For most pet owners the idea of having to say goodbye to a furry member of the family, for any reason, is heartbreaking and unbearable. There are moments, though, when for some very legitimate reasons you can no longer provide a good home for your pet, or they're no longer a good fit for your family. If you are a pet owner in a tough position, it's natural to wonder when you should re-home your pet. For better or worse, there are some signs that can let you know that a drastic, albeit sad, change might just be necessary (and beneficial) for everyone.
First, you should know you aren't alone. According to a national survey conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), an estimated 6.14 million people in the United States have re-homed their pets every five years for a variety of reasons, including problems related to their pet (e.g. aggression), their family (e.g. health problems), or their housing (e.g. unable to have pets). Because the same study notes that many of these situations are completely beyond the pet owners' control and not easily fixed, sometimes the best choice is finding the pet a new home.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are resources available to help pet owners get past some common situations that might make them consider re-homing a pet. For instance, many pet behavioral problems are actually medical problems that can be treated by a veterinarian. There are also financial resources available for pet owners who are no longer able to afford to take care of their pet. But if you find yourself in a situation where having a pet is negatively impacting your health, your family, or your pet's ability to thrive, it might be time to say goodbye. Read on for some expert advice on when to make that call: