Return a Dog to the Shelter

As dog lovers, we want all dogs to have a safe and happy home with their forever families. That is why it’s fulfilling to bring home a puppy from the shelter.

You want your new dog to be your best friend for many years to come. But due to unforeseen circumstances, this doesn’t always last.

Is it okay to return a dog to the shelter? We share with you why it’s okay and how to avoid returning a dog to the shelter.

We also provide information on the common reasons for returning a dog. 

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return dog to shelter

Common Reasons for Returning a Dog

Here are a few reasons why some people consider giving up their dog.

Unwanted Behavior

Unwanted behavior is probably one of the most common reasons why pet parents return their dogs to the shelter. 

Senior dogs tend to have fewer behavioral issues, but puppies and adult dogs may potty inside, destroy your furniture, howl a lot, and more.

Some unwanted behavior in dogs include:

One of the solutions to all these unwanted behaviors is to assert yourself as the pack leader.

You may also try crate training them or giving them toys that alleviate anxiety,

SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy, Brown Mutt, Small (SP101)

SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy is a heat pack and a behavioral aid toy for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. 

This toy also helps to prevent barking, whining, and other negative behaviors as you train them.

Inability to Afford Expenses

Sudden unemployment or other income changes may prevent you from being able to afford your dog’s food, supplies, and other pup services.

In order to cut your expenses on food, learn which human foods are good for dogs.

This video shows some safe human foods for dogs. 

Medical Condition

The development of a medical condition is another reason why most dogs, especially senior dogs, get returned to the shelter. 

These diseases may happen fast. One day you adopt a perfectly healthy dog, the next day they’re sick and sad.

These conditions can be expensive, and you may think you are unable to care for them properly.

The shelter, however, may pay the price for your dog’s expenses on medical needs. 

It’s also harder to find someone else to adopt your dog. 

Before returning your dog, talk to your vet as most of them may help reduce the cost of your dog’s treatment plan. 

You also might try to contact some organizations that can help with your pet’s condition instead of just returning them to the pound.

Is It Okay to Return a Dog to the Shelter?

Spending the first few weeks with a dog helps you get a good idea of their energy level, manners, and how much money you need to spend on them.

However, things can change and sometimes it won’t turn out the way you might expect. 

It’s easy to feel guilty when you’re planning to return a dog because of the circumstances. 

Adopting a dog is usually deemed saving a life. But does that mean that returning them is putting them in jepardy?

No. But trying to take care of a dog despite knowing you’ll fail will only make it worse in the long run. 

It’s fine to return a dog to the shelter if you have tried everything you can and things still aren’t working out.

Eventually, they will find a new home where they fit right in. 

Shelters may also require you to return the dog sometimes if they notice that the adoption isn’t working out. 

Remember that it’s better to return the dog to the shelter instead of selling them online or giving them away.

How to Avoid Returning a Pet

According to American Humane Association, one in ten pets adopted from a shelter were no longer in the home six months later.

How do we prevent this from happening?

Crate Train Your Dog

Remember that part of having a dog is exerting time and effort to crate train them

This is super helpful on days when you’re away from home, or when there are guests in the house. 

Crate training also helps remove bad behaviors like chewing and soiling the house. 

Make Sure You Can Afford Dog Care

In a study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, it was found that the average first-year cost for a dog was about $3085. 

This includes food, supplies, vet costs, and a serious illness.

Before adopting, ask yourself if you have enough budget to care for a dog. 

Make Sure Family Members are Not Allergic

Many people discover too late that they are allergic to dog dander. 

Animals may cause allergies and share parasites like hookworms.

Always get tested to know if your existing family members can comfortably live with a new furry friend.

You could try temporarily fostering a dog first to see if it is a good fit for you and your family.

FAQs Dog Fostering

Can I Foster a Dog if I Work Full-Time?

Yes, but it will take time for you to adjust to your new circumstances and be able to juggle having a career and being a foster parent.

If you’re a first-time foster parent, you’ll have to undergo training and background checks from the shelter organization.

These organizations will decide if you’re fit to foster a dog while working full-time.

Learn how to successfully foster a dog while working full-time with our easy tips!

What Does it Mean to Foster a Dog?

To foster means to temporarily bring home a dog and take care of them until they find a family who will permanently take care of them.

Dogs need to be fostered because the shelter may be running out of space or the owner is currently going through something, like a disaster.

Are you fit to become a dog foster parent? Learn the requirements of fostering a dog now.

Don’t Feel Guilty!

Returning a dog to the shelter does not take away your worth as an animal lover. Sometimes, it’s for the better in order to avoid neglecting them.

Before returning the dog to the shelter, consider cutting your expenses by giving them human food. 

You may also ask for assistance from organizations or your vet if your dog is suffering from a medical condition.

Lastly, try crate training your dog to eradicate bad behavior and help with positive reinforcement. 

You should learn the pros and cons to fostering a dog and try that before you adopt a pup permanently.