Rehoming a dog after baby {Tips for a guilt free transition}

Rehoming your dog after having a baby

Considering rehoming your dog after having a new baby? First, let me say that this does not make you a bad person! Whatever the reason it’s ok to consider this. Whether you’re just looking for affirmation because you’re feeling guilty about the decision or looking for tips I’ve got you covered.

rehoming a dog after baby

Will I love my dog less after having a baby?

Before my oldest was born I swore I’d never love my dogs any less after my baby arrived. People kept warning me that I would, but I was NOT hearing it. I loved my “babies”. They were the first creatures I’d ever been responsible for and I had raised them from the time they were 8 weeks old.

My puggle was 8 years old during my first pregnancy. She’d been through a cross country move, boyfriends, getting engaged, getting married. I had massive throw down fights with my husband over her sleeping in our bed and being on the couch. She was my baby girl and I couldn’t imagine that having a human baby would change this.

We did everything we could to prepare our home and our dogs for their new human sibling.

Puggle puppy
Such a cute puppy!

Then, my oldest daughter arrived. I was instantly smitten with her. Suddenly I was annoyed by the thought of dog hair and germy dog feet being on my couch. Our small two-bedroom apartment also shrank rapidly with baby stuff.

We got along ok until my daughter got more active. Neither of our dogs ever nipped at her but my puggle was not interested in being cuddled or hugged by a child, even a gentle one. She’d pace nervously and it grew harder and harder to find a separate space for her.

dog sleeping on a bed with pillow, blanket, & remote
Check out this spoiled dog!

Then we got pregnant with baby #2. This pregnancy was hard on me and I found myself getting increasingly annoyed when my dog would get in my way. It was harder than ever to think of a spot for her big dog bed. And my toddler couldn’t play in our small yard area as it was basically just a big dog potty.

As I got more pregnant and we started making space for a fourth person in our 2 bedroom apartment I got more short-tempered with my dog. I often couldn’t stand my dog that used to be the apple of my eye.

My husband finally suggested she go to my grandmother’s for a week or so to give us a break and allow us time and space to do some things around the house. One week turned into two, which turned into four.

Finally, my husband made me face the reality that perhaps it was time to make the move permanent.

(Now you may be wondering wait, didn’t she mention two dogs at the beginning of this? You are correct, when my story started I had two dogs, a puggle and a dachshund. Sadly my 5-year-old dachshund slipped a disc and had to be put down before we made the decision to rehome.)

dog and baby on a couch
My oldest with our dachshund.

Rehoming may be best for everyone

I felt extreme guilt about the thought of rehoming my dog. Would she feel abandoned? Would she miss me? Would she be happy? Would she be safe?

The harsh truth was, we were both happier with the new arrangement. I no longer had to juggle life with a dog and a new baby, and another on the way. My dog could lay around on the couch without anyone poking at her or yelling at her for being underfoot.

I’m luckier than most in that the dog I was looking to rehome was fairly low maintenance and that I had a family member willing to take her. I still get to visit her on a regular basis and she’s always excited to see me! (We also still pay for her upkeep as much as possible so that she’s not a burden on my grandmother.)

puggle dog
Still a good old girl.

Seeing her happy has helped me to get over much of the guilt about having to send her away. But, it was definitely a process, there was much crying and grieving over the decision before I finally came to peace with it.

It’s normal to feel guilty and sad…but it’s also ok to feel relieved at having something off your plate. In the long run it’s likely the best decision for everyone involved.

I know that for many placing your dog with family may not be a possibility, so I wanted to include some tips for rehoming your dog.

Tips for rehoming your dog

The decision to rehome your dog may be the right decision, but it’s not one that should be taken lightly. Your dog is your responsibility and you should do the best you can to find your dog a great new home. suggests the following:

  1. Make a checklist of your dogs needs and personality quirks
  2. Get your dog ready – grooming, physical, ensure all shots are up to date
  3. Interview potential new owners – go through your friend network first if possible. Avoid listing your dog for free and meet the people and see the space if possible before giving up your dog.
  4. Soft transition your dog to the new home/owner.

Additionally, I’d suggest you

  • Look into rescue organizations or the humane society if you are unable to find a suitable home.
  • If the possible new home has other pets ensure they are able to meet each other ahead of time. If they are dogs you might even consider having them meet in a neutral zone like a dog park.

While needing to rehome a dog is understandable you must do your due diligence to ensure your dog has a happy and safe new home.

You can read more about rehoming on and

If you’ve come to the decision that you think it’s time to rehome your dog know that you’re not alone. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your dog anymore, but it might mean you love your baby more, which is completely understandable.

If you just need a place to vent or talk out your feelings feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me on my Facebook page or email me at

giving up dog after baby

Giving up a dog after new baby

6 thoughts on “Rehoming a dog after baby {Tips for a guilt free transition}”

  1. Thank you for the advice. I have a 4 month old and a very hyper, anxious and yappy Pomeranian. We absolutely love her, but she is incredibly high maintenance in our small city apartment. We can’t leave her alone (as she has isolation anxiety and incessantly barks to the point where the neighbors have complained many times and when we come home she excited pees everywhere). We also can’t take her anywhere with us as she wants to constantly be on the move and barks like crazy if we try to stop or she sees any moving wheeled object. She hates cars and strollers and bikes and scooters and luggage, etc. so you can imagine how difficult it is to take her out with the baby when my husband isn’t home. We have to heavily coordinate leaving the house to make sure either my husband or I are home. My parents offered to take her for a month after we had the baby but gave her back after a week because she was just too much for them in an apartment as well. It’s also so difficult to take her out 3-4 times a day. We use pee pads as well but that’s also a sanitary concern now with the baby. She is such a sweet and loving dog at home, but the stress with her and the baby is becoming too much. We tried anti anxiety meds but one didn’t work and and when we tried another it caused her to have a bleeding ulcer. I’d love to rehome her to someone with a yard where she can run free like she deserves. It breaks my heart that I am even considering this but I don’t know what else to do 🙁

  2. I have a 4 month old baby and a 9 month old puppy. My sister-in-law’s dog (accidentally) had puppies and I regrettably adopted one… They both need so much of my attention. And I’ve been so subconscious about germs and dog hair every where. I’ll see dog hair on my baby’s clothes, her hair, and even up her nose and in her mouth… my puppy wakes up my baby after I’d spend 30 minutes putting her to sleep. When my puppy needs to go outside to relieve herself, she takes forever while I’m waiting with my crying newborn in my arms. I’ll be cleaning up my puppy’s poop and pee mess while my baby is crying… ultimately I just feel like I don’t have the time and energy to take care of my puppy. But, my husband, who works 12-hour days, wants to keep our puppy. We got into multiple fights ending with me crying from the guilt that he makes me feel. But he doesn’t see the work that I put in when I’m at home after getting off work and being tired myself. I’ve talked to him multiple times about rehoming our puppy only to end up with me in tears from the guilt he makes me feel… I could just follow through with rehoming our puppy (I found a good family, a friend’s nephew). But I am afraid of the consequences of my husband resenting me for it… what should I do?

    1. I wouldn’t rehome the dog without your husbands approval. But I’d definitely sit down and let him know that if the dog stays you’d need him to do xyz to help care for the dog that it’s just too much. If he’s not home a lot he probably doesn’t understand everything that goes into it and the trouble it is causing. We definitely tend to underestimate how much care a baby and a puppy need. You can’t act alone but he can’t make the decision alone either unless he’s willing to help pull the weight.

  3. I’ve just rehomed my boxer dog. She was two years old. She was a high maintenance dog. Continually had skin and tummy troubles but more than anything I was so concerned with germs everywhere.
    All she wanted to do was lick the baby and be close and I could no longer give her the attention she deserved. I know she was put out by the baby. It was incredibly hard work having her but never thought I’d miss her the way that I do. Wondering when this deep grief will end. Will I ever feel ok again. As now feeling like I should have tried harder.

  4. Thank you for the great tips. I have a toddler and another on the way, and thinking of rehoming our dog. I was wondering how did your toddler handle being separated from your dog? Was it an easy transition? My toddler loves her fur friend and we’re worried she will be heartbroken.

    1. Mine maybe mentioned it one time but she was too young to really care too much. Our dog didn’t like to be snuggled so they weren’t super close. We see her at my grandmother’s on a regular basis and she never mentions that she used to live with us. She’s almost 5 now.

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