Young boy with arms around dog.

Have you been considering surrendering your pet? We understand this can be one of the most difficult and heart wrenching decisions a pet owner can face. There are times, though, that make it necessary for an owner to make a drastic decision, such as a loss of a job or a death in the family. Some pet owners also decide to relinquish a pet because of behavior issues or aggression

Before making a rash decision about surrendering, there are some other things to consider. These are some helpful options as alternatives, which we at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital hope any loving pet owner who is faced with this problem will consider. 

Surrendering Your Pet Because of Behavior?

Before you make a heartbreaking move, we recommend getting some input from friends, family, and your veterinarian. If the reasons you’re considering are due to behavior or health problems, we can definitely work with you on figuring out the best solution to take care of these issues. 

There are distinct behavioral problems that cause a pet to end up in a shelter, which include marking or accidents in the home, destructive digging, chewing, or scratching, and aggression. 

The good news is that these behaviors don’t have to be permanent. There are certain conditions that cause behavior changes and problems in pets. Speak to us and have them examined. We can also conduct a behavior assessment and offer recommendations on positive training and socialization to curb any unruly behavior issues.

A Few Alternatives Before Surrendering Your Pet

Depending on the reasons behind the surrender, there are a world of options out there before you have to resort to letting your pet go.

  1. If the issue is financial, ask for help. There are some great organizations and nonprofits that will consider covering some of the costs of caring for a pet, such as The Humane Society and People and Pets Together. Discuss with family and friends about what your pet needs and would they temporarily cover these costs. You can also do a Go Fund Me campaign to help cover anything you cannot at this time in order to keep your pet in the family. Social media is great for getting the word out.
  2. If your pet has behavioral problems, speak with your veterinarian. There are some great training and socialization classes available that are reasonably inexpensive. You can also call Pet Helpline at 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738), which is a free resource for asking questions about pet behaviors and how to correct them.
  3. If your landlord doesn’t allow pets, take your time in finding a home that is pet friendly. Look for “pet friendly housing” in your Google searches. Ask around and see about apartments and rentals that allow your specific species and breed.
  4. If someone in the home is allergic, keep several areas of the home pet-free. You can still keep a pet when you provide a specific area where they cannot be, as well as investing in some area filters in those rooms of the home. This is a great compromise in keeping your pet while helping the allergy sufferer with fur free zone(s).
  5. If the problem is temporary, ask someone to foster your pet. Don’t make a permanent decision when the situation is temporary. You can always ask a friend or other loved one to care for your pet until the problem is resolved. 

We know the decision to relinquish a beloved pet can be painful and confusing, especially if you are already under pressure. If we can provide additional resources on alternatives to surrendering your pet, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re not here to judge but simply help.