When pet owners break up

A relationship has ended – what about the pets?

It’s over: when partners break up, the house pet is suddenly without a family. What does that mean for the dog or cat? How can the owners contribute to the well-being of their animals? The experts from Maxi Zoo have the answers.

When a couple separates, there are often strong emotions in play. Depending on how long the two have lived together, the ownership also has to be resolved during this turbulent time. House pets are affected by the future their owners choose for them. And it’s precisely the dog or the cat that just has to put up with it when their owners are suddenly no longer at their side and they might have to change their living environment.

The animals’ well-being always comes first

Now, it’s imperative to clarify a quite important question: who, up till now, has looked after the creature the most, fed it, taken it out or played with it? Who can provide the animal with the accommodation which ideally suits it? What happens with the dog or cat when both owners now have to go to work eight hours a day? Is the beloved animal to stay in the household in which the childrenn also live? Very important with dogs: who does the four-legged creature accept as its pack leader? It’s neither healthy for the pet nor for the humans if a tug of war develops around the jointly owned animal or if a court has to decide on its future whereabouts. So make the effort to find a solution which guarantees your creature’s well-being. Even if that means in the worst case that you have to look for a new family for your pet.

When the dog grieves

You move into a new home and the dog comes too, but the familiar partner is missing. The animal often doesn’t know what’s happened to them. Sometimes it reacts immediately to this change, other times the reaction is delayed or even not at all. That’s different from one animal to another. The dog suddenly becomes aggressive or has a strong protective urge. Even loss of appetite, whining or unapproachable behaviour can occur. Give your animal time to get used to the new situation and remain sympathetic. Note signs of grief or withdrawal, discuss this with your vet. When the creature allows it, indulge it with some extra cuddling, playing or a special treat. Sometimes it helps to keep or take something familiar of the ex-partner’s with you, a T-shirt that’s been worn.

What the dog needs

Dogs like to remain with their owners. If this isn’t feasible then the “new” owner should build up an appropriate relationship with the dog. It’s problematic for many a dog when this leadership’s suddenly missing and it becomes aggressive or dominant. Training can help both man and animal to build up a healthy relationship with each other. If there are several pets in the house, sharing them out stands to reason. Two cats to you, two cats to me… that works arithmetically but it can be sheer stress for the animals. Agree to a plan B in advance, in case there should be difficulties.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.

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