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I Can’t Cope With My Dog Anymore – What Should I Do?

Written by Assistant
Assistant is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Monday 31 January 2022
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
can no longer cope with dog
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Caring for a dog is not always cuddles and play. Every dog comes with their own difficulties and needs and it is important that we understand that and care for them. But what about when things change? Illness, financial difficulty, and the loss of a family member are just some of the reasons why we may not be able to handle our dog anymore. If you find yourself saying “I can no longer cope with my dog, what should I do?”, don’t worry. There are multiple options for you to consider.

What is most important in this situation is to do what is best for your dog. We will be discussing all of your options and the pros and cons of each. Understanding every option allows you to know if you can keep your dog and change things, or if it may be better for them to be re-homed. So let’s look at everything, so you know what to do when you can’t deal with your dog anymore.

Common Reasons Why Owners Give Up

Owners who struggle to cope with their dog worries that they are alone in their thoughts. We want to detail some of the common reasons for owners needing to give up their dogs or feel they must make the decision. If you are on this article feeling guilty, that shows you are researching and care about the best decision for your dog, and that shows a good owner.


We may start off being able to spend evenings or days with our dog. Suddenly though, our jobs change. Shift work, late nights, or even a second job may limit the amount of time we can spend with our dog. Our pups need time to play, cuddle, and bond with us. A lack of socialization can leave our dogs depressed, frustrated, and generally unhappy. If we cannot give our dogs the time they need, and will not be able to for the foreseeable future, then it may be kinder for them to be in a home that can give them the time they need.

Moving or Landlord Not Allowing Pets

Houses and moving can often change someone’s ability to care for a dog. You may move to a smaller house, no longer have a backyard, or even move under a landlord that will not allow pets. All of which means a dog may not be suitable in your home. A landlord not allowing a dog is a major issue and even finding a landlord that approves of a pet is difficult nowadays. Sometimes you can pay extra for pets to be allowed in properties, however, some will not allow it no matter what. Furthermore, a large dog in a small house is not always practical. Practicality and permission account for a lot when owning a dog.

dog gets no time
They can walk around the neighborhood and even spend some time playing.

Behavioral Issues

When buying a dog we believe that our dogs will come to us and be easy to train, or at least come with minimal difficulties. However, this is rarely the case. Every dog has their own struggle but some can be particularly difficult to cope with. Constant howling, aggression, or heavy destructive chewing can make ownership very difficult. Furthermore, these issues usually cannot be solved quickly and require tailored help and patience. If you own a dog who has become aggressive with your child, then you may not be able to offer an environment suitable for change.

Financial Struggle

Job changes, health issues, and a new family member are just a few reasons that your financial status may change. If you are suddenly struggling to pay rent and for food, it makes complete sense that you are worried about supporting your dog. Food, vet bills, and other essentials are important to keep your dog healthy and happy. If you cannot supply for these needs then you may need to consider rehoming your dog. Even if it is just a temporary situation until you are able to get a more stable income, many do consider moving their dog out.

Physical Limitation and Can No Longer Care for Dog

Through accidents or illnesses, your physical abilities can change. Dogs require walks, play, and general exercise to stay happy and healthy. Due to unforeseen circumstances, you may no longer be able to provide in this way. Volunteers and dog walkers can be hired to keep your dog engaged if this is your only area of struggle. However, sometimes this is not an option or the solution isn’t practical. An energetic dog may need constant stimulation and interaction with its human. We may not be able to restrain them and the situation could become dangerous for those that struggle with movement.

Possible Options Dog Owners Make Take

Here are some solutions if you can’t cope with your dog anymore. Some can help you to keep your dog and provide them with what they need, others are options to find the best home and help for your dog.

Seek Out Rescue Groups

There are usually multiple rescue groups within each area that can foster pets temporarily. These homes can usually be accessed immediately, and your dog will remain being fostered until an ideal family can be found for them. This is a good solution for someone who needs their dog to be rehomed as soon as possible but still wants their dog to end up in their ideal home. You can usually have deep discussions with the foster family, the group’s processes, and what testing they have gone under. Therefore, you can feel confident knowing your dog is going somewhere that will care and provide for them.

Ask Family Members or Friends 

If you are able to lean on your relatives for help, this may be a solution for a temporary problem. If you are struggling financially for a while or with your timetable, your loved ones may be able to help. Coming over to visit or helping to buy dog food. However, if this is a permanent problem, then you could consider rehoming your dog to a family member. You will be able to see your dog regularly, as well as know they are going to someone that will care for them. You know these people and know their motives and how they will treat your dog. This can offer a huge piece of mind.

Call a Pet Sitting Service

Separation anxiety or long shifts can be another concern. Calling a pet sitting service could allow your dog to have a friend who visits whenever you cannot be home or have to leave for long hours. You can find someone you really trust and that you know will care for your dog properly. Having someone repeatedly caring for your dog will allow your dog to build a bond with them. So they will look forward to seeing them and feel happiness. As opposed to being stressed from you having to leave and not be with them. Furthermore, they will visit your home so your dog will not have the stress of leaving you and your home at the same time.

Put Your Pet Up For Adoption

Sometimes our only option may be to rehome your dog and place them up for adoption. Adoption can be through friends, family, or helpful services. This way you can ensure your dog is going to a good home and not worry that the wrong people are owning them. Fostering and adoption agencies can be very helpful. Furthermore, with agencies, you can read reviews and see how highly rated and recommended they are. So if a company is not up to your standards, you can avoid them with ease. Furthermore, you can see the exact experiences of others who have rehomed their dogs.

Consider All of Your Options

We understand that things can change or unexpected things may occur that mean you can’t cope with your dog anymore. However, there are many options for you to consider so you may not need to rehome your dog. See if there is any financial aid if you are struggling with money. Ask if any groups or loved ones can help to walk your dog. If you can find another option, it is worth exploring before making a decision. Unfortunately, it may be that rehoming your dog is the only decision you may take. However, evaluate every option and ask those you can for help. There may be a solution out there.

the responsible choice is adoption
You and your dog may have a lifestyle mismatch or you may be no longer able to physically give your dog the care he needs.

Struggling To Cope With My Dog: FAQ

More questions for us? Don’t worry, we have the answers. Look below!

What can I do if I can’t take care of my dog anymore?

If you have made the difficult decision that you need someone else to take care of your dog, then you have a few options. Contact friends, family, shelters, and foster groups. Every dog is different and some scenarios may be better for some than others. The same goes for your situation as well. You may need to rehome your dog urgently, in which case a fostering group may be a perfect conclusion until a permanent adopting family can be found.

Can a dog that bites be rehomed?

Unfortunately, it is rare. Shelters often put dogs down that bite to sleep. Family members and friends may be a good option for your dog’s next home as they will not need to go through a shelter. However, they will need the help of a behaviorist and vet in order to help your dog’s anxiety or aggression.

Do dogs feel sad when you give them away?

Dogs will mourn the loss of an owner or family. They bond with people like we do and they will feel emotional at your absence. Your dog will not understand that they have been rehomed but will miss you and know you are not with them. However, they are able to form new bonds. Not necessarily replace you, but to feel love and bonds once more.

How do I give up my dog?

If you go to a shelter or rescue then you can willingly sign your dog over to them. You will have to sign paperwork to confirm that you have relinquished ownership. If you give your dog to someone you know then all then you can just that. However, for it to be an irreversible transaction there needs to be evidence that the owner received money for the trade of the dog, as little as that may be.

Is it bad to give up a dog?

This depends on why and how. If someone gives up their dog because they truly cannot care for them, then it is not a bad decision. If the welfare and life of the dog is their motive then that shows a good dog owner. However, if boredom, laziness, or a lack of concern for welfare motivates this decision, then this, unfortunately, reflects many owners who rehome their dogs. The motive matters just as much as the care put into finding a dog’s next home. Ensuring your dog has a good home to move onto, again, shows love and concern.

Sometimes an owner may have no other choice than to relinquish their dog. However, be sure to look into every option for your decision as there may be a solution to your concerns. As long as your dog truly is at the forefront of your decision, and you are doing everything you can to make sure they are happy and healthy, then that is all you can do. We hope we have aided your difficult decision and that you feel more comfortable.

One comment on “I Can’t Cope With My Dog Anymore – What Should I Do?”

  1. Adam Gaspang

    It was a useful and interesting article to read and for any reason that you can’t cope or care for your dog it’s sad to hear that it must be very difficult to give up a love one you have bonded with and for whatever reason it is I feel your pain one should never go thru this situation other than any other selfish reason, I’ll remember my options if it comes to that point, Thanks.

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