It is never an easy decision for anyone to return your dog to shelter or rescue. You may feel like you’ve failed as a new pet owner, or you worry that frienjds will judge you for buying a Dog but not being able care for!

These feelings of guilt and shame can be overwhelming, and you will regret that you ever bought a dog. But it’s also important to remember that returning a dog is not always a reflection of your abilities or your character.

Let us discuss some different reasons why people may need to return their dog, how to cope with these emotions.

Why Someone May Need to Return Their Dog

Before we dive into coping strategies, we should first acknowledge that there are many reasons why people may need to return their dog. These reasons can include financial hardship, unexpected life changes, or behavioral issues that are beyond the owner’s ability to manage.

sad dog

Returning a dog is not always a choice of pet owners, and it’s not a sign of weakness – let me give you some reasons for returning a Dog

  • Financial Hardship: Unfortunately, not all pet owners have the financial means to care for their dogs. From medical expenses to daily necessities- like food and grooming, the cost of owning a dog can quickly add up. Some owners may suddenly find themselves in a situation where they can no longer afford to provide for their dog’s needs.
  • Unexpected Life Changes: Sometimes – Life can be unpredictable – things happen that are out of your control. A sudden job loss, the need to move to a new house, a family emergency – there can be many reasons that make it difficult to keep a dog.
  • Behavioral Issues: While many behavioral issues can be addressed with training and patience, some dogs may have severe behavioral problems that are beyond their owner’s ability to manage.

There are Acceptable Reasons for Giving up a Dog!

Sometimes, it’s in the best interest of both you and your dog to part ways. If you’ve tried everything you can, including seeking expert advice and reading up on the issue, and you’re still unable to solve a serious problem that’s affecting your happiness or your family’s, it may be time to consider giving up your dog.

It’s important to be honest with yourself and the shelter staff and acknowledge that you’ve exhausted all reasonable options within the limits of your time and financial resources. In such circumstances, it’s better to admit that it’s not working. Cease blaming yourself for surrendering your dog and move on.

However, this can be difficult as it may feel like a defeat.

Returning a Dog Is Not Always a Reflection of the Owner’s Abilities or Character

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to return your dog, it’s important to be kind to yourself and remember that you’re doing the best you can.

Coping with Guilt

Returning a dog can be a traumatic experience for pet owners – it’s common to experience feelings of guilt and shame as a result. However, it’s important to remember that these emotions are valid, but they don’t have to control your life. Here are some strategies for coping with guilt:

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Most People are hard on themselves – when feeling guilty, but it’s important to remember – we are all human and most of us doing the best we can.
    Take some time to practice self-compassion, whether that means talking to yourself or talk to your best friend about your issue, enjgage in self-care activities that make you feel better.
  2. Seek Support from Friends and Family: It can be helpful to talk to others about what you’re going through. Reach out to friends or family members – who will be supportive and non-judgmental. Sometimes just having someone to listen can make all the difference.
  3. Consider Therapy: If your feelings of guilt are overwhelming you and interfering with your daily life – it will be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can help you work through your emotions and develop coping strategies that work for you.
How to Stop Feeling Guilty Over Returning a Dog?

Helpful Advice!

To Stop feeling remorseful about giving up your dog, try to accept the reasons behind your decision to part ways with your pet.

You should not blame yourself as it’s impossible to predict how a dog will adjust to a new environment.

If you have returned your dog to a safe and caring caretaker who will ensure that they find a loving home, then it’s likely that you have made the best decision for your furry friend.

Making the Decision to Return Your Dog

Making the decision to return your dog can be a difficult one, and it’s important for you to consider all of your options before doing so. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Consider the Dog’s Well-being: Ultimately, the decision if you will return your dog should be based on what’s best for both of you. If your dog is suffering from health issues or is in a situation where they’re not getting the dogs needs met, it may be best to return the dog to a shelter or rescue where they can receive the proper care they need.
  2. Assess Your Ability to Provide for the Dog: Be honest with yourself about your ability to provide for your dog’s needs. If you’re struggling financially to afford food, vet care, or other necessities – returning your dog may be the best option for both of you.
  3. Explore Temporary Solutions: If your reason for considering returning your dog is temporary, such as a job loss or a move, consider exploring temporary solutions before making a final decision. This could include finding a temporary foster home, hiring a dog sitter or walker, or enrolling in training classes to address any behavioral issues.
  4. Seek Advice from Professionals: If you’re struggling to make the right decision, consider seeking advice from professionals – such as a veterinarian or a dog trainer. They can provide guidance on whether or not returning your dog is the best option, and can offer resources to help you keep your dog if that’s the best course of action.

Considerations Before Surrendering Your Dog!

Before surrendering your dog, it’s crucial to carefully think through your decision and explore all possible options to honor the commitment you made when you adopted your furry friend.

You wouldn’t want to make a hasty decision that you’ll regret for the rest of your life, as well as your dog’s.

Moving Forward After Returning Your Dog

Returning your dog can be a difficult and emotional experience, and it’s important to take care of yourself as you move forward. Here are some tips for coping with the aftermath:

  1. Honor Your Dog’s Memory: Just because you’ve returned your dog doesn’t mean you can’t continue to honor their memory. Consider creating a memorial or doing something special in their honor. This can help you feel connected to your dog even after they’re gone.
  2. Find Closure: Closure looks different for everyone, but it’s important to find a way to say goodbye and move on. This could mean writing a letter to your dog, creating a scrapbook or photo album, or even getting a tattoo in their honor.
  3. Consider Adopting Another Dog in the Future: While it may not be the right time to adopt another dog right away, don’t let your experience with returning a dog deter you from adopting in the future. Just make sure you’re fully prepared and informed before making the decision to bring another dog into your home.
  4. Seek Support: Please seek support from others – who may have been through a similar experience; consider to join a support-group for pet owners who have returned their dogs, or reach out to a counselor or therapist who can help you work through your emotions.

Let go of the guilt of returning your dog!

It’s completely normal to feel grief and sadness after taking a pet to a shelter, but it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t feel guilty about your decision.

Don’t be hard on yourself for surrendering your dog – as a responsible caregiver, taking care of your family means making decisions that benefit everyone involved. Shelters are better equipped to handle problematic pets than many small households.

Final Thoughts

Deciding to give up your dog will be an incredibly challenging and emotional experience for many people.

This is not something you should have to go through alone – even when it is normal to feel guilty and ashamed; but it’s important to be kind to yourself – seek out support from your loved ones, and consider speaking with a professional if you’re struggling.

Ultimately, the decision to give up your dog should be made with the best interests in mind. Please take some time to evaluate all of your options before you comit to a final decision. Then it is important to quit feeling ashamed for relinquishing your dog!

Remember – it’s possible to find closure and move on after returning your dog, you still can honor your dog’s memory even if they’re no longer with you.

Categories: Dogs


Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.


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