Giving away a dog is a big decision, and it’s hard to tell what’s right at the moment.
It’s something so personal, complex, and utterly different from one story to the next.
If you are someone that finds yourself in this situation and regret it, we at Clever Pet Owners empathize with you.
Hopefully, you can find some guidance through this article and start healing. We know this is a delicate situation; maybe save this article to reference as you process everything.
Remember that you aren’t alone in your feelings; take your time when you’re ready to move forward.
Reflecting on why you gave your dog away
#1 Did you have the appropriate time to take care of them?
Firstly, pull ideas from this article. We are not here to approve or condemn anyone’s personal relationship. We just hope to provide a little insight into a complex situation.
This part can be difficult, and I’m sure you’ve played out all of the scenarios in your head, but asking critical questions can bring solutions.
Potentially, the most important. Was there an appropriate amount of time to take care of this animal? Without the proper time, so many other problems have the potential to stem from this.
Essential keys to dogs’ well-being are the time to groom, play with, feed, or complete care for them. Pets that don’t have their basic needs met can become behavioral.
#2 Was it the healthiest option for both you and the dog?
Next can be a complex question, did you have a healthy relationship with your dog? Or, to simply put it, was there mutual trust there?
There’s a lot we can justify to ourselves here, but looking at the ins and outs of the dynamic between the two of you is essential.
Examine through the lens of a close friend, someone that wants the best for you and vice versa.
If it was: simple, easy, uncomplicated way more often than not (no one is perfect!), and trying their best is a good sign that things were alright between the two of you.
If it was: complicated, one-sided, all the energy went into one side, and a lot of discipline or re-disciplining happened, then there are things to examine.
#3 Does your daily schedule feel better or worse?
The last question can provide immediate peace of mind. Has your daily schedule improved or not?
Reflect on an average day and think about what’s different about it. Remember that it’s okay whatever the answer.
The conclusion will look different since it’ll be specific to your own situation and the events surrounding your decision.
A dog or any pet is an absolute commitment. Your pet needs its basic needs met by your schedule, and that’s very time-consuming.
Time consumption depends on the breed too, or if you know any background information that may make something as simple as a walk more complicated.
Remember to take time with these questions.
Can I try to get my dog back?
If a genuine mistake, try to re-adopt
There are situations where giving away a dog is done hastily, and you realize what you’ve done. In this scenario, dependent on your situation, you can try to re-adopt.
In times like this, it’s possible, but it doesn’t work for most cases. Once you’ve given a dog away, the prior owner has no right to the animal.
Unfortunate but true, regardless of the scenario where the animal is adopted, there’s no guarantee of getting back the dog.
There’s a possibility of a successful re-adoption, but chances again are slim.
Shelters may be open to it, depending on the breed of dog, but it’s dependent on the facility.
Conversation with the new owner(s)
If the case was the dog being given directly to another owner, it stands the same way. The owner who surrenders their pet has no legal right to them after.
More importantly, the new owners don’t owe you anything, so be gracious while talking with them.
This situation is specific to the people and dog at hand and has the potential to yield an array of different results. The new owners can simply say no, and that’s that.
You could end up lucky and be able to cut a deal with the new person to regain your pal or maybe even schedule visits.
Return to breeder or shelter for similar dog
If the re-adoption doesn’t work, maybe look for a similar dog, or if they came from a local litter, see if there’s any left to adopt!
Figure out the specifics of what you loved about your last pup, and be conscious of those qualities moving forward.
You may also find it helpful to talk to your local shelter or breeder. Talking with them may help you figure out more about what you’re looking for in a dog.
Either source can be beneficial while looking to adopt.
Know that dogs are adaptable in transitions
If you’re still just feeling every emotion in the book and getting down on yourself about letting your dog go, it’s okay.
I’m sure natural human instinct kicks in at some point and worries about how the dog feels after being given up. Even though it can be very emotional for us, dogs are adaptable.
Sure, they will have a little processing time as to why they no longer live with their human but are capable of adapting.
Although, not a perfect place to rest on this ride, if you gave them all the love you could, they will carry on with it.
Should I adopt another dog?
Review the questions above
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, so take your time to figure out this question yourself.
The first thing I would suggest to most people contemplating this question is to review the events and look at the first two sections of this article.
If it seems like you are interested in another dog, figure out the specifics of what you’re looking for in a future pet.
Think about it like any good friendship. There has to be common ground to solidify a lasting partnership.
Do your homework for a compatible dog
Something that could’ve gone askew in your previous relationship with your dog is the mismatch of energies.
Dog breeds are so vastly different from one another, so in the future, make sure to do your research.
Reflect on what kind of lifestyle you currently have and ask yourself, what type of dog can fit into this with me?
Figure out what you’re comfortable with and meet the dog in person before making any decisions! It’s a huge choice, so do what’s right for you and take your time–the right dog will come your way.
Work on any issue that will lead to a happier future with a dog
This path will be different for every reader, but take the time to examine what went wrong leading up to the surrender of your pup.
Collect what you’ve gathered during your review and examine what you’d like to start working on if you’d like to get another dog in the future.
More often than not, if you don’t do that work, it could show up in anything and bring you back to square one.
Don’t worry about the timeline. Getting the work done is the most important to move forward.
Steps to help me heal and move forward
Volunteer at pet shelters
You’ve maybe concluded that having your dog isn’t for you right now–no worries! There are many other ways to have animals in your life that can benefit so many in more ways than you think.
The first is, volunteering at your local pet shelter. Most facilities like that always need helping hands and are flexible to your schedule.
There are many ways to work at a shelter. You could do anything from cleaning to dog walking to more complex activities that require training.
Try fostering dogs
Another possibility, if you are looking for something more than volunteering at a shelter, you could try is fostering a dog.
Being a foster parent is another big responsibility, but not as permanent as getting a dog of your own. You do have to have things prepared to be successful.
- Be emotionally prepared
- Have the space
- Time and flexibility
- Everyone living with you is okay with it
Fostering dogs can be as complicated as owning a pup. So, make sure you take the time to research this avenue if you’re looking to commit to it.
A letter to the dog
Those options aren’t for everyone, or you may not be ready to do either. That’s okay–move forward in your own time.
A smaller step, but still beneficial, you could take is to write a letter. There are two ways you could do this.
One, you could write a letter to the dog and share any emotions revolving around the time frame of giving them up.
Two, you could write about what the dog meant to you and reflect on any of the feelings you have felt or are feeling.
We hope you’ve found any of this article helpful or insightful for what you may do next. And remember, there’s no right or wrong way to move past regret; whatever works for you is best.
We hope this can guide you through this time, but these are just recommendations; something to pull from to help get you started or continue on your journey of healing.
Most importantly, take your time. If you are interested in a new dog, the right one is coming your way. Just give it more time and do your homework in the meantime.