Getting a dog with your significant other seems like a fabulous idea – when you’re in love and honeymooning your face off. It may seem like getting a pet together is the next step to long-lasting commitment. After all, keeping an animal healthy and happy is a big deal. Evening walks to the dog park. Vet bills (split right down the middle). Cozy holiday pictures. It all just sounds so…perfect.
Until you breakup.
What does a couple gone cold do with a dog it adores? It’s not as simple as cleaning out a sock drawer or removing a toothbrush from the bathroom. You two both love your dog and you’re both equally attached. You’ve both been there from day one.
So, how do you make a decision that is best for both of you and fair to your dog? Read on for a few things to consider as you make this terribly tough decision.
Remove Emotion From The Discussion.
We know: you might as well be a robot if you can’t be emotional when talking about an animal that you love and you’re quite attached to. We’re not saying not to love all over your dog – but it is important to (try to) look at the facts. By taking a civil, practical approach to the matter, you may find that it’s easier than you think to come up with a solution. Evaluating matters like living arrangements, work hours and budget may lead you to an obvious answer.
Who Can Afford The Dog?
Having a dog was affordable when you were in it together. There was always another person to help shoulder the costs of vet visits, food and toys and anything unexpected that came your way. But if you take a dog on your own, you’re just that: on your own. See if you feel like you can afford the dog comfortably, and that you aren’t sacrificing your basic needs to care for a pet.
Who Can Spend More Time With The Pooch?
Your ex travels internationally at least once a month, whereas you work from home. A situation such as this is a no-brainer. It doesn’t seem fair to the dog to have it be alone so often. And, the traveler will also likely incur costs such as dog walkers or kennel costs.
Be prepared to have changes of heart on issues you never thought you’d budge on. For example, you may find that having a pet as a newly single person is just not as appealing. Perhaps you were home a lot more often with your significant other and now you want to mingle, travel and enjoy some solo freedom. A pet may not be conducive to this new lifestyle.
Also, if one of you moves to an area that does not allow pets, or does not have easy access to a backyard or parks, or perhaps there’s a new roommate involved who is not a dog person – well, there you have it. These post-breakup shifts may guide your answer.
Put The Dog First.
Breakups are sad and emotional. They can also get messy. While you may have all sorts of conflicting feelings about your ex, ease your decision-making process by putting your pet front and center.
Let your dog go where they’ll be happiest, where they will have the best quality of life. Make it that simple.