When things don’t work out

Sadly, pet ownership doesn’t always turn out to be as much fun as you might have hoped.

Even with the best of preparations, life can sometimes throw unexpected events at us, which can turn pet ownership into more of a challenge than it might have been.

Let’s take a look at what factors can cause a great experience to turn sour…

Unforeseen circumstances

Circumstances can change and, unfortunately, people sometimes lose their jobs or their homes. Suddenly, they may no longer be able to afford to keep their pet, or they may be unable to find accommodation that allows pets.

Health problems can affect us all. These can be serious enough that someone becomes unable to provide the care their pet needs. Or it may only become apparent that a family member is allergic to pets after their new bundle of fluff has their little paws firmly under the table.

Unexpected changes to family situations can mean that pet care previously shared between several people now becomes one person’s responsibility.

What about when reality doesn’t match up to expectation?

Sometimes, the heart can rule the head when it comes to taking on a new pet. Even though, as you can see, there’s so much to consider when deciding on which pet is right for you, it’s so easy to fall in love with a pair of puppy-dog eyes looking up at you from a screen, or to be persuaded by your children that they really will take care of yet another two family additions…

The reality sometimes turns out to be far more time-consuming or expensive than you’d expected.

Unexpected costs

While all pets can get sick or have an accident, some pets are more likely than others to require veterinary intervention. For instance, many brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs need surgery on their airways to allow them to breathe more easily, while other breeds can be predisposed to suffer from spinal or heart problems. Likewise, some rabbits may need to have their teeth trimmed and reshaped regularly, under general anaesthesia.

When choosing a pet, it’s important to research the likelihood of health problems further down the line and to consider the possible cost implications.

Could you train your dog?

You may have a friend with a well-trained dog who can be taken anywhere and who gets on well with everyone they meet. It’s easy to imagine that, were you to get a similar dog, yours would turn out to be a model pet just like them… but it doesn’t always turn out that way!

Like people, dogs have their own personalities. They need to be brought up to be able to cope with the world around them, taught to come back to you when called and understand basic tasks such as walking nicely on a lead.

Some dogs are easier to train than others – that’s why it’s so important to research your potential breed before you make the commitment. Click here for tips on training your pet.

Challenges with cats

The reality of living with cats isn’t always as easy as you might have imagined. Not all are happy to be part of a multi-pet household, or to co-exist with the neighbours’ cats. The ways cats behave when they’re anxious can be difficult to live with. For instance, they may start house-soiling or getting into fights.

Cats are very much their own people but it can be difficult not to take it personally if you’ve prepared everything perfectly for your new feline friend, only to find that they’d rather be outside than on your lap; or that they become prolific hunters, leaving you ‘presents’ everywhere. Part of being a cat owner is loving them for who they are!

When things get too much…

Sometimes, when the challenge of caring for or affording a pet has become overwhelming, or the pet-ownership experience isn’t working out well, an owner may decide that rehoming their pet is the logical solution.

Want to learn more?

Is relinquishment the only option?

If things aren’t working out with your pet, it’s a tough decision to take, but rehoming can often be for the best.

Let’s look at the options for rehoming, find out what to expect if you decide to follow this pathway and explore alternative courses of action…

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Where not to look for your next pet

If things aren’t working out with your pet, it’s a tough decision to take, but rehoming can often be for the best.

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