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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
CesarsWay.com suggests the following:
- Make a checklist of your dogs needs and personality quirks
- Get your dog ready – grooming, physical, ensure all shots are up to date
- 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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.