plead a hardship case. Your vet should help because they know all too well how much more difficult it is to find a new home for a pet that has a medical history.

Finding a Temporary Home for your Dog

Is your situation temporary? Have you had to move into a short-term, non-dog friendly situation for a few months until money starts to come in again? The chance of finding someone willing and able to take your pet until you get back on your financial feet can happen. Often foster homes are friends or family that understand the situation and want to help. They also know your dog and know that they would be happy sharing their home with your beloved pet.

Ask friends and family if they, or if they know anyone, who would be willing to look after your pet for an undetermined period of time. Offer to take the dog for walks and spend time with him to help with the day to day maintenance of the pet and that once the money starts coming in, that you would be happy to help with some of the costs until you can take him back permanently.

Finding a Permanent Home for your Dog

If your situation is dire, you can no longer afford your dog, and there is no end in sight, you may have to find a permanent home for your dog. Again, ask friends and family if they, or someone they know, would like to take your pet. Ask acquaintances at the dog park and hang signs at the local dog walking area. If people know your dog, you have a great chance of finding a good home without a lot of interviews and meetings.

If asking around does not find a permanent home, you may be forced to either advertise in the local paper and online or turn your pet in at a local rescue agency. It is a difficult decision to make but one that has the best interest of your furry friend in mind.

Giving up a beloved pet is difficult and not a decision to be made quickly or without trying to find an alternative. However, it is not fair to ask your pet to suffer needlessly if a good home can be found. There are not a lot of options for what you can do when you can no longer afford your dog but there are people that want to help. Put your trust in the rescue organizations and know they understand that turning over your pet is the last thing you want to do.

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